I’ve always prayed. To heal. To have. I pray for people I love and people I have a hard time liking. I’ve sat in prayer circles petitioning rain and for someone’s cancer to dissolve. I know dozens of prayers from various faiths. I’ve published prayers. Danced them. Sang them. Sweat them. In reverence, in shock, in exquisite thanks.
I pray differently now.
For so long, my prayers were a nuanced negotiation. I thought if I gave The Divine my strongest, most capable, grateful, diligently-believing self; I’d earn what I was asking for. So, I brought my best “I got this” attitude to the Universe—perfectly in order for our “be your best” culture. A Perfectly Devoted Daughter of Life.
But what of the days when I was not even close to my best? When I was feeling broken or put upon? When I was short on faith and long on craving? If I couldn’t reveal my darkness to the Light, where could it go to be healed?
The great mystics speak of vulnerability in prayer—a spiritual nakedness where you disrobe of pretences and come to God as you are. Actually, “disrobing” is a misleading term, as if you slip off your kimono for a dip on a sunny day. Soul exposure is usually more of a burning. To the bone. It’s very, very thorough.
But anywaaaay… I thought I was already naked. I was peeling it off in therapy. Not a day went by that I didn’t give my attention to the cosmos. I was mostly certainly telling God about my fears. But what I was not telling Her was that I was afraid of my fear… and ashamed of my shame, and terrorized by what terrified me.
I was never a chronic people pleaser, but I’ve been a God Pleaser.And if you relate, then you know: it’s a full time JOB. To uphold my strength for Creation, I was overriding most tender pain. And here’s what I know now: Your pain is what God is most urgently interested in—like any parent with their child. Let’s get this healed so you can go out and play.
You’ve got to feel it to heal it. And that is how we “give it over to God.” We bring our pain to our Higher awareness and then Life can take it from there. And that’s the transformational ignition.
My prayer life radiates with thanks and desire, awe and joy. And on some days, this very clear request:
Take my fear. Take my fear of my fear.
Take my shame. Take my shame of my shame.
Take my terror. Take my terror of my terror.
A prayer for deep healing.
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Photo credit: Anastasia Chomlack