Praying Through Loss and Longing

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It is my hope that if you read this, you will find a way into a new rest, into new peace – in whatever you are going through.

About two years ago, I was introduced “Ardas Bhayee” a prayer in sanskrit comprised of these words:

Ardas Bahee, Amar Das Guru, Amar Das Guru, Ardas Bahee.

Ram Das Guru, Ram Das Guru, Ram Das Guru, Sachee Sahee

If you click on the link above and listen to it, you’ll see it is really beautiful.

When I was taught this prayer, I was taught it is the perfect prayer. The meaning behind the words are the collection of mind, body and soul – when you pray these words, your voice threads together the needs of each of aspect of your life and you lift up your exact everything to God.

I think that a lot of times, what holds us up in prayer is the “figuring out” of what to pray for. We end up blocking our own faithfulness with over analyzing if God gives us “this” than that means “that” is likely and we are not sure how we feel about “that”. Or – because we know that what is best will take place – we don’t boldly approach the throne with what is we really long for. And then we may even question what it is we long for and feel like maybe we don’t deserve it, maybe we messed up too much to still qualify for it, or you long for a past chance.

These thoughts compound, the tea kettle sounds, the day starts and the prayer never happened. Because you could never figure out what to pray for.

So, there is a lot of freedom in this mantra and just the opportunity to hear the sounds of the beautiful sanskrit and fumble through singing along until all the sudden your heart has figured it out: you hum some words while sounding the ones you are confident in.

I cherish the freedom in knowing that this silence of mind and this sound of the heart and voice are doing all the work I didn’t have to do in the first place. The work I felt I had to do in master planning my life in order to know what to order from the divine is relieved. Instead, I can just lift it up through these words while I clean my house, brush my teeth, sit still.

This whole thought originally came about two days ago when I was in a moment that involved the remembrance of two very important people in my life: Kristi, who passed maybe 6 years ago now and Spindley, who passed about 3 years ago. Kristi taught me trustworthiness and loyalty. Spindley taught me good humor and friendly motivation.

To say that losing these two people was hard would be an understatement. Even now, my heart twists at the fact that they died. And I think that a lot of times, when we lose people in our physical life that had significance to us emotionally or spiritually, we try to will them back.

We look for signs of them. We want them by our side in moments. We feel their presence and breathe it in and are so thankful for the visit. And we want them to come back again for a visit through a cardinal or a butterfly or ladybug.

And this is awesome.

Equally – what is awesome – is when we take the opportunity to shift this perspective just a little bit. What happens when we feel the inclination to will their spirit and character to our moment and resolve, instead, to dedicate the moment to them.

In their honor, to their spirit – a nod to their legacy – we perform the work, we move forward. Not because they showed up and gave us the chills and gave us what we needed. But because they were here on this planet and taught us, loved us, at one point in time and now we can honor them with strength, courage and action.

In doing this, I believe, we balance our consumption of the supernatural with a generosity of spirit and a commitment to being the person they loved so much, a commitment to the attributes we have that made their eyes twinkle and their smile go wide.

I think that, if you try this in the new year, while we are all so set on a new world – a new culture – a new sense of community, that we can free ourselves from the dependency we have created on our capacities to understand God’s subtleties. As surely, we know not all the ways we are loved. Rather than ask, sit and wait for a sign. What if we, instead, identify the spirit and the underlying prayer in our hearts not (only) as something to know and speak and share but something to feel and fumble through and breathe into? It is my thinking that this will make us bolder and light up our spirit from the inside. We will become stronger people of light.

In Romans 8 there is a verse I love love love love love – (vs. 26) where scripture teaches to breathe. Just groan. Just sigh. Don’t think. Just heave it out. In that connection of your physical body and your breath, the spirit intercedes – the spirit prays – on your behalf.

We don’t need to figure it out, friends. We just don’t. If we get knowledge and gain understanding from that knowledge, what a blessing! But it is not our job to seek “knowing” out in a way that distracts us from the true fluidity of the spiritual nature of our souls. That inner pool where God wants you to just sit.

Rest.

–Let your waters be still.

Know the Lord is with you.

There is a lot of peace in this.

XO, erin

 

Send Her All of Her Might

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Lucy and I were praying for a dear friend one night in August. I had led the prayer the night before so, on that particular evening – all tucked in bed, Lucy led us. Hands clasped, eyes open.

As she sweetly tumbled through her prayer, hitting strides of addressing this friend’s pain, she firmly requested, “…and God, please, just send her all of her might.”

This stuck with me.

“Send her all of her might.”

When I think of “might”, strength – power – brute force, I typically associate it with a universal power source. As in, “Lord, send me strength”.

As in that example, I think of it as strength from outside of me, strength that is not my own, strength not readily available to me.

Strength I need.

So, when Lucy revolutionized my understanding of might, it was because she was asking God to make it so that our friend had all of her might. As if she has a bank of might available to her that she can access. It made me think, “what if I, through comfort with the supernatural, through my awareness with the physical body and its ability to be stunningly miraculous, can access reserves of my own might as divinely given to me from birth?”

At the first thought of this maybe being a cute idea but not really practical or not really as elegant of a model for how we may consider petitioning for strength ascribed to a higher power, I thought of how the model looks in real life. I know it is in my personal nature to request the gifts of other people that, in some way or another, I have within myself.

I do not do this in a lazy way or from an insecure place, however. I see that a friend is obviously artistic or a friend is obviously wise and so I solicit their technique and advice. But do I know that I equally can attempt the art? Search the heart? Yes. I do.

(Especially with the right Sharpie style marker.)

Though I firmly believe there is power in believing in a strength bigger than what resides within us, what if we first requested all of our own strength, our birthright might, be present and accounted for before we ask specifically for the Lord’s?

And – before anybody cringes at the idea of doing something on our own and “what about Jesus” – we stopped for a moment and realized that in doing such a thing, we actually are asking for the Lord’s strength *with specific awareness* that our strength and our help comes from the Lord to begin with? (Psalm 121:2)

What if in requesting all of our strength be present, we started to understand that our intricate design as individuals has a power source into the great connected universe? Charged by God’s right hand?

What if, in prayer, we began to understand internal cruxes that block and cross our wires?

What if, in pursuit of our might being full, we learn things about our selves that prevent us from operating on a full tank of strength?

What if we were able to come into a next iteration of what God had in mind for the way we do life by understanding the personal strength that lies in our own emotional fortitude, in our physical temple? 

I mean, really. I believe we need to be careful of praying for God’s strength over and over while remaining unaware of the personally designed, tailor made strength and skill set we were given to not only survive, but to make a difference in this life.

<Deep breath.>

I believe the look of boldly approaching the throne when life is at its hardest changes when we have ensured we have done our part to cultivate the might and open-heartedness available to harness in this physical life.

There will be times we need increased strength to our weary bones and power to our weak spirits. (“Even the youth grow weary” Isaiah 40:30)

When we take the step to align with God’s strength through that which was put into the body to begin with, and – from that place, request the divine to reinforce, supplement and support, I believe we can then come into a new level of hope to soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow tired, and walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Namaste. XO, erin