I stopped praying when I left the church. At first I was mad at God, sooooo mad and I felt justifiably mad. I was prepared to defy Him. I told him (without praying-oh, maybe that’s why he never replied then) that he would have to damned well destroy me (as He’d promised) because I was not going to be a piece of meat in his sick game any longer. There was no f***ing way that I was going to continue to stick around wondering if polygamy would be reinstated in my lifetime or not. Screw that! (Hmmmm… f**k, screw… maybe He didn’t think I was serious since I used such confusing profanity, maybe He thought I was being facetious?).
Anyway, fast forward nearly a year and I realised that I no longer even believed in God. So of course still no prayer. But (am I allowed to start sentences with ‘but’ yet? it’s so fun!) ...BUT… maybe I had been receiving some benefit from praying for all of those years. I mean when I was sad or lonely I could ‘pour my heart out’ so to speak. I believed God was listening. I believed He cared and that He would help me out. I even felt all of those promised feelings… good, warm, sweet feelings.
It took me a while but eventually I realised that these feelings were forming because I expected them to; I willed them to. I, clever me, was healing myself! Awesome. So then why stop?
It took me a good 18 months to realise that I had been denying myself this balm, this power. I started to talk to myself. I even imagined a copy of myself who was so lovely, so kind and understanding, so wise. She listened to everything I had to say and she consoled me and cheered me up. She still does. Now when I talk to myself I don’t have to worry about falling asleep mid-sentence and offending myself. I don’t have to kneel on the floor, fold my arms, bow my head, BE REVERENT! I don’t have to go through a ‘to do’ list first, thanking God for this and that and praying for the poor and the needy etc etc before getting to the point. It does not matter one little bit how or why or when or where I do it.
I feel myself relax when I start ‘the talk’. A smile usually forms on my face and I know that I have tapped into the real ‘power of prayer’. It is the power that is in each and every one of us to heal and love ourselves.