Deconstructing with Compassion and Hope

May 17 / Audre Rickard
In January 2020, we experienced a pandemic earthquake that forcibly caused a deconstruction of our internal systems. Systems we used to feel safe, grounded and provided meaning for the life we live day in and day out. Over the course of the last year and half we attempted in many ways to reconstruct these systems we did not know needed attention. And yet more aftershocks have occurred leading to deepening levels of deconstruction.
On a personal level, as the layers were overexposed through the lengthy deconstruction, my soul was invited to consider three guiding whispers from the Spirit: “Gentleness is as much a pursuit as it is a value”, “Trust yourself and the Spirit inside you,” and “In the Spirit’s Grip”. I needed care to accept the pain and trauma of deconstruction while also resting in the ever-present safety and love of the Divine.

“Gentleness is as much a pursuit as it is a value”

These words were formed as an anthem in my personal journey to wholeness. Pursuit is a strong word and there’s a reason. As an 8 on the Enneagram, it is intentional to embrace the paradoxical nature of the concreteness of a value that is soft and tender. As a naturally impulsive person, I have been known to fire before aiming. While I may have satisfied briefly my ego’s lust, more often than not I missed what I was aiming at and relationships (with myself, Divine and others) were impacted in unintentional ways. It happened so quickly in the moment, that it’s the recoil I notice after the words or actions had already left the barrel.

This anthem invites me to slow down, become grounded in my imago Dei, and take notice of the gentleness that resides deep within. It also welcomes the painful deconstruction because my soul notices the misalignment of who I am as a gentle spirit and the violent impulsive actions of an ego in self-protective mode. My soul longs for integration, healing, humbleness and wholeness. In the depth of pursuing gentleness, I find rest in the One who made me the way I am.

Take a moment to notice how the forceful deconstruction of the pandemic has exposed an internal layer of misalignment. Invite the Spirit to sit with you as you examine this layer. What does the Spirit say about it? Is there a word, image or saying that comes to mind?

“Trust yourself and the Spirit inside you.”

This mantra was birthed when I experienced a deep dark night. When the earthquake of deconstruction entered the scene, it was difficult to navigate with confidence. The analysis process of deciding what needed to be discarded, what needed to be repurposed and what needed to be added, shook me to my core.

Surviving deconstruction had a primal component to it. My brain and emotions felt like it was in a shit storm bouncing from flight, fight or freeze modes simultaneously. It drained me physically and emotionally. It was hard to understand why I felt a sense of panic all the time even when physically I was safe. Old internal tapes were on rerun telling me not to trust myself, that my body was to be distrusted. These tapes were double violence to my soul, unnecessary trauma to a process already saturated with pain and uncertainty.

As I embraced the reality that I co-author my life with the Spirit, I began to accept the validity of my experience in my body, soul and mind. In doing so, I lived out the spoken word, the truth in real time as I trusted myself and the Spirit inside me. The density of grace was so powerful, that when I am imperfectly human, I am held by the One who made me who I am.

Take a moment to notice a more recent time when your body was in flight, fight or freeze mode. Invite the Spirit to sit with you as you examine the moment. What does the Spirit say about it? Is there a word, image or saying that comes to mind?

“In the Spirit’s Grip”

For decades, “In His Grip” was my salutation to all emails, letters, and cards. Three years ago, I modified it to read “In the Spirit’s Grip”. It was a turning point in my spiritual journey to changed it to fit the expanse of the Divine I knew. I am grateful for the loud whisper it has become for such a time as this. While there is certainty in the “Grip”, there is also a freedom, airiness and fluidity to the Spirit. The image of the wind comes to mind. It can be a force that shapes rocks, levels structures, and relocates sand masses. Its intensity is determined by temperatures of air masses. The wind can’t be seen per say, but it can be felt, heard, perceived and experienced. It can be predictable and unsuspecting. It’s exhilarating and liberating to be held in the wind, moving along at the pace the wind blows. I am delightfully amazed when the wind is calm or still.

There is hope in the Spirit’s Grip, a knowing I will always be in the presence of the One who loves me even when I don’t feel the wind. I am reminded the Spirit inhabits the air I breath. The Spirit saturates the seemingly nothingness I feel when I spin around fast with my arms, hands and fingers wide open. I am bathed in being accepted, seen, known and heard. For where the Spirit is, I am too, held by the One who is I AM.

Take a moment to ponder how you experience the Spirit. What image, word or saying comes to the surface for you?

May you know you are fiercely loved, always accepted, fully seen, known and heard.

In the Spirit’s Grip,
Audre Rickard
Audre is a Spiritual Companioning Editor who is passionate about helping writers, authors, bloggers, pastors and spiritual directors lean in to their call to write words the world needs to hear. She holds in high esteem what wants to be said and what needs to be said. She believes it takes writer and editor leaning into the Spirit to hear clearly the words the Divine has called the writer to share. As the three sojourn together, the writer’s voice is strengthened, their writing craft is honed and their reader will hear the words they have been longing to hear at just the right time.

Audre founded Saturated Grace, LLC in response to her call to be a Spiritual Director. She provides spiritual companionship and hosts Saturated Grace Groups. She sees the world through the lens of being an autistic person who mothers nuerodivergent children.
You can find her on FaceBook here. Editorial inquires contact her by email at