Where Do Your Prayers Go?

So here it is Friday (not exactly midweek) and I’m just finding my way to the keyboard to connect with you. Needless to say, it’s been an intense and tumultuous week in the U.S. and emotions are running high all around.

​​​​​​​I tend to shy away from overtly political posts. More than a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, I consider myself a humanist — I believe in every human’s right to be who they are, love who they love, have access to basic needs like clean water, shelter and decent food. I believe everyone deserves respect, that all children should be guarded and guided away from danger, all elders seen and listened to (even if you have to fake it when they start repeating their stories).

But what’s happening here and around the world in the name of politics is bringing many of us to our knees.

And that’s not necessarily a bad place to be.

Whether literally or metaphorically, on our knees is sometimes the place we need to get to in order to drop out of our rational mind (which can’t make sense of senseless things, no matter how hard it tries) and into our heart. It is in that place of heart intelligence that we stop trying to make sense of things and lean into the bigger mystery.

I’m not talking about an all-knowing God who has everything predetermined, who watches over us and keeps score (as if there’s a score to keep) or doesn’t hear and answer prayers (how else to explain holocausts or dying children or epidemics?).

I’m talking about the MYSTERY — the coherent creative force from which everything emerges but which I truly believe has no specific agenda of Its own.

For recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, it’s the place called rock bottom.

For atheists, it may be the plane that goes into rocky territory, those terrifying moments before a safe landing.

For true believers, it’s the loss of a newborn baby or the horror of watching a loved one suffer with no relief in sight.

The mystery is what holds and binds us when every resting place has fallen away. And it is in the falling that we find a deeper sense of safety and reassurance — because everything is possible yet nothing is guaranteed.

There’s a certain comfort in not knowing, in trusting the unknowable and unseeable. It’s the parachute that catches you at the last minute and allows you to drift safely back to earth.

Resting into not knowing doesn’t come naturally to most of us. It is an art, a practice. Yet it can be learned, and is best supported in community with other bruised yet willing knee-dwellers.

If your knees are sore and you’re ready to stand back up again, consider joining me at one of my upcoming half-day retreats {details here}. There you will find a circle of support, practices for getting up and staying awake, as well as guidance for walking through the time ahead.

However you choose to fall into the mystery, may your parachute always open.

 

 

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