Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart”-Psalm 51:6
When someone exposes their true inner condition and allows the world to see the extent of their internal struggles, it is hard not to pay attention. It is even more impressive when the person involved lives with the unimaginable pressure of being a national footballer from Brazil, where this sport rivals religion as an avenue for worship.
Like Dele Alli earlier this year, talented player Richarlison shared publicly that on his return to England where he plays for Tottenham Hotspur, he would actively seek out psychological help. His confession was open and transparent. He was struggling to focus on excelling at his trade. There were legitimate fears, the BBC reported, that some people were around him to get his money. Richarlison was unhindered when it came to bearing his heart.
This is the spirit of Psalm 51 above. Divine joy is found within our inner depths. Not the superficiality of image management, approval seeking and people pleasing, but a deep dive into our “secret heart”. Those are the places where we see who we really are. There is doubt, discomfort, desperation and delight all mixed up in our inward being. Yet, we must be willing to keep going there. Are you open to removing all masks so that your “secret heart” can be revealed? Find a safe person and a safe space and be receptive to the wisdom that comes from going deep.
There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. It is both liberating and contagious.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.