It’s a Monday night and I am sitting in our newly finished rec room on our new Ikea couch. Outside of cleaning up the kitchen and a few loads of laundry (PS: I am an official Dropps subscriber…) I did nothing today before or after my Ikea run. My mind was kind of going through thing after thing – not really in an incessant or obsessive way. It was more of like I was just watching my life like a movie and taking notes on what I should do. In that way, it felt productive even though I was curled up in my bed with the cover over me pseudo napping for the duration of the cold, gray midwest afternoon.
I prayed for the first time last night in what feels like ages. A couple of years ago, I shifted from dedicated prayer journaling, dedicated prayer outpouring, dedicated prayer groups to this idea of constantly praying. I started to say “I have been praying for you” to friends who I had been thinking about; even though there was no “Dear God” about it. When something angsty would spike up, I would just “commit it”.
I learned this technique when my mom was in a coma. I remember thinking that I had to keep praying, keep praying, keep praying. One day, in the elevator to her floor of the rehab facility after she had resurrected from the dead, I caught myself daydreaming about something other than her recovery and felt ashamed.
I STOPPED PRAYING.
That’s when I got one of those divine mind spells served to me: an image of angels going up and down stairs that were built out of prayers. Repeated prayers were these thick sturdy staircases, carrying hundreds of angels up and down, but even prayers that were prayed just once had at least an angel or two traveling up and down from heaven to earth and back again.
Back to last night. I found myself with space slash patience and I thought to myself, “Huh, maybe I’ll pray”.
I don’t remember what I prayed for or for how long I prayed until I fell asleep. But I remember feeling the words in my brain and this sense of breadth and was reminded of a time I prayed so hard I suddenly started to see a different version of myself in my mind’s eye: standing on a cliff in the middle of a galaxy with green vines growing up the side of the cliff with each breath I continued to pray.
Even though my spirituality has changed in its form, whatever way of praying that delivered that night sky cliffside clearing broke some sort of veil to where I was just able to lay on a Sunday night, close my eyes, and go straight back to that same feeling of openness.
I am aware of mine and David’s marital milestones. Just like the dating type milestones where “I can’t believe you’re real” morphs into “I can’t believe you’re real even though – my God – you are super real”; marital milestones show up and say “Yeah – hey, so this is two people in a thing together, it’s not magic even though the love is other worldly”.
We were finishing our weekend as two foxes in a den when I said, “You know, it’s not like you get married to figure somebody out.” He nodded.
That is definitely not why you get married.
And it’s not like you get married for somebody to figure you out. Not at all.
I continued, “…and for those little things about you that are just like your things, it’s not like we are going to like get to the bottom of it and you’re going to stop being a certain way. That like is not the point. Same goes for me.”
David laughed, and we enjoyed what felt like a mutual acknowledged relief.
I think it is easy to get to the work of the union (the effort in the ease, some yogis may say…) and feel like you have to work to change, to fix, etc.
However, in dealing with my personal psyche (which has spent the majority of its decades attempting to 1) identify 2) analyze 3) plan 4) change), I have learned that the work is actually in allowing no work. The work is actually a deep breath in and full self acceptance. It doesn’t let you off the hook for shitty behavior or destructive tendencies but it does fall in line with the whole Thor theme of being who you are vs. who you are “supposed to be”.
Likewise, that same technique of offering space and seeing the other without the need to get all mechanical works well in love relationships. It takes the need to define and understand and replaces it with an opportunity to allow and support. My current findings is this creates a lot of laughter. It also starts to curb neurosis.
These milestones we get to that feel like a thick sheet of waxy bubble wrap that we need to push our heads through and breathe in a new leg of the journey; the breakthroughs that come feel a lot like that meditation space I got the key to that I can return to whenever I want.
The progress of openness instead of iteration dotted somewhere along the horizon of self acceptance. It’s absolutely fantastic in its realness.
These invisible things: beliefs and the ideas we carry – adhering to them or attempting to adhere to them – can make us suffer so much. And since this is true, the opposite must also be true: that freedom from things needing to be a certain way and liberation from definitions of the right way to handle something can bring us joy. For me? Allowing prayers and personalities to simply be whatever they are is a total game changer.
It allows space and it allows laying in bed for two hours after a hot shower to be productive.