Last week, I retreated along the Frederica River in Georgia. In the evening, I watched the sun set gold, pink, red and purple as sailboats dropped anchor for the night. In the morning, I meditated at my bedroom window, gazing at the river’s gentle flow.
Such a lovely contrast it was to the baked ground and dried grass here in North Central Florida, where we’re experiencing a drought. “My” pond has disappeared, and I miss it. I loved the flowing water and spurting fountain which reminded me to remain in the flow of life.
Sometimes, in our lives, the flow ceases. Sometimes things dry up and die, no rain is forecast, and all possibilities are dead ends. We may experience these droughts in various aspects of our lives: dating, romance or intimate relationships; the best work for our gifts and talents; illness which requires extensive medical care and/or rehabilitation; seeming insurmountable debts or obligations; an unfulfilling spiritual practice.
Droughts, even though we don’t like them, provide opportunities to develop greater spiritual strength. If you, Blessed Reader, are experiencing a drought, here are some spiritual practices to sustain you:
- Embrace and rejoice in your time of contemplation, meditation, prayer and reflection.
- If you haven’t done so already, mourn any losses associated with the drought. Resist the urge to go back and do something the “old way.” Remember that the desire to look backward and wish we’d done it differently is part of the mourning process.
- Forgive yourself for any choices you made which could have “caused” this drought. Remember that you made the best choices at the time. Know that you have the inner strength to heal, grow and choose differently, with keener awareness and understanding.
- Release, in healthy ways, any anger, frustration or impatience you may feel in your body: yell, cry, hit a punching bag, beat a pillow. Also, notice any clenching or tightening in your body. Remember to breathe deeply.
- Practice gratitude, blessing the past for its gifts. As soon as you can, even if it begins with clenched teeth, thank the past relationship for the love you shared; the medicine and exercises for helping your body heal; the loan for confidence in your ability to repay; the companies or contacts for assisting you in knowing your divine gifts; the spiritual practices for leading you to your new, best path.
- Discern whether the drought signifies a pause or an ending. Either way, as you prepare to move forward, consider what you can clean, clear or re-purpose while you wait.
- Avoid clinging to one particular way and resist the urge to rush or force anything. Trust in divine outcome and in your inner wisdom to lead you through your open doors.
- Remember, no matter what, that you are God’s beloved creation, unconditionally loved, enfolded in infinite compassion and ever-abiding grace, and that you are made to thrive.
© 2017 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.