Being Grounded in God
Perhaps you hear the word ‘grounded’ and think of the belligerent teenager kicking against the punitive parental restrictions or maybe the word conjures up the image of hundreds of planes parked up in airports across a Covid ravaged world. When you pause to consider what it means for your own self to be ‘grounded’, what does this mean to you?
I suggest it can be understood on several levels and that it is important for each of us to be grounded in the key areas of our lives. Firstly, there is the physicality of our being and to be grounded physically means to live in the present moment in the location where your two feet are touching the ground. A little mindful practice can really help to feel physically grounded which will extend to the inner life e.g. breath awareness, body scan, mindful movement or yoga can all help with physical grounding.
What does it mean?
Secondly, we are mental-emotional beings and to be mentally and emotionally grounded involves recognising that our thoughts and feelings do not constitute who we are. We are more than our thoughts and feelings, they are not who we are, but a part of how we function. Being emotionally and mentally grounded does not mean a complete absence of troubling thoughts and painful emotions but rather an acceptance of them as well as an awareness that our inner being contains a quiet core that cannot be touched by the troubles of this world. This is the place the still small voice of God speaks to us and the part of us that is sacred and is to be nurtured so that Divine presence permeates our whole being from this point. Meditation or spiritual practice can help bring us to a place of inner groundedness.
If we can be grounded physically and inwardly, then we can also be grounded spiritually. To be spiritually grounded is not a layer above and beyond the other two but rather, I suggest, a layer that infuses our whole physical and inner life making our whole existence a spiritual and sacred affair. The philosophical term the ‘ground of our being’ is a helpful descriptor of God, describing this Being as something that is like ‘ground’ to our souls. Coming back to the physical experience of the ground, we know that it locates us in the present and that it also holds us. Being spiritually grounded in God is so beautifully (and at times painfully) similar: to be spiritually grounded means to find oneself located within the Divine, to be accepted and held by God and to know peace in our whole being. Prayer, worship and meditation can lead us to this mystical experience of God.
Being grounded is a holistic experience. It is an experience that is about being. It is about being present in our physical bodies in this physical world so that we are properly aware of and engaged in all that is going on in our lives. Inwardly it is about being more than our thoughts and feelings so that challenges are seen correctly and do not overwhelm us. It is about spiritually communing with God so that our union with God permeates our whole being and that we come to ‘live and move and have our being’ as St.Paul writes, in God, the Ground of Our Being.
Olivia integrates her Theology (MA Oxon) and Christian Spirituality MA with the meditation classes that she teaches.
She has four children and a husband with severe sight disability and loves getting to the heart of things.