Praying for peace - My first true Sankalpa
Sitting on the carpeted floor of the apartment I shared with a lover who was older than my only living parent, I endeavored to learn how to pray honestly. Riding the desperation for a new way of living created by years of unmanageability and chaos that is the inevitable result of addiction; I was motivated to try something new. An actual belief in god seemed irrelevant to me, my instincts told me that the power was in the action, the behavior of praying, not in any real or imagined deity.
“What do I pray for?” I asked myself. I was being encouraged to ask for help, but I had no idea what to ask for. I sat there, in the quiet; the late summer sun beginning to burn the day while inside the air conditioning created a season-less illusion searching for a desire in my heart.
When I looked at myself, all I saw or felt was war. I was at war with myself and the world, full of shame fueled hatred and rage. My mind was a turbulent sea, crashing waves of blame, despair, and violence through the fibers of my being. The drugs had given me safe haven from the storm that was my internal reality until my need for them created it’s own chaotic storm; there was nowhere left to run or hide. I sat on that tan rug in the summer sun and cold air motivated by desperate need for relief from the pain of living and the pain of living without drugs.
My body still, my breath slowing down, I observed my warring insides and felt my desperate need for peace. The awareness of this desire came with the sense that outward violence is generated from internal violence. My first prayer was formed “peace within and peace without”. The journey to internal peace began that day when I committed to making peace with myself.
That first prayer was in 2003. There was not a precise end to the war within me, it gradually stopped, one surrender at a time. The scars from the internal battles won are sources of gratitude, empathy and compassion. Gratitude for my freedom and the opportunity to guide others to peace. Empathy for those still at war with themselves and the world around them. Compassion for the ongoing healing and integration that takes place within me and for those who still suffer.
Today, my heart's desire is to serve the forces of love and peace that I have found to be infinitely abundant. May you embrace your heart's desire and be blessed with the fortitude to commit to your highest purpose.
Mother, friend, servant, mystic, yogi. Navigating this rocky, beautiful life with an open, grounded heart.