Shoulds, September 21, 2017 Daily Reflection

Holy Listening

Most of you know that I am a student of a Spiritual Direction Internship. This means in June I will be a certified spiritual director. I will be able to see people and be a companion on their spiritual journey. Like everything else God calls me to, I am EXCITED about this new role! I can definitely be a spiritual guide for students on retreats and at school. I can also be a spiritual director of adults on the side.

Part of the internship, which you will hear lots about in the coming blogs, is reading about spiritual direction and how it works. Last night I was reading The Holy Listening by Margaret Guenther, she has amazing insight to the heart and souls of others. She writes, “we can help liberate the directee from the tyranny of “shoulds” and “oughts.” This idea completely resonates with me. When I went to my spiritual director for the first time I remember fumbling my way through, “I should have done… I ought to do…” Like an excellent guide she set me free from that. She was able to take me from the bondage of what I should do to liberate me to actually be open and receptive to what God wants me to do. Instead of some rigid rules that really didn’t take me closer to God. She gave me the freedom to speak from my heart and break those false expectations.

All too often in life we imprison ourselves with what we “ought” to do. Now, there is a difference between the “oughts” that love others selflessly, and the “oughts” that hurt us internally. The closer we can become to God, the clearer we can feel God’s presence and the “oughts” are not rigid rules, instead we are encouraged, and set on fire with God’s love! Today, think about the “shoulds” and “oughts” are they for the good of others, are they allowing you to open yourself up to the voice of God or are they holding you back from loving fully?

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