What My Prayers Look Like

June 24, 2010

Praying to the Mountain:

Last week my family sponsored a ceremony on the beach in my hometown, where we (along with about 30 others) spent the night praying and until sunrise. As my family hosted the ceremony, we were bestowed many honors, one of which was to exit the prayer circle during the meeting and move with the road man around the our rim of the circle, praying to the four pray, each sister taking a direction in turn to pray. My first sister prayed to the north, looking out over the ocean, and the second sister prayed to the east, down an expanse of beach. When it was my turn, I opened my eyes and I was standing about three feet from this mountain:

And I thought, this is what my entire life looks like right now. Like I am swallowing sand as it erodes down the hill. Like I am going to be buried here. Like there is no possible way I have the strength or energy or ability to scale this mountain. Like I will die at the base and never know what it feels like to stand at the summit. I was standing linked between my mother and my father, whom I believe I mentioned got divorced when I was seven, and the power of their reunion for the sake of this ceremony was enough in and of itself to bring me to tears. Linked between them, I prayed that with the support of the people who loved me I would be able to reach the top of the mountain, that together, arm in arm, we would be able to scale it without being dragged under as the sand loosened. I prayed only to reach the top.

The next morning, I was talking to the road man and I was expressing my shock and onset of emotion when I looked up and saw that mountain, knowing that it had all come to this, and I was so terrified that I would never make it to the top. And he told me: You do not see the mountain. You do not worry about getting to the top of the mountain, or what will happen to you as you climb it. You pray ONLY for what exists for you on the other side of the mountain, and if you pray for that, it will become your reality.

The other side of the mountain?!!?! But it is so tall, and I am so small and weak and there is no way that I will ever be able to climb it without it swallowing me.

A literal breakdown of this panic attack:

  • I am too broke to go to school, how will I ever support myself during the winter, how will I ever pay back all of my loans?
  • I feel like I work and I work and I am still always playing catch-up. There are overdraft fees on my checking account even though I am working doubles everyday.
  • I have to pay for my tooth to be taken out. I have to HAVE a tooth taken out.
  • What if I never get it right, what if no one ever takes me seriously, what if I never have the life of my dreams, and I’m stuck here, at the bottom, sucking on sand and drowning in my fear?
  • What if I spend my life terrified and impeded my own success?

Praying through the mountain:

I recommend doing this. It is such a good idea, I cannot believe that it didn’t occur to me sooner. Generally speaking, I have a very difficult time letting go of the literal in favor of manifesting possibilities, as I feel I am constantly smashing into cement walls of WHAT IS and it blurs up my vision and I can’t quite remember WHAT IS POSSIBLE. Thus, I have revised my prayer to the mountain.

I have faith that on the other side:

  • I have enough money to pay for everything that I need.
  • My words are embraced, meaningful, and regarded highly, both here and on future projects.
  • I am able to work for myself, set my own hours, and benefit from my own success.
  • I have completed school, and have grown immensely from my new education.
  • I have a house. Of my own. With a red couch, a yellow kitchen, and a really comfortable bed.
  • My family is safe and happy and well.
  • The world is still intact. The oil spill has been mended, the oceans have been cleaned, and the animals are safe.
  • I am happy.

How about you? What do your prayers look like? Do you ever have this same problem of focusing on the mountain instead of looking through it?