I woke up one morning a couple of weeks ago and I knew something was wrong with me. I didn’t know what, exactly, but I knew something just…wasn’t…right.
It wasn’t something anyone could see from the outside. Not an illness or a financial crisis. It wasn’t trouble in my marriage or trouble with my children. There was absolutely nothing I could point to and say, ‘This. Right here. This is wrong. This hurts. This needs to be fixed.’
But, it was there. And it was uncomfortable. And I just wanted it to stop.
I had gone to bed the night before with a heavy heart, a fractured spirit, a nagging on my insides. I knew I wasn’t at peace. I knew I wasn’t content. I knew I needed something to make me feel calm, still, sure.
I just didn’t know what it was.
Everywhere I looked (and by everywhere I, of course, mean the internet), all I could see was hate, anger. A raging and violent verbal war masked under words like love and heritage and rights. A war in which I was convinced I was supposed to be picking a side.
If a war was happening, wasn’t I supposed to be loyal to one side or the other? Wasn’t I supposed to take a stand? Wasn’t I supposed to be vocal and mobile?
Honestly, I didn’t know. And, even if I would have known, I most certainly did NOT know which side I was supposed to be on.
Everyone I talked to had a convincing argument as to why I was supposed to be on one side, the side they were on. I talked and listened and talked and listened and read and trolled and commented and ‘liked’ and when I woke up that morning, I still didn’t know any damn more than I did when I went to sleep.
It’s uncomfortable to realize you’re a 34 year old woman who can’t distinguish your own convictions from convictions you’ve borrowed from other people.
So, like I’ve been doing since I was very, very little, I started to pray. It was honestly the only thing I could think to do.
It’s a weird feeling to hit your knees in prayer not knowing exactly what you’re even praying for. I mean, I’ve prayed a billion times before. Prayers for myself, prayers for others, prayers of gratitude. Sometimes, my prayers just sound something like, ‘Please!’ or “Thank You!’ Once or twice they’ve even sounded something like, ‘God, please bless that asshole.’
This time, though, I’m not even sure my prayer had any words. Not words that anyone would be able to understand, anyway. If you were on the outside looking in, you may have just thought I lost my mind. Thought I was talking to the voices in my head in a language only them and I could understand.
And…maybe I was.
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
I don’t know what I said and I don’t know exactly what God said back but, whatever it was, it helped.
Like, a lot.
It didn’t make the war stop. It didn’t help me pick a side. It didn’t change anything about my country or the world in which I live.
But, what it did do was stop the internal war, the one I was having with myself. The answer I received, even if I can’t tell you what it was, made the This not hurt anymore. Made the This feel right again. Praying calmed the This so much and for that, all I can pray today is, ‘Thank you, God…again…and still.’
Happy Wednesday, Friends.
go. do. be.
(and maybe pray, too)