Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Inside-Out Prayer…

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I am so worried. I am worried about my brother, I’m worried about my Dad. I’m worried about my son. I’m worried about my dogs, and I’m worried about me. My Dad and my brother aren’t talking to me. I wish they would talk to me and voice their worries. I wish my friend would have told me his worries, more importantly, I wish I could have voiced mine. I tried, but all he ever said was, “I can’t help you.”
“I can’t help you” is code for “I don’t want to hear about your worries, because then I will feel responsible for you.”
“I can’t help you” is a cop-out. It is a way to shut the other person up- and out, and it is a missed opportunity to shed some light through that crack of human flaw.
But guess what?! When we shut the other person out, we get their worries anyway. They come like a psychic e-mail delivered right into our brain. Then when we open our own worries, they get opened, too, just like the attachment that they are. And the virus is automatically downloaded before we knew it existed!
Wouldn’t it be so much easier to have said, “Tell me what you are worried about”? We don’t have to fix the problem. It doesn’t require taking responsibility for them. It just requires a willing listener. Let’s acknowledge them – not the worry- just them, and honor our human condition, wrought with problems and worries as it seems to be.
All spiritual teachings tell us that the answer lies in the question. When you are in the thick of your problems, this just isn’t helpful. Another way to see it, perhaps, is that every worry is an inside-out prayer.
So we help by listening to the inside-out prayer. We ask God, Holy Spirit, our higher mind, to turn the prayer right side out. And we don’t take responsibility for finding their answer upon ourselves. We just sit with it.
What I believe this does for me in my little pea brain, is to relinquish any GUILT that I might have harbored about not being able to fix it, and any time guilt is taken out of the equation a solution is close at hand.
The answers seem to emerge out of nowhere…which is why they are called miracles.

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“I thought you knew how to be scared…”

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The irritation began with his qualifying me: “You don’t do that, do you?”…”because I could never be with someone who…” and he would fill in the objection of the week (dark painted toenails, too skinny, etc, etc…) Apparently I had just reminded him of something he did not like. My response was always the same, “I am not someone. I am me.”

He didn’t get it. So he’d have to find another way in, another way to trigger my insecurities…perhaps he could find me jealous…it would be really convenient if I could be jealous…that’s such a needy insecurity, and easy to trigger…

The recent ex lived nearby, and they shared custody of the dog.  So when his family and I flew in from Michigan to visit, she naturally hoped to join the party. And I was fine with her being invited. But wait! She didn’t want to meet ME! Perhaps…if I could leave the party for an hour or so…

Well, I refused. Had I agreed to leave the party, I’d have walked to the corner Starbucks and called for a cab to the airport…”Well, I told her I’d ask…” was his explanation. That way, he didn’t have to take any responsibility for hurting anyone’s feelings.

I wasn’t about to let him off that hook. What was I doing with someone so emotionally immature, anyway? I just excused it…and did what any loving Mother would do with her beloved child: I held my own healthy space, and let him feel uncomfortable at not finding a solution equally suitable for all. I figured the awareness would benefit us both in the future.

But the awareness didn’t happen! A few months later he planned a necessary trip to England, and a side trip to Spain. He would stay with an old girlfriend in Madrid. “Does that bother you?” he asked. “No.” “May I ask why it doesn’t bother you?” Apparently it bothered him that it did not bother me.

I don’t get jealousy, I admit it. I never have. If HE chooses HER, how does that diminish ME? That’s an adolescent set-up if I ever saw one.

We are all so insecure, for so many convoluted reasons. I wish we could all just be honest about that instead of defensive. The world is so scary, life is so scary…I wish we could all learn how to be scared together.