The kind of prayer most commonly understood and practiced is asking for what you want and being temporarily filled with — and renewed by — both the self making that request and the anticipation of what is requested. Examples of this kind of prayer are as easy to produce as listening to your own thoughts tell you why you’re unhappy with your life: “Please send me some money… Please straighten out my problem… Please arrange a happy ending for me.” In this type of prayer, you are in charge of what you think you must have to be happy. However, if you try to establish a relationship with God based on your ideas of God and your ideas of you, you will get what you asked for, but you won’t be renewed. It will be the renewal that you have to renew again and again.
There is another kind of prayer, one critical for real self-renewal, and this secret prayer is where you ask God to be in charge of your life — to give you not what you think you want, but what He knows you need in order to enlarge your relationship with Him. This powerful kind of prayer begins with learning to ask the Almighty to help you help yourself see the truth about your life, even while knowing it will most likely reveal something about you that you don’t want to see.
This new willingness on your part for God’s will to supplant your own invites His Life to pour into yours. In comes the water that renews your life. You find yourself more alive than when you were struggling to give yourself the life you hoped for. You find yourself newly alive.
In this podcast, Guy Finley talks about how resistance to any negative state such as anger, anxiety, or fear does not help diminish the state, but instead actually causes the state to gain mass and strengthens the illusion that it has any authority.
Click here to listen to this podcast “The Sure Cure for a Sinking Spirit”
Talk notes: Our spirit is not meant to sink. At any given moment, we can tell what we are living from by the way we see the world around us. We are not meant to live with a heavy heart, but at present we do not know what else to do. There is no denying the fact that, at times, life can weigh heavily upon our hearts and minds, but we can remain aware of the heaviness instead of consenting to live under it. But as we are now, we do not really want to be conscious our heavy, sinking feeling when we wake up in the morning or whenever that state happens to be present. And yet that sinking feeling is there whether we are aware of it or not.
There is an alternative to resisting the way that you feel. Resisting how you feel does not change anything about the way you feel. Resisting does not prove that you are different from the feeling that you have. Resistance to a heavy heart is how that state keeps itself in place and adds mass to itself. Anything that is resisted gains mass. The more that you resist a sinking feeling by coming up with plans to make yourself feel better, the more you sink.
But knowing what happens to you when you resist a negative state, and then acting on what you know is a whole other story. As a true aspirant, you need to be awake to yourself more often so that you can begin to see with greater and greater clarity the truth of yourself, instead of agreeing with the parts of yourself that do not want to be what you are.
Real self-change begins with seeing that Real Life is change itself. This means there is no condition that can hold you captive without your unconscious cooperation. Withdraw it. Wake up. Walk out of yourself by changing how you see what you call your life. Realize that while the contents of your life may come and go, turn dark, or suddenly seem delightful, regardless, these things will pass. Resting in the awareness of this truth while working to stand upon its higher ground, you come upon the life within you whose nature is the unchanging witness of these movements. This self dwells outside of change, even as all that changes moves through it.
Here’s an important idea to consider the next time some thought or feeling starts telling you (once again) to “make tracks” — to “get away” from something in life that psychologically troubles or otherwise torments you.
In its darkness, the mind manufactures many things to run away from… but how much actual distance can you put between yourself and these fearful apparitions when all of them live in the space between your ears?