The Big Idea: Our best, most authentic work needs to be rooted in something bigger than us and our good work. A deep guiding force that keeps us from being consumed by our good work or worse, becoming that which we resist.
We think that the good work in and of itself will keep us moored in the midst of many of the storms many helpers experience. While these can be reasonably strong, they may not be as rugged or rooting us as deeply as we need. It is essential that we are rooted in something much larger than the good work we do - something that transcends and intimately includes who we are and who we genuinely aspire to be.
This deep anchor is the basis of why we do what we do and shapes the HOW we do what we do. These constitute the transcendent bedrock foundation of our soul. The source of our virtue and connection to the Universe (God) and all of creation.
From my perspective, the universe is good. Moreover, I suggest that the very nature of the universe is love. This divine love is the cosmic, relational energy that creates, gives life, sustains and welcomes all things back to the source of love itself. It is for this reason (in my healthiest times) I can say with gentle confidence that the trajectory of all things is towards love, and as a part of love, justice.
[To qualify a term quickly - for me justice is very different than punishment and most certainly doesn’t include retributive violence. The meaning of justice for me is someone who is behaving unjustly to come to their senses. To see that their actions are harmful and unhealthy and to make a significant change to act justly. Some call this repentance.]
For me, this perspective, my conviction of faith serves as the foundational principle for all that I do. It is that guiding star if you will, that helps me not only to discern what I put my hands to do but the way I go about it. I am asking ‘is this the most loving way to proceed?’ Will this course of action, statement, position lead towards beauty? Healing? Reconciliation?
There may indeed be faster, more expedient ways to achieve a goal. I am reminded of the words of Jesus when he said, what does it profit a person to gain the whole world but lose their soul? Losing our soul has much to do with losing one’s true self or trading our integrity and authenticity for something with no enduring transcendent value.
Having a deep foundation in our life will go a long way to help us act, speak and respond in a consistent, life-giving way. It helps provide us with much-needed perspective, hope and a deep sense of meaning. In turn, this provides guidance, inspiration, and perseverance to live well, even in difficult times. We choose the most loving, the most beautiful even in the midst of seemingly only crappy options from which choose. Just as important, it will help you reduce the risk of compassion fatigue, burnout, or losing yourself by reacting in the same way of that which you resist.