"The illusion that we can know ourselves puts us on the road to a frantic search for selfhood through self-fulfillment, self-realization, and self-actualization. We become so concerned with a self-acquired identiy that we constantly worry about how we are doing in comparison with others. This illusion sets us on the road to competition, rivalry and finally violence. It is this illusion that makes us conquerors who will fight for our place in the world even at the cost of others.
"We are not who we know ourselves to be, but who we are known to be by God. We are not what we can acquire and conquer, but what we have received. We are not the money we earn, the friends we make, or the results we achieve; rather, we are who God made us in God's infinite love. As long as we keep running around anxiously trying to affirm ourselves or be affirmed by others, we remain blind to the One who has loved us first, dwells in our heart, and is indeed our true self."
~ Henri J.M. Nouwen