Dangerous Prayer

Listen to the audio version HERE.

I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought I was in charge. I thought my vision would be the blueprint for a life that I would build piece-by-piece and part-by-part backed by my own will and rationale. I thought my life would look like my own version of a living art installation that would reflect me and fuse together what I found compelling and worthwhile. I thought I got to decide and that with a little planning my life would unfold the way I thought it should.

Isn’t that what they tell us? Create a vision, set goals, and take tangible action to that end. We are told that divine intervention of the not-so-desirable kind is the exception, not the rule, that catastrophe only happens to a friend of a friend, to the poor guy in the next town over, or to that kid you heard about on the news. Until it does happen, not to an acquaintance, a neighbor, or even to a friend—it happens to you.

Like a child pasting together a world with a glue stick, the life you had so carefully built begins to come undone. The fire of life arrives with a mind all it’s own and dissolves any solidity you thought your carefully constructed world had. Like leaning on a house of cards, what you assembled falls apart before your eyes revealing the delicate balance of it all. You wonder how you bought into its solidity in the first place.

Or not. Perhaps it hasn’t happened to you. Maybe it won’t.

I asked to know. I did. I asked for illusion to fall away. I asked for spirit to take over and to take it from here. I asked to live as the love I felt I was at my essence. I asked to realize and embody the me that I knew I was on the inside but couldn’t seem to bring out.

Not once or twice, did I ask, but over and over and with resolve and a sincerity that came right from the depths of my soul. I see now that these pleas were dangerous prayers, like a mere mortal summoning the wrath of the gods, or like activating a point of departure to an ultimate quest—a point of no return. 

The truth is I was drying up in the midst of my pasted-together life. It looked more-than-alright on the outside but on the inside I felt spent and like I was just going through the motions. I wondered why a life that seemed like it should satisfy left me so parched. There were moments of joy and satisfaction, but overall I secretly felt like I wasn’t really living. That may come as a surprise to some who looked in on my life and thought I had it together. I was likely looking in on yours and thinking the same thing—that you got some kind of memo that I didn’t get.

I never quite managed to create the life I felt would bring me true fulfillment and the harder I tried the more it seemed to elude me. I created excitement for myself through love affairs, emotional drama, and numbed my dissatisfaction in spiritual practices and mind-altering substances, which approximated the feeling of being totally alive that seemed to elude me.

All the while asking to know. Asking to be shown. Asking to be told.

“I’m listening spirit…just let me in on what’s real.” Little did I know that I was planting the seeds of the dissolution of my world. I was stoking a fire, through my asking, that I would have to release near-everything into. And I would with great hesitation and resistance throw in one after the other…my role in the world, my identity, my business, many of my pass times, most of my relationships, my conception of god and the universe, the meaning of life, and the ground I had built my life on that was now crumbling.

Talk about a dangerous prayer.

Artwork by Arnaldo Marasol
I’m way off the grid now of the life I had envisioned. I didn’t die although I often felt like I was and sometimes I still do. I’m way off the navigational radar, the GPS of who I thought I was and the terrain I imagined I would cover in this life. I can say with some certainty now that I know what is real—for me. I’ve finally reached the solid ground of truth that was many layers down from the ground I had built my life on. 

The fire of transformation still burns strong and my life continues to have a mind of its own. Not my mind but a vaster mind. Any sense I had of being in control is long gone and instead there is humility in its place that understands that this very different life than I conceived is actually the life I came to live. While I am way off my own GPS, I know that I am living on a bigger navigational system that belongs to the mind of god and to divine intelligence.

This is the life that has carved out the face of wisdom in me.
Like a brutal wind that carves out the face of a canyon, what’s revealed in the rough is so much more beautiful than the untouched surface that was there before.

The answers to our most burning questions lead us down paths we would never choose and yet we do chose them on the level of soul. We ask to be ripened, our pleas coming in the form of prayers, tears, and silent desperation. The maturation of soul these paths require are not for the faint of heart and when we set foot here it requires all the courage we can muster and then some.

We chose our breaking open and it’s in this opening that we become wiser, humbler, experience-steeped versions of ourselves. We become who we are, who we came here to be.

2014 © Marie-Ève Bonneau

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