A YEAR OF TRUST...GRATITUDE...
by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
A New Year is upon us and the uncertainty in our world and in our lives challenges us all. How do we calm our minds? How do we keep the worry from taking hold and destroying the quality of our lives? Here is one very healing answer:
In End the Struggle and Dance with Life, I introduced a prayer of trust, gratitude and purpose meant to bring a sense of peace into our hearts. I have received emails from people all over the world telling me how much this prayer, whether they are religious or not, has eased their struggle in life. For example, it is used in a cancer support group; it is used by a woman's group to begin their meetings; and the list goes on.
If you haven't read End the Struggle and Dance with Life or if you have read it and haven't incorporated this simple prayer into your daily life, this is the perfect time to begin. It is important to keep in mind the following:
1) Even if you are someone who does not believe in God or a Higher Power, I suggest that you frequently recite this prayer anyway. The healing effects of prayer, even for those who do not believe in God, have been documented in a number of scientific studies and it is hard to deny the evidence. So pray to the Spirit or Higher Self within or simply to the Grand Mystery of it all. But don't negate the potential power of prayer in your life. It can be an awesome force, indeed.
2) Perhaps you have been disappointed by prayer in the past. If this is so, it is almost a guarantee that your prayers were of the "petitionary" type...that is, they asked for some wish to be granted. For example, when I was a little girl, I used to say the same prayer every night..."Dear God. Please let my Mommy and Daddy live forever." Well, my Mommy and Daddy didn't live forever. And one could say that God let me down. But I've learned a lot since then and I know that God didn't let me down at all. I didn't really understand how to pray in a way that is guaranteed to bring me all that I ask for and need.
Petitionary prayers do not do the job of ending our struggle--whether they have loving sentiments behind them or selfish ones. The simple reason for this is that sometimes they are answered and sometimes they're not, as follows:
Sometimes we get the job; sometimes we don't.
Sometimes we have enough money to pay the bills; sometimes we don't.
Sometimes our loved ones get well; sometimes they don't.
Sometimes our business is successful; sometimes it isn't.
Sometimes our children bring us joy; sometimes they don't.
As a result we are left with very little peace of mind as we worry, or even obsess, about the outcome of important situations in our lives. By definition, petitionary prayers have expectations behind them, and expectations are one of the main causes of disappointment and suffering. Even though petitionary prayers sometimes are answered, they offer no guarantees. And if our prayers are not answered, we can't help but feel disappointed...or even betrayed. But not to worry! There is a much more satisfactory way of praying.
Let me now introduce you to that special prayer of trust, gratitude and purpose that has given so many people peace of mind. Slowly, read it aloud right now, and take the words into your being...
"Dear God. I trust that no matter what happens in my life, it is for my highest good. And no matter what happens in the lives of those I love, it is for their highest good. From all things you put before us, we shall become stronger and more loving people. I am grateful for all the beauty and opportunity you put into my life. And in all that I do, I shall seek to be a channel for your love. Amen."
How could you ever be disappointed with a prayer like that? No expectations, only a sense of trust and gratitude and purpose. Words of trust allow us to take a deep breath and relax knowing that we and our loved ones have the power to learn and grow from whatever happens in our lives. Words of gratitude help us understand how blessed we are. A sense of lack quickly disappears. Words of purpose help us remember to radiate our love out into a very needy world. In such a way, love is also radiated back to us. You can see how the combination of a sense of trust, gratitude and purpose creates a life truly worth living.
As I'm sure you have already discovered, we need constant reminders to help keep our hearts and minds on a pathway to trust, gratitude and purpose instead of fear and a sense of lack and worthlessness. Therefore, I suggest you keep a copy of this prayer in your wallet, beside your bed, on your desk, and wherever you feel it will be noticed. Just keep repeating it over and over again until you memorize it and the words keep roaming throughout your head. It stands to reason that...
If we began and ended every day with this prayer, taking in the healing power of its words, the quality of our lives would improve dramatically.
As you take this prayer into your heart, you will notice the struggle abating and the peace entering your being. You are not asking for anything to be different from the way it is. As you may have learned in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway® you are "letting go" with the understanding that "It's all happening perfectly" and the inner knowing that you can handle whatever happens in your life. Powerful, indeed!
When we make such a prayer of trust and gratitude and purpose part of our every day living, the benefits ultimately spill over into all areas of our lives. We come to realize that God or the Universal Light or Higher Power or Spirit or Higher Self is with us at all times...no matter what is happening at any given moment. We need only to tap into this healing presence to find an exquisite piece of "Heaven" that we can take into our hearts and radiate out to everyone whose life touches ours. In this place of peace, our fear disappears and is replaced by an intense sense of love and caring.
It is clear to me that a year spent living in this frame of mind is a wonderful year, indeed. And 2009 is definitely the year to begin!
I AM WISHING YOU A MAGNIFICENT 2009
FILLED WITH TRUST, GRATITUDE AND PURPOSE!
From my heart to yours,
© 2009 Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Adapted from End the Struggle and Dance with Life: How to Build Yourself Up When the World Gets You Down
(Article reprinted here by permission.)
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