Today, consciously live in your own integrity, taking the steps you feel are right for you in the moment. To the best of your ability, live in accord with your values and priorities. Others (often those who love you and sincerely believe they have your best interest in mind) may have different opinions and try to bully or shame you into their way of thinking. Today, trust your intentions and actions, don't fall prey to shame, and - without defensiveness -continue your course.
From the Tao Te Ching:
"Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?"
Today, let go of any agitated sense that you have to answer your life questions this minute. Offer your questions to Love with deep humility, with the willingness to let go of opinion and the desire to see clearly, and wholeheartedly trust that answers will unfold on their own timeline.
Today, know that Love wants freedom for you. Gently examine your beliefs and body for all the places you feel tight or trapped, without choices. Feel Love opening for you a sense of possibility, an awareness of your choices, a sense of your power and creativity.
From the TaoTe Ching:
"Can you love people and lead them
without imposing your will?
Can you deal with the most vital matters
by letting events take their course?"
There are days and times to fight, and there are days for letting go, watching the natural shape of our lives emerge. Today, relax into Love's activity, Love's rest, Love's power to shape our lives. Fret less about what other people are doing.
At the end of Shozan Jack Haubner's essay "Dirt Monkey" about the suffering of being a scrawny teenager boy, he writes:
"All I wanted was to become whole, to fill that void at the core of my being, to create a substantial, enduring identity - something I could definitively call 'me.' What I've learned is that the void can never be filled, because it's not mine to fill. It belongs to everyone and nobody at the same time. We all share it, but none of us owns it. It's who we we are when we forget ourselves completely, and where we go when we're lost in the act of doing something we love."
Life Coach Carolyn Foster quotes Parker Palmer from his book Let Your Life Speak:
Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks -- we will also find our path of authentic service in the world. True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts when he defines vocation as "the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need."
The ancient Tao Te Ching says, "In work, do what you enjoy . . . When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you." And "Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work then step back. The only path to serenity."
Today, feel Love as a powerful waterfall washing through you. This waterfall straightens those places in you that feel tangled, stirs and purifies that which has felt stagnant, scrubs that which feels stained and stubborn.
Love also manifests itself in structure.
Feel Love at work in the structures of your life: the structure of your day, the structure of your projects, the structure of your body, the structure of your thinking. Love's structures are stable, wise, orderly, peaceful, and just. Love's structures create a stable foundation and sturdy walls that support warmth, joy, inspiration, and blossoming.
Much that we worry about and feel responsible for and want to fix is really out of our control. Today, consciously turn those concerns over to Love. Feel Love as a principle and power, attending to those issues, on Love's own timeline.
Catholic priest and spiritual teacher Henri Nouwen in his book The Inner Voice of Love expands on the biblical promise "and the lion shall lie down with the lamb."
"There is within you a lion and a lamb. Spiritual maturity is the ability to let lamb and lion lie down together. Your lion is your adult, aggressive self. It is your initiative-taking and decision-making self. But there is also your fearful, vulnerable lamb, the part of you that needs affection, support, affirmation, and nurturing.
When you heed only your lion, you will find yourself overextended and exhausted. When you take notice only of your lamb, you will easily become a victim of your need for other people's attention. The art of spiritual living is to fully claim both your lion and your lamb. Then you can act assertively without denying your own needs. And you can ask for affection and care without betraying your talent to offer leadership."
Likewise, know that your lion protects and defends with integrity that which is tender and vulnerable. And the lamb softens with empathy our principles, plans, and actions.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.