The Wounded Healer and The Imposter Source: Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging by: Brennan Manning
In stressing the importance of sharing our journey with others, Manning writes, “The suffering Servant of Isaiah recognizes His wounds, lets them show, and makes them available to the community as a source of healing. The Wounded Healerimplies that grace and healing are communicated through the vulnerability of men and women who have been fractured and heartbroken by life. In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.” (p.29) In his commentary on “Wounded Healers,” Manning states, “only wounded soldiers can serve.” This indicates the very vulnerability he speaks of in his statements, in which the wall of pride must come down, and the cup of humility must pour over, therefore, allowing us to share our deepest hurts and struggles, for the benefit of one another. For we are called to bare one another’s burdens, and to comfort one another with the comfort with which we have received from the Lord.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.’ (NIV Bible)
However, standing in the way of this beautiful picture of help, hope, and healing, is what Brennan Manning calls, “The Imposter” who dwells within each one of us. "The impostor lives in fear…Imposters are preoccupied with acceptance and approval. Because their suffocating need to please others, they cannot say “no” with the same confidence with which they say “yes.” And so they overextend themselves in people, in projects, and causes motivated not by personal commitment but by the fear of not living up to other’s expectations…The imposter is the classic codependent. To gain acceptance and approval, the false-self suppresses or camouflages feelings, making emotional honesty impossible. Living out of the false self creates a compulsive desire to present a perfect image to the public so that everybody will admire us and nobody will know us. The imposter’s life becomes a perpetual roller-coaster ride of elation and depression. The false self buys into outside experiences to furnish a personal source of meaning." (p.34) The “Imposter” seeks to keep us isolated from the reality of our deepest needs, and causes us to flee from what is “real” and instead, settling for what is distorted and superficial, the “False Self.”
The “Imposter” affects our relationship with God; Manning continues… “We even refuse to be our true self with God – and then we wonder why we lack intimacy with Him. The deepest desire of our hearts is for union with God. From the first moments of our existence our most powerful yearning is to fulfill the original purpose of our lives – ‘to see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly.’ We are made for God, and nothing less will really satisfy us.” So what do we do with the “Imposter”? "When we accept the truth of what we really are and surrender it to Jesus Christ, we are enveloped in peace, whether or not we feel ourselves to be at peace. By that I mean the peace that passes all understanding is not a subjective sensation of peace; if we are in Christ, we are in peace, even when we feel no peace."(p.45)
John 8:31-32 ‘..If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ ‘..the longer you spend time in the presence of Jesus, the more accustomed you grow to His face, the less adulation you will need because you will have discovered for yourself that He is Enough.’ (p.48)