So you’ll be tired of me saying this (or you won’t… you’ll just leave and only people interested in this topic will stay) but I pray and meditate daily. Faith isn’t something I just kind of have in the background. Instead, God is my everything. I don’t build God around my life anymore. I build my life around God.
This is not to say I’m perfect or think I have it all figured out. I do not. As my friend Ava likes to remind me, “I just don’t like to feel pain. I’ll avoid it at all costs!”This means I must take my medicine. When I take these pills in the form of a few simple steps to get out of self (hence prayer and meditation) I have a little space in between to respond rather than react. It means:
- I don’t have to flip off the sixteen year old driving single in the carpool lane when I’m running late to work and can’t, thanks to my damn conscious, do the same thing.
- I don’t have to scream at 200 middle schoolers who just WON’T. STOP.TALKING simply because I was having a bad day and didn’t feel like dealing with their incessant “Can I use the bathrooms?” and “I can’t find my composition books” and “Why did I get a ‘D’ in this class… I mean… I don’t do anything, but I thought you liked me, Ms. Frizzle?!!!”
- I can calmly listen to my husband growl at me when I’ve cut him off in conversation (when I swear to God I thought he was done with that topic 10 blocks ago) and just say, “Okay, I’m sorry.”
Prayer and meditation keep me from living in the What If’s. It allows me to live in faith, not fear. To quote my sponsor, “Fear is not a great spiritual advisor.” Fear keeps us looking to the worst case scenario. Faith keeps us in the moment. And in the moment, if we stay centered and breathe, it’s nearly impossible to not see God. I saw him today in:
- That reckless teenage driver. “Dear God, keep him safe. That will be my boy in a few months.”
obnoxious annoyingblessed middle schoolers. “Dear God, how wonderful that they have so much energy. May I learn to channel it and not squash their joy.”
- My husband. He is dealing with a terrible personal loss. Maybe I wasn’t listening as closely as I could have been. How can I be of service and not make this about me?
I am not a saint. But I’m also not a victim. And this means I get to fire bad counselors. That means “See ya later, Fear! Your services are no longer needed.”
And guess what? If you relate to this statement, I give you permission to fire your advisor also. Let’s freelance life together!
Happily Ticked Off Tip #30: Fear is a terrible spiritual advisor. Hire yourself some faith today!