Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Don't Know

"I don't have to say, 'I don't know.' I can ASK. I don't have to be lost." 

--Inna Segal, speaking at Seattle Unity Church 

Almost always when I go to church I get something out of it. I learn something or I have a new thought or an idea or a burst of inspiration that I can use. 

Other times when I go I feel like God is speaking directly to me and that I have been summoned for that reason. 

This past Sunday was one of those times. 

As I sat there in the pew, listening to the lesson, rubbing my kids' backs and snuggling (they always parlay the fact that they don't really want to be there into a back rub and a snuggle, which totally works for me), suddenly God was tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "Listen up."

This time he did it by mimicking my own words back to me: I DON'T KNOW.

For most of my life whenever the shit hits the fan and I feel like I am spinning out of control and don't know what to do about it, the phrase that reverberates in my head is, "I don't know."


It repeats and repeats and repeats in my head, getting louder and louder until sometimes I feel like I just can't take it any more. I am paralyzed and it is all I can do to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. 

Eventually it passes and I move on, but it always comes back, sooner or later. 

There have been some I DON'T KNOW times as of late and what I usually do now is go lie down and meditate. After twenty or thirty minutes of this I usually feel better and often have some idea of what to do next. 

But this is a somewhat passive process. I lie there and wait for the anxiety to pass or for an answer to come. This Sunday I realized that I don't have to just lie down and wait, I can actively ASK for help. In other words, I can....PRAY.

I haven't really prayed since leaving the Catholic Church a few years ago. When I left I kind of left the ritual prayers behind and, while Catholic, I had gotten away from the free-form, Protestant prayers of my youth (mostly of the help me with _____ variety). 

I realized on Sunday that I don't really know how to pray as a new thought religious adult, but I think that this quote, speaking to me in my own language, was a call to learn. 

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