"There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from." ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Have you ever felt like you’ve gotten stuck in a dark hole? That it couldn’t possibly be a blessing?
I have. And how I know is indicative of my behavior. It’s not graceful. I’m not going to lie. My knee jerk reaction to the dark is to proverbially kick, scream and blame.
Eventually I fall to the ground in defeat, feeling even worse for my behavior. But in my despair these days I remember, “I am not shameful, I’m struggling, and I can pray for clarity.” It’s unrealistic to think that I should have it all together all the time unless I never try anything new. Even being a grandmother is trying something new. When my grandson was born I didn’t say, “I can’t have a relationship with you because I don’t already know how.” I embraced the opportunity full knowing that I would be met with occasional challenges and need to ask for help and forgiveness from my son and his wife and maybe even from my grandson from time to time.
The idea to bring prayer back into my life for times when I didn’t have it all together came to me a couple months ago from 2 very different sources: a Christian friend and Marianne Williamson. I had been resistant due to my religious upbringing. I had concluded from my religion that my grievances were petty and that it was selfish to bring them to God. I was taught that I should be grateful for what I have. After all, there are people starving in Africa.
Upon listening to my friend and Marianne I realized that my asking for understanding had become my own way of praying. I just hadn’t been calling it that. "The fluttering of a butterfly's wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet." ~ Paul Erlichso. And so too can the resolution of my grievances have a positive effect. What the idea of prayer helped me see is that when there is someone else involved I can even ask them to pray for me. Even if I think they are in the wrong I can ask because I know that it takes 2 to tango, that I have somehow contributed and I want to know how for me. If they are in the wrong, that’s about their walk with God (or whatever term of endearment they use for That Which Is More). I’ll even pray for them if they ask me to.
Asking and offering support feels so much better than blaming and condemning or being blamed or condemned or blaming and condemning myself. And how could I think my way out of the hole on my own when it was my own way of thinking that got me in the hole in the first place? And whoever has joined me in the hole must have skewed thinking too otherwise we wouldn't have found ourselves together in the hole.
Praying is asking to be shown. Why me? Why now? Why not? Thinking without praying says, "I already know." When I ask, God illustrates my unproductive thinking so I can change it or guides me to a resource that can. God turns the lights on for me so that I can find the stairway out of the hole and stay out. He shows me how my thinking has caused me to squander my virtue, gives it back and tells me, “Don’t squander it again. It’s not necessary. Don’t give in to fear. It never takes you where you want to go anyway.”
Friends in this Love,