Seems a million times I tell myself, “I really need to….” “I am going to start….” “Yes, I should…..” (Whatever it might be today”…Start journaling, start tracking my money, practice mindfulness, breathe more effectively, write more cards, say thank you more, catch the kids being good, call up a lonely friend, check in that new widow or the wife of our friend with Alzheimers, etc. etc…. Then a zillion ‘catch phrases come to mind…”Life is not a dress rehearsal”, Faith without works is dead, We are Human Beings, not human doings… Just Do Something, it’s better than doing nothing… I wonder, do all struggle with such internal dialogue? In all honestly, my parts are fragmented and disconnected. One friend suggested recapitulation therapy, another is coaching me in mindfulness. It’s the DOING, that gets me in the end. It’s a double edged sword. Some things we MUST do, some things we’d LIKE to do, but when all we do is DO, we forget how to just BE, how to just feel the quiet-appreciate the cool breath passing through as we take in the morning dew and exhale slowly. We (read that I) forget to stop and feel what my knotted stomach is trying to tell me. Wonder how folks get accustomed to being fully present to themselves, alive and conscious of their internal workings? Would that perpetually strained trapezius soften and relax, if I just ‘let go’ more often? Perhaps just stop periodically, acknowledge the anxiety, tension,fear, or whatever might be underneath the restless irritable discontentedness. Self flagellation not necessary. Simply recognize-yes I am aware of being ‘out of sorts’, AND I have the tools to work through this…Breathe…sit in it and Be…OK right here, right now, in my own skin, knowing that this too shall pass.. Then journal about it later, let it go for now, learn from it, process it and keep moving forward… THIS prayer has come to mind countless times along the journey:
The Merton Prayer
In Thoughts in Solitude, Part Two, Chapter II consists of fifteen lines that have become known as “the Merton Prayer.”
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.