I’ve heard contemplation described as a long, loving look at the real.
In my spiritual direction training, I get to do a good bit of this. And truth be told, it doesn’t always mix well with my sometimes desirable defense mechanism of denial. There are, after all, some things to which I’d rather keep my eyes closed. But here we are just the same.
This morning, God’s nudge to me was to notice and name (ie – not deny the existence of) four areas of my life:
I recognized this as a set up for a long loving look at the real. (I see what you’re doing here, God!).
Care to join me?
As an Enneagram 2, I deny the existence of my needs all the time! Needs? What needs? Me🤷♀️??? Not noticing them sets me up for all kinds of burnout & boundary issues. Not naming them to God or others can lead to resentment. Can I name my needs?
I imagine the weeds to be those things that take up unnecessary space in, or choke the vitality out of, my life, work, or relationships. That which prevents their fullness from coming forth. Attitudes, anxieties and addictions, oh my! Can I confess my weeds?
Here, the invitation is to pay attention to my words and works throughout the day. Are they aligned with my center or coming from my weedy parts? Are there things for which I make excuses or justifications? Can I notice my deeds?
We’ve all been given something to cultivate and care for, to scatter and to sow. These are the seeds. But sometimes, I deny even their existence – it’s the whole light under the bushel thing. It’s vulnerable to show up and share who I am and what I have. Can I sow my seeds?
Instead of denying them, can I:
- Name my needs?
- Confess my weeds?
- Notice my deeds?
- And sow my seeds?
We tend to deny the existence of things we don’t want to seebecause once we see them, we are somehow responsible to them. This goes for global issues as well as the ones in our inner worlds.
The truth is, there are many inconvenient truths. In fact, I’d say most truths are inconvenient! To notice and name is to tell the truth, and by telling the truth to be set free.
- What are the needs, weeds, deeds, and seeds you are being invited to notice & name?
- What are the reasons you choose denial?
- What might help you take a long loving look at what is real?
- Engage in the practice of Examen, which is a great way to begin to notice and name. Below are some resources for you.
- Our song of the week is: Known by Tauren Wells.
- God, what do You see when You look at me?