If you have a racing mind, focused on planning and worries or other forms of rumination or spinning, consciously bring your awareness from your head to your heart area. Be still. Listen. What does your body and deeper wisdom know? Sometimes we are avoiding seeing something difficult; often, though, what we are hiding from ourselves is the beauty of our lives. We are accustomed to looking for dangers and disappointments and miss all that is well.
Wayne Mulller in his book The Legacy of the Heart points out that our main treatment model for emotional suffering is speaking. He agrees that especially those who have been silenced or who have felt unsafe need to feel the power of being heard and acknowledged with unconditional acceptance -in a supportive, loving community.
At the same time, he says "as we rush to rectify the silences of the past . . . we sometimes relinquish the power of stillness and quiet as a vital part of healing . . . In our contemporary culture, 'sharing' is prescribed as a cure for all ills." Sometimes, stillness and reflection are our deepest well of healing.
Wayne Muller in his book Legacies of the Heart writes that busyness can be a habit, often developed when we are young, to help us feel safe and avoid facing feelings. Now, we need more stillness.
He advises: "Perhaps our greatest healing comes only when we listen quietly and carefully to ourselves and our sorrow. Maybe there is nothing for us to take out, nothing to fix, nothing to do but mindfully touch our heart and spirit with quiet, loving attention. Merely by sitting still, we may feel the Love that God already has for us, even explore the love we have for ourselves. Here, we may taste the grace that already fills our being, and drink from the strength that already exists in the tenderest places of our heart."
There are days that we most need to stand in our strength and courage. Today, though, is a day for comfort. The Bible says, "Comfort yourselves together." Surround yourself with people who are comforting, who bring you a sense of safety and sanity. Ask for hugs. Move more slowly. Feel the power of Love with you that soothes and restores mentally and physically.
Today, rather than get caught in your narrow, circular, limited, often fear-governed thoughts, know that there is a larger Mind who is the Creator-Source who is knowing. All day, know that right now Mind is knowing and that knowing is me. Yield to that truth with gentleness and trust and kindness toward your fears.
Some of us tend toward feeling overly responsible for other people's feelings, growth, and suffering. This may stem from love, but also may be a pattern left over from childhood when we had (what is natural to children) a self-focused, inflated sense of our own power--or (less natural) too much emotional responsibility place on us by the adults in our lives. Or we may imagine that we have more power than we do because it easier to imagine that we have influence and have failed than that we have no control at all.
Today, lift your thoughts from a self-focused sense of responsibility - a need to be needed and useful, a need to tell yourself a particular story of your worth in the world - and let Love love its own creation in its own ways. Sometimes Love will flow through you to another, as a healing influence. Sometimes Love will touch that person in another way. Sometimes it is your job to accept other people's care for you. Have more trust in Love to love in its own powerful, effective ways, tending to each of us in the ways we most need.
Think of someone you deeply admire. Think of the respect you show that person in thoughts, words, and actions. As the loved of Love, you deserve that same level of respect. Talk about yourself - to yourself and others - with respect. Think about yourself with respect. Take respectful actions toward yourself in how you treat your body, how you organize your days, what you demand of yourself. Respect does not have to equal a grim seriousness - we can still be playful and irreverent - but it does require a deep recognition of our dignity and a depth of kindness.
The Bible says, "God hath not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Hold to this, all day. Feel the truth of it.
In the Bible, Love says, "Be still and know that I am God."
Today, give yourself moments of stillness where you open to the presence of Love.
Even in the midst of your busy days, notice places for stillness. Pause before entering a meeting or before getting in your car. Take one item off your to do list. Check your phone or computer less frequently. If you compulsively listen to or watch news or other media, turn it off for a stretch. Let Love fill those moments, giving you a more orderly, steady feel, helping you to keep your priorities straight, your eye on the big picture, your choices in alignment with your values.
Our culture - think of movies and books - promote the cult of the special person, the hero with unique insights, abilities, sensitivities, strength or courage. But our worth does not come from being special, but from being the loved of Love. In fact, the feeling that we are special is often a cover for deep feelings of inadequacy. The need to feel special often makes us burden others with our need to "help"--or to receive attention or affirmation for our specialness. In our need to feel special, we sometimes unintentionally deny others their opportunity to be of service or to shine. Today, release any need to feel special. Yes, you are beautiful, unique, invaluable, and necessary-to-the-universe, but no more than anyone else. Other people's successes or gifts cannot steal anything from you.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.