Today, feel Love with you as a mechanic, giving you a tune up. Or as your most excellent gardener. Feel Love pulling weedy thoughts, beliefs, and conclusions. Feel Love adjusting your thoughts so they are more honest, productive, and finely tuned. Feel Love giving you fuel or fertilizer for energy. Feel love pulling or adjusting whatever in your life that does not serve you.
Some days require of us that we stand in our authority and strength.
Today, though, know yourself as a child holding Love's hand. Don't ask more of yourself than to hold tight, to trust, to lean on Love's expertise and power and effectiveness. Know yourself as held. Be quiet. Lower the demands on yourself. Feel the safety of being companioned by Love.
Today, practice, in all activities large and small, self-kindness. Feed yourself kind foods in the amounts that are kind. Speak to yourself in a way that is kind. Create a schedule that is kind. Have standards for yourself that are kind. Move your body in a way that is kind. Dress yourself with kindness. Surround yourself with people who are kind. With this practice, you will naturally extend a healthy, healing kindness to others.
Today, rather than seeing yourself as someone with too many responsibilities and obligations you are not fulfilling well enough, or fretting over all the ways you feel you are surrounded by incompetence, recognize and savor all the presents Love is giving you.
Your work is a gift from Love to you. The opportunity to share your talents and wisdoms is a gift from Love to you. Your home, your clothes, your flowers in your yard, your friends are Love's miraculous gifts to you. Breathing, movement, stories, emotions, a shower, a song, a meal are all Love's gifts to you. This is not something you repeat to yourself intellectually as a exercise to feel better, but a truth you recognize with your heart - as you would if your best friend surprised you at the door with a package wrapped in a beautiful bow. You would stop, pause, be delighted and grateful, feel worthy and honored.
Today, pause and ask to see what Love sees in you. This is not a desperate kind of self-help strategy where you repeat the good qualities about yourself you hope are true. That is just the human mind trying to assure itself. This requires great humility, as you stop your flow of ceaseless thinking and ask to "see as you are seen." Love reveals to you your strengths and gifts. Accept them. Appreciate them. Bask in them. Be willing to recognize and act with the strength, intelligence, insight, and beauty you did not know you had.
There are times for acknowledging our vulnerability, and times for claiming our authority. Today, claim your authority. Authority is a divine power given to you to be used for good. You don't self-create it, but receive it as a gift. Sometimes just recognizing your authority causes a shift.
I have authority over a sense of self-doubt, uncertainty, indecisiveness, or tentativeness.
I have authority over addictive or self-destructive thoughts or patterns.
I have authority over suggestions from myself, others, the media, our culture that I am not worthy.
I have authority over a sense of helplessness about anything - politics, bureaucracies, other people's choices.
I have authority over the suggestion that there is not enough time or I can't meet demands.
Knowing your authority calms the mind, stills the body, unlocks intuition, gives courage to your actions, softens self-consciousness and fear, reveals priorities, and demands and receives respect. Claim your authority.
Today, pause in the moment and ask what Love is calling forth from you. Be willing to be surprised. Maybe you tend to be a peacemaker, but this moment requires your strength, courage, and integrity. Maybe you are a natural and decisive leader, but maybe this moment asks for you to be patient and kind and make room for someone else. Today, acknowledge the wide range of your strengths and capacities, listen for what the moment needs, and be willing to be surprised. Don't get stuck in a limited definition of your role or what it means to be "good."
Today, don't deal with the overwhelming news of the world's suffering by worrying and then visualizing grand actions you will make at some future time.
Instead, begin by knowing and feeling your own spiritual vibrancy and identity right here, right now. Then do the work that is in front of you today, with integrity and vitality and a deep kindness to yourself and others. Begin here. Let your role in easing the world's suffering grow naturally from your life.
To underplay your strengths and exaggerate your faults - in your thoughts, words, or actions - is to dishonor Love. Today, see clearly your many strengths and gifts. Know them as gifts from Love, whether earned and given. Stand in confidence, recognizing what you have that the world needs. To see and share your gifts with generosity and gratitude is part of humility.
We will never improve ourselves through punishment. We must meet all our faults through deep and unconditional love. We must feel Love's unconditional love for us, accept it, let it flood our thoughts and being. Only when we know ourselves as worthy and accepted and forgiven will we see ourselves clearly - know what really needs to change, if anything, and have the discernment, energy, and sticking power to make new choices. To make change, begin with unchanging unconditional love.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.