A practice that I reintroduced in my life over the last couple of months is daily meditation. It’s a unique type of prayer, commonly referred to as contemplative prayer, where one consciously sits in the presence of God for a designated length of time. The phrase “Be Still and Know I am God” (Ps. 46:10) is a common mantra, or centering thought, that gets repeated silently in the mind to help the person meditating keep the focus in on God and not the other little thoughts, to do lists, and worries that pop into our head when we have some quiet time.
I started this practice about five or six years ago and for the last two years I had not been very good at doing this on a daily or even weekly basis. When I started this optimism project in January, I knew that renewing my meditation practice was going to be extremely helpful in keeping my focus on the positive. One of the most helpful meditations I have used is simply breathing in and imaging that each breath I breathe in fills me with God’s unconditional love, while each exhale releases every unwanted and unhelpful habit and thought I have. It is an unbelievably renewing feeling…that filling up of unconditional love as it replaces each and every toxic, non-God centered thought in my head.
Invite yourself to sit and bask in a Love that has no conditions, limitations or prerequisites for acceptance. The word “amazing” doesn’t seem to do it justice. I find it is much easier for me to remember during a stressful moment in my day what that filling up of unconditional love feels like when I just practiced this meditation earlier in the day or even a day or two previous. I only have to take a deep breath and then remember that God is with me, removing the bad and filling me up with Love that has no boundaries or conditions or restrictions. I still have moments of bad judgment, insecurities, or impatience. However, I also immediately remember what the word “unconditional” means.
It means God is there….no matter what.