God, I love that song. I also love Dionne Warwick, who originally sang with a group called the Drinkard Sisters…appropriate much??? At any rate, I’ve had that song in my head since last night because a curious thing started to happen: I began to see and hear prayer requests coming from my friends, friends of friends, and their friends, and so on–mostly via Facebook. I am gonna be honest here and say I am not comfortable yet being so vocal about prayer considering that A). The Higher Power I pray to wears body suits made of leather, power clashes his outfits and used to leave traces of cocaine and sparkles in his trailblazing wake; B). I do not consider myself a religious person. In fact, I identified as an atheist for a few years following my father’s death, leading straight into recovery (Okay, maybe not directly… I needed a few more iron-clad alcoholic years before my spirit broke). My spirituality and willingness to keep an open mind did not come easily for me–that is, until a powerful voice within me urged me to get sober before my life became a predictable, dramatic mess.
I have been taught in the past 10+ months that prayer is a crucial piece of recovery. My version of praying involves saying “thank you” and/or “help”. I used to cry for help for my own woes, but I have learned that praying for others is where the true gift comes. I pray on bended knee first thing when I wake up, just saying “thank you” to whatever the hell keeps me alive and loving that day. This act teaches me humility; I humble myself to whatever force is strong enough to keep me sober, to keep the world spinning and to provide love in my life and in the lives of others. All I know for sure is that when I start the day like that, I have more confidence and feel more comfortable in my own skin because I do not act on fear that I will lose control of events or people around me, as I am not the one in charge.
There is something to be said about selfless and solution-based thoughts manifesting positive things in my life. The Buddha himself taught his people about their thoughts becoming reality. I am into that for sure, though resetting my thoughts requires a lot of time, energy and patience. This is where being of service to others comes into play because the efforts of helping those in need mute the fears in my mind, if only for a few precious minutes.
The most effective type of praying I’ve found is to send positive and loving vibes to the Haters in my life. Like anyone ever in The History of the World, I have people in my life who I resent or have resented in the past for slighting me or stepping on my sensitive ego. I engage in reverse psychology by praying that these people have the same things in life I seek: unconditional love, safety, abundance, confidence, peace, success and serenity. The standard time period to actively pray like this is about two weeks. I’ve tried it twice and it worked like a charm both times. I ended up feeling love and compassion for the prayee, and my self-centered fear slipped away.
If all else fails, I put on a Bowie record to redirect my thinking to something more … fabulous.
Annnnd, of course,
… I say a little prayer for you.