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."
I DON'T KNOW. I DON'T KNOW. 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.