365 Days of Prayer – Day 27 – Forgiveness as a Process

I have been trying to find the words to talk about forgiveness these past three days. I have concluded that forgiveness is an ongoing process. Although most of us understand that when we can forgive and let go of trauma, we will feel better and carry more light, some of us just are not ready. Some of us still need to process the five levels of grief – shock/denial, pain/guilt, anger/bargaining, depression/reflection/loneliness, before comes the turn around and the beginning of working through/reconstruction, and the breakthrough to acceptance and hope. The early stages are things we might be stuck in for years!

I have a couple of experiences from listening to other people that have taught me to be very sensitive of bringing up the topic of forgiveness too soon, with the understanding that there can be a benefit in stopping another person from repetitiously engaging the story of the wounded self.

Years ago a friend shared that she had been molested by her brother while very young. She said that she had carried her wounded self like a badge upon her sleeve, until one day she was sharing her story with a spiritual mentor, and the mentor broke in upon her one-sided conversation with a simple question: “Have you asked your brother for his forgiveness yet?” Stunned into silence, my friend eventually asked her mentor, “What do you mean?” Her mentor replied that my friend’s anger, hatred, and rage now carried their own vibration of violence against her brother, and that her unforgiving thoughts of him kept them from any reconciliation. My friend was ready to hear that, and subsequently went back to her brother now as an adult woman, and asked him for his forgiveness. Sister and brother really talked. She learned how horrible he now feels for what he did then, and she has a deep level of compassion for him as a wounded soul, which she carries into her own healing work as a yoga teacher and spiritual guide. Hers is a successful story of moving through years of pain.

Another time I was in circle with friends and one of us mentioned how she had been molested by a spiritual guru. Those of us who had been doing Shadow work for a while wanted to talk about how everybody has their Shadow, but the real blessing came from someone new to the circle who said, “Not one of you is listening to her!” Those of us who had been talking immediately felt bad, and one of us apologized, saying we just wanted to help! From that point we really began to listen. Engaged. That episode taught me how important Silence is to holding a person in supportive, loving circle. It’s like that when you are in a group and pass the talking stick around and everybody just gets to say what they need to say that day.

Creator, thank you for teaching me through other humans that there is a time to speak and a time to listen, a time to hold Silence, and a time to Share. Grant me the sensitivity of discernment so that I might truly be present to another in their time of need; and grant me the wisdom of boundaries so that I might not be enabling another in their shadow of rage and anger. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 28

smiling face
Who is that smiling goof

Today is just an ordinary day, a day in which I shall go to work, smile at co-workers and bus kids, and wear my happy face. I can wear my happy face today, because I am happy. I have met some goals for myself and am working on others with expectation of successful outcomes. I have no need to stress. Today I feel very lucky, so today’s prayer is simple:

Thank you, Creator, for all that I have. Thank you for the blessings of home and family, friends, friendly co-workers and a job I enjoy while I work on my soul’s calling to read and share the Runes as a pathway to spiritual consciousness. Thank you for Nature, the Hudson River, the Heron I saw, and the green growing things. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 26 – Damsel in Distress?

via GIPHY

Image above, Damsel in Distress

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night because my Subconscious is presenting me with emotions I have repressed and still need to face in order to heal. My story is no worse or no better than anyone else’s; the process may be much the same. Some people have horrific stories of sexual abuse. Other people have grown up in a violent home. Still others have PTS from war or events like 9/11. There is no judgment here. In terms of the need for emotional healing, no thing is created equal. We all have our stories and our specific internal timing for our process, and when we come together with a foundation of love and acceptance, we begin finding the support and courage to heal.

I have noticed within my interactions with others in spiritual community, and from my own self-observation, is that people get stuck in patterns that are repeating cycles of a buildup of emotion, a trigger, an explosion, and release. These cycles repeat from the release to the next buildup of tension. And they block our clarity of Spirit. The journey into the Shadow is an individual one. Each of us contains our own Under World, Over World, and Middle Earth. In visiting these fertile maps of our own soul we uncover the symbols and fecund potential of our own heart.

I began today’s prayer blog with the idea of Forgiveness, but I wandered off topic. In writing today I have understood that we can enjoy the process of Myth as fairy tale: for example, the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty actually descended from the telling and retelling of Odin’s putting Sigdrifa, a disobedient Valkyrie to sleep until such time as… Or we can regard Myth as teaching stories that guide us through the soul territory of our own story. As  each of us contains our own Under, Over, and Middle World, we have the power to choose the role of Victim or the role of Sovereign.

Dear Creator, in the rich uncovering of my own/our own human dramas, guide me in clear understanding of the symbols of my internal landscape. Allow me to see how I have been a victim, a sovereign, or some combination of the two. In my interactions with others in my new understanding of the roles I have played, let me come to my answers with forgiveness and love. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 25 – Messages of the Shadow self

I like to be happy. But sometimes my emotional state is hanging on to unresolved issues that insert themselves between me and my determined cheerful “go-luckiness.” When this mood takes me on, I can turn and face it, or I can vent.

But what I have lately discovered about venting, is that it really does not make me feel better. Oh, it might for a moment, but I have not dealt with the underlying emotion, so it will return. And I have also noticed about venting, is that it really does not make other people feel good, unless they are hooking into their issues that are like mine. Then we all feel empowered by our anger for a while, but those underlying emotions are still there. Discharged yes, but still there.

When I turn and face those underlying emotions, I have learned they have a lot to teach me. My anger at some one can point out how they are taking advantage of me. Or that jealousy I feel because a good friend of mine, a well deserving artist, got a solo show at a prestigious gallery? Well, that is simply my Subconscious telling me I have not been giving enough time to my own art, or that I need to get busy and try to get some gallery shows lined up.

When I take time to listen to my Shadow emotions instead of venting that energy into the world at large, I gain information about issues that are real and close to me. I had a conversation with the person I felt was taking advantage of me, and I realized I do not have time to pursue a career as an artist right now, but that, yes, I would feel better making some space in my day for the act of drawing. I can be happy for my deserving artist friend, because she has put her efforts and energy into succeeding at her goal.

Listening to myself leaves me in a better place emotionally, and guides my actions toward those goals that are most important to me. My prayer for today:

Creator, when I am feeling myself in the grip of my Shadow, walk with me as I turn to face the messages they bring me with love, courage, and the courtesy to not shed my negative feelings on others. Amen.

Intuitive Rune reader

365 Days of Prayer – Day 24

Today I returned to work at another aspect of my life, as a transportation driver. Did you know the Runes can be a prayer? If I regard prayer as a stated intention, and I call upon the power of the Runes to focus my intention, then the Runes become my prayer.

When I first started working as a transportation driver, I realized the cargo I carried was the very most valuable cargo to every child’s relative. I was new to the Runes at the time, so I asked what Rune formula would incorporate my intention to be a safe driver today for my passengers, myself, my vehicle and all beings around us on the road. The Runes did not disappoint! I received RAIHDO, the Journey Rune, DAGAZ, the Day Rune, and GIFU, the Rune of Partnership and working together. Even though that occurrence was several years ago, I still use that before I begin my daily task of driving transportation.

Prayer for this morning: Creator, Let me be a safe driver for my passengers, my self, my vehicle, and all other beings around us on the road today. RAIDHO, DAGAZ, GIFU! Let it be, and so it is!

365 Days of Prayer – Day 23

As Hurricane Dorian blows in, even to my inland sanctuary, I reflect upon the Norns, Urdr’s Well, and the association of the emotions with the element of water. The Norns are the Weavers, and the threads they weave can be emotional ties to persons, places, and things.

This summer has been a process for me of letting go of my child to his chosen career in the military and asking the questions of what will I devote my time to in his absence. Emotions, like water, have their ice, their water flow, and their time of rising like water vapor into the Winds.

I carry a lot of good memories. My son and I spent much of his childhood hiking and exploring the wonders of Nature. Nature sustains me now as my emotions roil and turmoil like the incoming storm. Among the best times, I was the “Funnest Mommy ever!” You know you did a good job as a parent when your child honors himself enough to know what he wants to devote his life too. And you know unresolved arenas of your own psyche are at play when old patterns of guilt arise for self-examination. So far most of these stem back to areas where I could not please my own exacting parents, and I am doing a lot of internal forgiveness. As I do this, I gain clarity of purpose, and good memories surface in the wake of old thought patterns that no longer repeat.

I don’t quite know how these thoughts will manifest as prayer today, except maybe: Dear Creator, thank you for guiding me safely through the storms of life, internal and external. For those going through their own process I ask you to walk with them too, to help them find their anchor in the storm. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 22

A bit of anxiety blowing in as we watch news of this Hurricane Dorian which will affect people we love and many more we do not know. I am lucky to live inland, but my prayers today are for those who are being evacuated from their homes to travel to a place of safety.

Dear Creator, please travel with and protect my loved ones today as they move out of the path of the Hurricane Dorian. Please give strength to all who must endure the changing climate brought about by this weather pattern. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 21

Yesterday there were several of us gathered in circle. We gather to support each other in our spiritual growth. We are a group of wise women, yet sometimes we forget to listen. We were caught in one such moment yesterday, when some one new to our group said, “You are not giving her the chance to speak.” And we stopped and we began to listen. We thanked our new friend for her input. And one of us said, “We are sorry. We are coming from the wish to help.” Our friend accepted our apology, which led to a better space for conversation.

I learned that the intention to help is not enough when ego is in the driver’s seat, and ego is always talking. To enter into Sacred Space, I must begin from a place of inner silence that leaves space to listen. I must recognize that although my own story contains the seed of compassion that led me to be here in circle now, my own story will not be another person’s story. She is at a beginning point within her own story. Her struggle with grief, anger, and forgiveness will be her own. Any egoistic need I feel to share my own story will be inappropriate to her genuine need for an impartial listener.

Creator, grant me the awareness to be sensitive to another’s genuine need. Let me listen more than I talk, and when the moment for a response is there, give me the words to speak wisely, from Your counsel. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 20 – Dancing with the shadows

This summer has gifted me with sufficient down time to process many life changes that have left me emotionally in need to come to terms. The biggest change? My only child chose a military career. I am very proud – he wants to serve a cause larger than him self. But alongside the pride, his choice has brought the grief of adjusting to his absence. I struggle between the dual emotions to make sense of these changes, yet stay positive. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a victim, and I work to adjust to a different flow of life without falling into “poor me” emotions.

What I have learned is that to live happily with myself, I have to give up control of what I cannot change. I am moving from a period of mothering into having the time I have often said I wanted for myself. Yet when I try to utilize that time, a vortex of emotions creep in that I must dance with my shadow.

I have also learned that the process of deep, inner emotional healing involves dancing with the shadows. These shadows are repressed emotions: fears, not feeling worthy, jealousies, and suppressed anger. What I have learned is that if I turn and face the shadow of the moment, I can simply witness it. I don’t have to engage it or relive a painful memory. I can simply label it – today it is fear of what I cannot control – and witness it, and thereby it loses its power over me and I can move forward.

Prayer for today: Dear Creator, when I feel I cannot stand alone or even stand another moment for the emotions that overwhelm me, stand with me. Please stand with me. And when I falter, as I often do, please help me to be willing. Creator, I am willing to be willing.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 19 – Blown Into Grace

On today’s Wind Walk, the laughing West Wind held me in the grace of joy. I have been a follower and student of Renee Baribeau – “The Practical Shaman” – for a couple of years now, learning about the Winds of Grace. And the Winds blew me a song.

Unfortunately, the video I made for today’s prayer was not uploading, and I need to do some readjusting of my intention to publish the song right here, so I will come back and edit today’s prayer once I solve that problem. But for the meanwhile, let the written words of the song become the prayer for today, and let us celebrate the Winds that can blow connection to Source right into our hearts.

Did you know that the Holy Spirit of Christianity is really “Holy Wind”? Yes, the word “Spirit” is Latin for breath!

CALLED BY THE WIND: Blown into Grace, upheld by the Earth, transformation, a new rebirth – Called by the Wind, Called by the Wind. The Four Directions, their guiding light, ask us to listen, with all of our might – Called by the Wind, Called by the Wind. Power of the East is Fire of the Mind, Power of the South are emotions Sublime – Fire of the Mind, Emotion Sublime. Power of the West is harvest and endings, making room for a new beginning – Called by the Wind, Called by the Wind. Power of the North is strength of Spirit, in community we gather to hear it – Called by the Wind, Called by the Wind. Blown into Grace, upheld by the Earth, transformation, a new rebirth – Called by the Wind, Called by the Wind.