In the book Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life, Henri Nouwen writes that although money, power, and sex are great temptations, "I wonder if the greatest temptation is self-rejection. Could it be that beneath all the lures to greed, lust, and success rests a great fear of never being enough or not being lovable? Instead of taking a careful look at the circumstances or trying to understand my own and others' limitations without rejection or judgment, when I fall into temptation, I tend to blame myself--not just for what I did but for who I am. My dark side says, "I am no good. I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned." Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us God's beloved."
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.