Today, know that work is a gift that Love has given you to help you stretch and grow - and to give you the opportunity to serve and learn. Today, feel the divine purpose of work. This will melt resentment, weariness, or resistance, smooth your path, and help you recognize opportunities.
Today, let Love bathe any places of shame with unconditional love and forgiveness. We tend to bury and deny our shame, because it makes us so uncomfortable, or wallow in it because we feel we deserve to be punished. Both of those strategies keep us stuck. Feeling Love's tender acceptance of us gives us both the humility and sense of worth to let go of the past, to see ourselves and others with new clarity, and to blossom into a fuller self.
Today, if you are feeling overwhelmed by demands, remember to be motivated by love - and that Love motivates you. Pause before each task and know that Love moves through you and with you and for you and for others. We are not the slave of obligation or fear of failure or fear of disappointing ourselves or others. Love gives us inspiration, focus and endurance, the ability to see what needs to be done and what can be let go, steadiness of purpose, and calm and rest.
Today, you are held in a Web of Love. The threads are made of Love's love for you. The threads are made by the support and well-wishing of all those who love you. The threads are made by those who don't know you, but put their goodness into the world through art and music and writing and activism and work well done - and small, daily kindnesses. Today, feel your web.
Today, be careful not to define your worth primarily by how much good you do for others. That can be a form of self-centeredness - as you may take away from someone else the opportunity to be self-sufficient, or steal from another person the opportunity to be helpful and generous, or make yourself a little god as you secretly believe that without you, Love cannot do its work. Unexamined, the desire to do good can be primarily about meeting our own needs. Recognize that Love is working in your life and in other's - and be open to whatever that might require of you - more effort, less effort, a different kind of effort, or trust and stillness.
To help keep your intentions pure, you can recite a version of the Buddhist Lovingkindness Meditation for yourself and others. "May I be happy, may I be well, may I be free from suffering. May you be happy, may you be well, may you be free from suffering."
Begin today by pausing to feel and accept that you are the beloved of Love. This is not selfish or self-indulgent, because when we know we are beloved, we do not act unconsciously out of our insecurity with a need to compete, judge, or prove anything. We carry our sense of belonging with us and don't need others to give it to us. When we feel whole ourselves, we give and support others in healthier, more discerning, more useful ways.
Today, before you fret over or attend to any difficulties in your body, feel Love embracing and permeating those places. Feel Love establishing your thoughts and beliefs about your body - yield to Love's knowing.
Today, don't pray with your brain, don't pray with words. Pause and feel your heart reaching out to Love's heart.
Whenever you start to get caught in anxiety or gossip or analysis or rumination, return to your heart. Feel it reaching out to Love's heart - with humility, with willingness to see in new ways and to let go of hardened opinions, self-justifications, and fears. Feel Love's heart embracing your heart, with great calm and affection and delight in you.
Today, feel the power of Love as an Ordering Presence: ordering the tasks of your day in a peaceful, productive way; ordering your thoughts in calm and clarity; ordering the flow and effectiveness of all your systems, whether that be your body or your schedule. Let go of fear and human opinions and feel the presence and activity of Love's living, intelligent structure and flow.
T.S. Eliot in his poem Ash Wednesday writes, "Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still."
This is my deep prayer. I ask that I may recognize and care deeply about what matters most and take positive action. I ask that I may recognize and let go of petty worries, mindless distraction, and a false sense of responsibility. I ask that I may sit and rest-in-power and absorb the Divine Stillness who is 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.