What Does It Mean To Be Grounded?
“Paint a picture for you and me of the days when we were young”
We strive for this feeling of being grounded. Two feet on the floor. Nothing but air between your head and the clouds. A place to call home that isn’t contingent upon you being anything other than who you are on your worst day. It’s all so high level though, the idea of being grounded feels like a goal to work towards versus a reality to breathe into.
In being so high level it often becomes something that feels unattainable, or like the thing that everyone else except for you has wholeheartedly figured out.
My anxiety has ironically been my best teacher in what it means to be grounded because it constantly leaves me no other option but to do. One actionable task after another is the only way I can make it on a ladder back down to myself. To think of how to ground my entire adulthood would be to ask way too much of myself, so instead I focus on how to ground myself today.
On my worst anxiety days survival looks like understanding how to cut ties with the voices in my head that speak negativity and impossibility into my heart. I take a bath. I put on clothes that make my body feel mine even when every inch of it feels other and jittery. I look into blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, that remind me who I am, because on the really bad days looking in the mirror tells me nothing of myself.
I use love as a balm. It’s spread evenly over all the parts of me that hurt and speaks belonging into all the areas of my life that make me feel like a stranger. To be grounded is to understand that it’s simply to feel anchored. It’s to find yourself in the feeling that makes you feel seen and understood just for who you are. Your worthiness in that space is not questioned, love in those moments is not a carrot you have to jump for. It just is. You just are.
For some, it’s God’s words that ground. In the midst of Bible passages we find our own reflection, subtle reminders that we are seen and known. To reap, to sow, feels like the constant hustle we immerse ourselves into, get lost in, then find new parts of ourselves in. Over and over again.
For others, it’s their people. It’s being surrounded by love that asks nothing of us but gives so willingly and so freely. It’s freedom of choice — to choose to accept love and to then in turn choose to give it back.
For me, it’s God, it’s my people, it’s every inch of the life I have poured into and that somehow subtly reminds me who I am even when I feel the most lost. It’s a lifestyle choice to constantly work towards the feeling of being grounded in feelings and people in an effort to learn how to be grounded in myself.
We don’t always get to turn over a day of anxiety in the span of hours. Sometimes it takes seasons. We don’t always get to ground ourselves in a matter of seconds, where one moment we are a puzzle and the next we are figured out. Sometimes it takes hitting walls. Oftentimes it takes sitting across people who you know you and love and asking them how they see you and why they love you.
We’re not meant to do life alone and to sit in front of mirrors all the time, speaking love into ourselves. We learn to love ourselves and to trust ourselves so that others can’t define us or our worth, but also so that we learn how to participate in relationships in healthy, grounding ways.
Being able to speak love even when we’re lost, maybe that’s what it means to be grounded.