Leaning into change

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God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.
— Meister Eckhart, 14th century German mystic

Spiritual growth necessitates letting go, in layers and over time. We shed those things along the way that no longer serve us, and in doing so we (eventually) draw closer to God, though the process is not a straight line. This is a secret only learned at the time of the necessity itself, and the learning requires experiences of transition, loss, failure, and suffering to get us there. Surrender is a present moment activity.

We can, and do, sometimes choose not to let go. Just as a snake needs to rub against something rough and unyielding to shed its skin as it grows beyond itself, the act of shedding those beliefs, securities, and maybe even life circumstances and relationships that are known in favor of stepping into the unknown is often an uncomfortable, if not painful, process. We must choose, moment by uncertain moment, to say yes to God.

Spiritual direction is a space created exactly for this kind of response, for this kind of inner work. It is a safe environment in which to unpack the paradoxes and conflicts associated with the subtraction process, and a spiritual director is both a companion and a witness to this journey. In spiritual direction we are welcome to explore the deep and unnerving questions that often go ignored in everyday conversation– “what if?” and “why me?” and “what now?”– with the deep understanding that it is all held by a Divine Love and we are guided more fully into wholeness with each yes.

Spend a few minutes today reflecting on the places of transition in your life, the places the Spirit might be inviting you into more by holding on to less.