Here I sit, with tears in my eyes today. Why?
I am not sure. I think part of it is simply that sometimes, even when we want to keep going, we want to just stop. Just stop, for a minute. Or two. Or two hundred.
I regularly question why I do all the things I do- writing, podcast, music. So far, I haven’t been making much money at all this. But I hope to someday. I hope to earn a living doing all these things that I put in so very much work at, and these things I really and truly do enjoy doing. And as I write that sentence, I think, isn’t that enough? To work hard, to create, and to put it out, and not to expect anything else? It should be, right? So why am I in tears? Why do I struggle with wanting to quit? Where is my belief?
I search for the reasons I do the things I do, as I want to make sure they are the “right” reasons. In recording the “Inspiring and Influential Women” podcasts lately, it’s been comforting to hear from other women that they, too, feel this same way quite often. They regularly ask themselves, “What am I doing? Why am I doing this?”
And I know my reasons are, ultimately, to create and to share, and to put good into the world and set an example for my children. I aim to put my thoughts into words, to lift others up, and to let people know that we’re all in this together. I want other people to look at me and know it’s not all easy to create and to do, but with work, they can most certainly do whatever they dream of, too. I want to support others and to help them know it’s all going to be ok, because we are here, together.
But then the moments come up when you wonder, does anything I am doing matter? Am I making a difference or spinning my wheels? Why am I continuing all this when it doesn’t seem to matter? I write and talk about looking for things we don’t expect, about building habits and daily progress and not giving a you-know-what about what other people think. But what about when all that fails you, and you just can’t muster anything anymore?
What about when your own belief fails you?
What do we do when we feel tired of hoping and believing? What do we do when we have lost it? I want to believe, I really do, but times arise when life feels like a make-believe that’ll never be reality. Do we hold onto the faint glimmer of hope, even when it seems like it’s so stupid to do so?
I am not a particularly religious person, even though I was raised very much so. Religion in any fashion isn’t something I lean on. I used to pray. I used to pray a lot. I studied it, even. But I lost it along the way. After my mother passed away in 2005, it just vanished. It’s so strange. I lost praying, and I lost belief in any traditional sense of “God.”
So, what then? What for someone like me, or even for someone who struggles in belief in their religion or spirit? I reached down today, and I thought long and hard about what I would tell a person feeling this way. Today, she is me. Tomorrow, she might be you, or your friend or partner or loved one. And I decided to write a prayer, inspired by one of my all-time favorite prayers by Rob Breszny. Is it make-believe? Maybe. But when you don’t know what else to do and belief fails you, it’s worth a try. Some people may find what I have written offensive or wrong, but I don’t think there is a wrong way to pray. As long as it’s real and honest and your heart is in the right place, that’s what matters.
A Prayer for Us Non-Believers
Today, I pray. Even though I never do, and even though I don’t know what I’m doing, or who I’m talking to.
But I’ll do it anyway. I lift my heart. And I say these words to help them become true.
I don’t know who’s listening. I don’t know who hears. But I think that’s ok.
And I’m thankful. Oh, am I ever. Thankful for food and water and health and laughter. Thankful for healthy kids and a warm place to sleep and hands that reach out.
But here I am, still needing something.
So I pray. I pray to find more peace, simply through giving it, because I still believe that’s possible.
I also still believe in harmony and love. I know it exists, and I know that by thinking about it, that’s taking a step.
I pray for help to stay the course of coming from a place of love. All the time.
I pray for the strength to hold it together even when I can’t, even when the world seems like it’s going to crash down and even when I feel like I know, deep in my soul, that I am not good enough.
I pray for the ability to lift others up, even when I can barely lift myself off the couch.
I pray to let go of anything that encourages me to feel like I am better than anyone else.
And pray to let go of anyone or anything or any action that’s no good for me.
I pray to purge the distractions and fears that keep me from daring, risking, creating and just going for it. I need help to remain unselfish and give, give, give, and do away with the hoarder.
I need the love. I need it all. I will give and I will find and I will be. And I’ll make it to tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. And it will be better then.
And that’s that.