Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Check the inner violence

Several years ago I did some inner work with a spiritual director. I talked about how much I lived in my mind and said that I would like to get down into my heart and gut more. It's such a Western thing to live in our heads. And I grew up Lutheran, which also is marked by living in the head. All things done properly and in good order, you see! We don't tend to get emotional about our faith lives. I was beginning to realize the limits of that and wanted to make some changes.

When I said to my director that I probably needed to "blast through" to get from my head down into my heart and gut, she cringed. She thought that sounded like a violent way to make such an inner move. She was right. It really is.

Since that time I've thought a lot about the ways we might do "inner violence" to ourselves—by the words we use when we talk to ourselves, by the thoughts and images we have when we talk about changing the ways we do things (just as I had done that day) and in so many other ways.

Today is as good a time as any to think about how we treat ourselves. Are you loving and gentle with yourself just as you would be with a beloved partner, child or grandchild? Am I kind and loving when I engage in self-talk? You and I are just as deserving and in need of love and loving messages as others in our lives.

Think about it—and see whether you need to make any adjustments or changes.

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