The Spirit Of Therapy Blog
Grounding The Self
In Psychology and Religion, the word “grounding” is thrown around quite a bit. Therapists often use the term to refer to clients finding a sense of stability in order to do difficult inner work. Religious traditions may encourage participants to latch onto doctrine or spiritual ideas. Yet, the word “grounding” gives off the essence of connecting to the earth itself. Though pursuing a sense of self and spiritual beliefs can be an important part of one’s life journey, we are also all inevitably living a physical journey on this planet.
The earth is an important symbol in many religious and cultural traditions. In ancient Celtic, Greek, Indian and Egyptian lore, the earth is personified and seen as the source of energy and life. And it is. We don’t need even to read ancient stories to realize that the earth brings forth life and breaks it down in an on going cycle. From the earth we get food, shelter, water and air. We owe our existence and our survival to the earth itself. Yet, so often the earth is taken for granted. We look out to the heavens in a quest for spiritual transformation or deliverance, and forget about the vast expanse of energy and life that lies right beneath our feet.
In electrical engineering, grounding is vitally important. A connection to the earth itself turns a potentially lethal electric current into a useful source of energy. The earth can also be used as a conductor of that energy. Without grounding to the earth, there is no way to control or utilize the powerful electric forces.
In our lives, we have so many forces to contend with; relationships, emotions, thoughts and assumptions, expectations, beliefs and values. At times, these things get the best of us. We feel thrown into a tailspin of confusion and powerlessness. What we desperately seek is some form of stability, somewhere safe and sturdy to land.
Grounding to the earth means to make a commitment to be right here, right now. In this physical place, in this time. Not a few days ahead, not on a beach in our mind, but right here. Here with all of these things that we may or may not want. Here with uncomfortable emotions, here in this particular environment with these particular people. Here in this body as it is in this moment. There is power in this place of grounding, though it may not seem obvious. There is potential waiting. To tap into the earth means to tap into that great source of life and vitality that the ancients all wrote so passionately about.
This week, ask yourself if you are grounding to the earth in this point in time. What keeps you from being fully present in this place? What do you need in order to ground right now in your life? What can you let go of to begin to put down roots in your physical home?
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The Spirit of Therapy
Where psychotherapy interacts with our mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and relational wellbeing.