The first time that I met with a spiritual director, he gave me a simple practice to do every day.
Each morning, I was to go into the chapel for 15 minutes, be quiet, and experience how much I was loved by God.
(And the word might not have been experience… it might have been listen or contemplate or the like… but the point was to know that I am loved.)
Predictably, I immediately fell short on multiple levels. I did not wake up early enough. The chatter in my mind never quieted. I exerted way too much effort. I became attached to my evaluation of each session.
Seventeen years later, I see this practice, to know that we are loved just as we are, is the practice of a lifetime. This experience anchors us, roots us, and enables a bold life lived out of this love.
I still show up to the practice, however imperfectly, knowing that I do not control the experience. The result is not up to me. My job is show up consistently… to ready the sails for whenever the wind would blow.