Today, treat yourself and your life with tenderness and respect. Treat your home with tenderness and respect. Treat the people in your life with tenderness and respect. Treat the tasks you are called to do with tenderness and respect. Your pets. Your plants. Your humble and good self.
For the guilt-prone, guilt is often a liar. It can cause us to feel shame and responsibility for things over which we have no responsibility or control. Likewise, we can ignore or avoid those things over which we actually have some agency. Today, we ask to be released from the guilt which freezes us or focuses our attention in the wrong direction. We ask to let go of that which is not ours to do and to humbly undertake that which is. Love gives us the motivation and clarity to do this.
Guilt sometimes makes us believe that we do not deserve joy, not while there is work to be done to alleviate suffering. But joy is a divine gift, to be accepted along the way.
The book of Timothy says, "Guard what has been entrusted to you."
Think about what has been entrusted to you for your care: a talent, a project, a child, a mission or vision, a home, your body, your life, a meaningful relationship. Guard and protect it. Treat it with tenderness. Treat it with respect. Give it care. Defend it from attack, from shame, from anything that would dismiss or disparage.
Today, know that sometimes what others most need from you is your awareness of the deep, still, powerful, all embracing presence of Love, Spirit. In your presence, they can feel Presence. You may not need to say something particular, do something particular. Just be. Together.
You do not have to fight for or search for your place (work, community, home). Your place is established and defended by Love itself. No one can take your place from you. It belongs to you. Your place cannot be hidden from you. Your place is a gift to you and to others. Trust.
The book of Isaiah says, "Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when you turn to the right and when you turn to the left."
Today, know that voice of guidance is with you. Sometimes you will hear it like a clear voice in the mind. Sometimes something you read or hear will ring like the truth. Sometimes it will be a sense of knowing - a sudden clarity or a slow dawning. Sometimes it will begin with just the longing to be and do good and to hear the guidance. Trust that Mind, Love, is speaking to you today and has given you the ability to hear.
Today, know that you are so much more than your opinion of yourself: more beautiful, more powerful, more intuitive, more resilient, stronger. You are so much more than other people's opinion of you.
Other people are so much more than your opinion of them.
There is well-known quote (some sources say by Robin Sharma): "The mind is wonderful servant, but a terrible master." Today, instead of letting your mind imagine that it's in control - with all the power and potential for disaster that includes - remind it that it's the servant of Mind, of the Great Consciousness, a Wisdom far great than itself.
Sometimes, in prayer and meditation, I am given the message that I need to have higher expectations, to be more courageous and energetic.
Today though, the message is "be gentle." Be gentle in the way you speak to yourself. Be patient and kind, as you would with a shy child. Praise progress. Speak quiet, encouraging words. Let yourself take small steps toward goals and celebrate them. Rest. Delight in little things.
Today, we return to an old favorite, from the book of Timothy:
"God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
Today, claim your spiritual authority, that is naturally yours, your power over fear, self-doubt, limiting or misguided beliefs. Know that you are given love, wrapped in love, divinely adored. Watch for evidence of that. Know that love, not fear, impels your motives and actions. God has given you sanity: clear thinking, clear perspective, understanding, stability.
Today, the lines from another old hymn (John Ryland 1777) came to mind:
O Lord, I would delight in thee,
and on thy care depend;
to thee in ev'ry trouble flee,
my best, my ever friend.
Today, delight in Love's presence with you and around you. Lean on and trust Love's care. Feel Love, as a best and trustworthy friend with you today.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.