I am still reading the Book of Common Prayer in the mornings, and I like to come back to phrases or words and repeat them over and over in my mind, I suppose as a meditation. It feels soothing to my mind, to repeat these words or short phrases, and I'm all about learning to be gentle in my mind these days.
I'm so transparent with my longing when I consider the words I am drawn to:
Free and full life.
Wide open spaces.
Setting things right.
I am a person prone to anxiety and worry, to obsessively picking over interactions and feelings, the same way I pick at the skin around my fingers until they bleed. I feel, acutely, all that is wrong in my world and relationships and self. I want to be made well. I want to skip and dance with surprise, I want to be overcome with delight. I especially want space and ease and intimacy where there is so often pressure and tight spaces and fear.
So I repeat the words over and over again in my mind, tracing them into my being. It's a small way for me to practice trust, to remind myself that the shame and worry that hangs low over my head is not what was intended for me. It helps me glimpse the sacred mystery of God's invitation to humanity, a message that can get twisted up and sometimes only looks like an extension of the pressure and shame and rules that keep me down in the dirt. With these small exercises of meditation, I am teaching myself to associate God not with more pressure, but with space and well-being. May it be so.
"Pushed to the wall, I called to God;
from the wide open spaces, he answered.
I didn’t die. I lived!
And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God is God, he has bathed us in light.
Festoon the shrine with garlands,
hang colored banners above the altar!"