In difficult times, how do you stay grounded? The onslaught of 2020 continues with the ferocity of pandemics, protests, and politics. It is challenging to maintain our equilibrium in the midst of so much chaos, change, and loss. And yet we know the harshest seasons push us to grow. During winter, a tree is dormant to the naked eye. But underneath the surface, it is hard at work growing and expanding its root system in search of valuable nutrients. So it goes with our souls. It is precisely in times like these that we are invited to root and ground ourselves in deeper ways.
But how you ask? In the midst of work deadlines, spinning plates, and bleak headlines? How?
Love. Love is the answer.
Love has the power to strengthen, nourish, and ground us in the midst of all the fray. The tumultuous storm that surrounds us is not of our own choosing. And yet, we can choose to surrender to love in the midst of its pounding waves. These are the waters of transformation.
Cultivate a Daily Practice
In order to access the power of love, you will need to cultivate a daily practice to ground yourself. This is easier said than done. So much competes for our time and attention. And yet in the midst of the fray, how are you making time for what is most important? Or do you find yourself scattered and weary from the demands of the urgent? There is plenty of research about the health benefits of prayer and spiritual meditation that make us less anxious and more resilient, present, and hopeful.
Are you finding some minutes of your day for stillness, reflection, prayer, or meditation? Are you sitting in the loving gaze and tender affection of God?
If you are daily immersing yourself in love, most likely you are beginning to experience what it feels like to be grounded in what is most true about your life. Love has a way of ordering and reordering our lives. The unimportant things begin to lose their pull and what is most core to our being increases in its desire.
Curiosity Can Cure Our Cynicism
If a daily practice eludes you, you may be feeling a sense of frustration, guilt, or cynicism. But guilt does us no good. And self-flagellation moves us away from love, not towards it. Here is where curiosity can cure our cynicism.
What do we believe that is keeping us from abiding and resting in love? What are we afraid of?
Often times, it is our subterranean fears and hurts that unconsciously drive us. We are afraid we won’t be productive “enough” if we take moments of stillness out of our busy day. Many of us have distorted images about who God is and what God demands. We are afraid that God cannot be trusted. Or perhaps we are afraid we are unworthy of love.
It is here in the rawness of our wrestling where love comes rushing in. God meets us right where we are, not in the place we want to be. In all our frustration, desire, avoidance, longing, and unbelief — God is near.
So don’t give up. Lean in with curiosity, honesty, and vulnerability.
Love is calling and inviting you. The lovingkindness of God chases after you. This is not a duty, but a gracious invitation to live life in union and communion with Love — to let love heal you and empower you to bring healing to others.
Imagine for a moment that you lived fully, authentically, and vulnerably out of a deep and abiding love. What would be true about your life? Imagine what would be possible if you were free from all the fear and self-doubt that constrains you. Imagine the powerful good of a life given over to Love. Is there any other pursuit more worthwhile?
The Miracle of Practice and of Becoming
So this is the opportune time to cultivate a practice of love. New practices take time to establish, so give yourself plenty of grace (There is so much grace!). Keep on keeping on; and whatever you do, don’t give up!
No one becomes a marathon runner, concert pianist, or “saint” overnight. Over time, as new neural pathways are formed and new “muscles” are developed, consistent practice gives way to proficiency. What once was hard becomes automatic. This is the miracle of practice and of becoming.
They say you become what you practice. So let us practice love, and in turn, become people of love.
Love is the most powerful force in the universe, and there is no storm — no pandemic, politics, racism, quarantine, hurricane, or fire — that can overcome it. Though we will continue to lament, to work for change, and insist on justice, we will rest in Love. For we know that the tumult of this season will do its work if we let it — to secure us, nourish us, and ground us in Love.
by Jessica Ketola