4:00 am and the loneliness broke down her door and threatened to make her believe all the secrets swirling in her mind about worthiness, lovability, failure, and why she was still here. What was her purpose at this juncture of her life? Her mind was a bad neighborhood to be in, especially at night. She tried to wrap herself up in a heavy coat of faith, scrunching her eyes shut reciting Beggy Prayers for peace and direction, or even a small sign but the fear blew right through her coat, and the world was so silent she couldn't even hear God breathe.
I've had these unexpected, debilitating, bone and joint issues the last few years. I feel like I took pretty good care of my bones, with supplements and lifting weights, but in hindsight, if stress plays a role in health, that explains it perfectly. It appears I am crumbling- or melting - like the wicked witch of the East. Only, I’ve been good, and I no longer believe what happens to me is some karmic unpaid debt, or based on stellar behavior. I’ve had bad things happen to me, when I’ve toed the line of kindness and integrity and blessings showered on me when I didn’t deserve them. I’m relatively adept at finding the humor in the midst of most of my problems, even joints that aren’t holding up, or more recently a spine that is dangerously collapsing. The embellished fantasy I’m sticking to about these disintegrating bones goes like this:
He’s got the whole world... in His hands.
He’s got the whole world... in His hands.
He’s got the whole world ... in His hands.
On the seventh day He rested... and placed it in mine
Spoken like a true co-dependent. My arrogant interpretation of what happens to good joints when you carry the weight of the world, even if only for one day of the week. It’s a good pity party and sometimes you just gotta attend to get it out of your system. I set a timer dictating how long I'm going to party-on. The rest of my energy is being used to stay positive and maintain my sense of humor as I prepare to go under the knife and get my throat slit to repair collapsed vertebrae that are bruising and damaging my spinal column. Three surgeries in three years. I've said it before, third time is a charm.
Everyone has something going on in their life. Maybe they are better able to handle things than I am. Maybe they’re on good drugs. Or, maybe they don’t handle things any better than I do and suffer in silence. I was a child protege in the field of suffering in silence and earned my PhD early on. In middle-age I burned that advanced degree with the help of others who taught me that secrets would continue to make me even sicker and then introduced me to a twelve step plan for a healthier way of life. I also learned I am only responsible for the square footage around my own little body, not the whole world. Learning and understanding all of these things, it seems God opened that place where all my hurt, pain, and isolation was stuffed. It was like Hoover Dam had sprung a big leak, and I shared, and I shared and I shared. I promised never to shove that much fear, anger, and silent suffering down like that again. Most of the time I’m pretty good about dealing with things as they arise rather than ignoring it, pushing it way, or medicating in some way. I'm still working on stuffing my feelings down along with a pound or two of good cheese. While blissful in the moment, it extracts too big a price on my digestive system and thighs. I've acquired some good anti-stuffing tools and I know what I need to do. Call a friend. Meditate and sit in stillness for awhile. Go for a walk. Get out and be among people. Help someone else. If none of those things work, and the feelings overwhelm me, say, in the middle of the night, where I am most vulnerable, I call on my Beggy Prayers.
I once heard Iyanla VanZant, author and self-help guru chastise those kinds of prayers. You know the ones that are punctuated with the word please in between every other word. Oh, please. Please God. Pretty please. Those were my childhood prayers back when I thought God and Santa Claus were brothers and her comment made me feel childish. Her claim is God hears us the first time and it’s not necessary to repeat it over and over again. I believe that He does too, in fact I think He knows our heart and needs even before we do. But there is something about Beggy Prayers that humbles me so much and I feel like an innocent child again, in a sweet way, standing at the feet of a powerful, loving Father who soothes me. I may not have to say please two hundred times in order for help to arrive or my wish to be granted, but it puts me in communion and that’s all that matters. In times when I am most powerless, that might be the best it gets, and its always felt good enough.
When I pull out those Beggy Prayers, I am at my most innocent, moldable, receptive self. Like a mediation mantra, a focal point to quiet the mind and tune into the silence and make some room for a connection to take place. Beggy Prayers are the big guns for me. Oh, please (take this cup from me). Oh, please (if I must drink from this cup, hold my hand). Oh, please (teach me how to trust you explicitly in all things).
Reciting those Beggy Prayers long enough in my dark night of the soul back in November, I did eventually feel God’s breath on my cheek and comfort in my heart.
That won’t be the last time I use my Beggy Prayers regardless what any self-help guru says. They may seem childlike. They may seem unnecessary; however, for every Beggy Word that I speak, it is communion with the Most High, who understands I am most human.
Just a little heads up God. You will hear my Beggy Prayers again, right before the twilight of anesthesia slips in and takes me into the land of dreamless sleep next week. Oh, please, (be with me always).
Oh, please (let this be my last surgery for awhile).