Their Bad Mother

Their Bad Mother


How To Ask For Blessings And Not Cry Trying

posted by Catherine Connors

When I was little, my bedtime ritual always included a bedtime prayer, and that prayer always ended with a plea to God to bless the people that I loved.

Jesus tender shepherd hear me,
Bless thy little lamb tonight.
In the darkness be thou near me
Wake me with the morning light

And then…

God bless Mommy, Daddy, Chrissie and me.

Because these – my mother and father and sister and myself – were first on my must-bless list. From there I would go on to list everyone else that I could think of – my grandparents, my friends, the cats – and anyone who needed a special blessing – a sick relative, starving children in Africa – was mentioned at the end, kind of like the way Very Special Guest Stars are featured at the end of the opening credits for a TV show.  The order of blessings was very important, as was the necessity of including everyone that should be included. I would sometimes lay awake at night worrying about whether I’d been wrong to ask God to bless my cats before my cousins, or whether I’d forgotten someone important, like the Pope, or Jan Brady.

I still lay awake at night worrying about this kind of thing, although not in the context of blessings. I no longer say that particular prayer every night – I say it some nights, and I always slip into the rhythm of the prayer and ask God to bless Mom, Dad, Chrissie and me first, but not every night, and certainly not every time that I pray (when I do pray) -  but I do think about the people in my life and whether they know well enough how much I love them and whether I’m doing well by those relationships, etc. This emotional anxiety – which is what it is, really – is all the more acute since my dad died. I’ve worried far too much whether he really knew, all the way down through his bones, just how very much I loved him, and how very thankful to him and for him I was. And so I lay awake at night sometimes, worrying about that, and about whether everyone else who – as I’m now too painfully aware – could disappear at any moment, before I’d had a chance to say thank you and I love you one last time, knows how very grateful I am for their presence in my life.

I wrote a post, over at BlogHer, for their Karma project, that listed the 5 people I most want to thank. What struck me, after I wrote it, was just how very evocative it was – the experience of writing it – of my old evening prayer. Who do I most want blessed? To whom am I most grateful? I was anxious, especially when it came to including a friend. By including one, I would exclude so many others. The temptation was strong to be vague, to limit my list to family, to names that could not be disputed. But to do so would be to deny my heart, and so the whole purpose of the exercise.

My mother and father used to tell me, when I worried aloud about forgetting to including somebody on my blessings list, that it didn’t matter, that God knew what was in my heart, that even if some name had slid into a corner, where I couldn’t see it, it was still there, and He knew it. The recitation of names that I was so attached to, they said, was just for me, so that I could remind myself of all the wonderful people in my life, and remember just how much I had to be grateful for.

I think that the same principle holds for articulating our thanks to people that we love, and for forgiving ourselves when we don’t give thanks – or ask for blessings, or say I love you – as often as we’d like. As long as we are making it a practice to thank our loved ones, ask for blessings for our loved ones, say I love you to our loved ones – and as long as we are carrying that practice in our hearts – we’re good. Because it’s hard to forget to say thank you and I love you – and, more importantly, to show thank you and I love you – when you’re thinking it and feeling it and carrying it with you every day.

Yeah.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(3)
post a comment
Full of gratitude

posted December 1, 2009 at 12:24 pm


I love the way you think. I love the way you write. I agree with you so much of the time. This post is perfect!



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted December 6, 2009 at 12:22 pm


Thank you for this wonderfully written share of thoughts..I am still crying. You are absolutley right and I find so much comfort in knowing that I am not alone..I actually felt that I was being selfish for not mentioning certain friends or family member’s. MY committment is to say I love you more often to my loved one”s , thank them for just being in my life because your right we dont know how long we have..My father and I are a lot alike and we sometimes argue because we are but I love him deeply , words cannot describe and the older he gets the more I just want to please him but “I love you” doesnt come easy for both of us..I will however just say It with being afraid of his reaction…thank you HAVE A BLESSED DAY…



report abuse
 

Pingback: My Year Of Believing Dangerously - Their Bad Mother

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Their Bad Mother. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Inspiration Report Life As A Concious Mom Happy Reading!!!

posted 4:50:01pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

The Road To Heaven Is Paved With Maracas
Last weekend, I went to Mass for the first time in well over a decade. To say that it was a strange and disorienting experience would be to understate things dramatically. But it was also a deeply comforting and familiar experience. I know that that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, but in my exp

posted 9:30:01am Mar. 09, 2011 | read full post »

Dear God (On The Catholic Church And Abuse And Evil And Crises Of Faith)
This weekend, I read an article in New York Times Magazine about the crisis surrounding the Catholic Church in Ireland as new, horrible, stories emerge about sexual abuse of children and efforts by the Church to cover up those stories. It was a teensy bit upsetting. So I started to write a post abou

posted 1:34:44pm Feb. 16, 2011 | read full post »

Buy Yourself Roses For Valentine's Day
You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. -- Buddha

posted 9:07:07am Feb. 10, 2011 | read full post »

There But For A Rocking Chair: On Love and Fear and Keeping Our Children Safe
Before Emilia was born, I fussed endlessly about babyproofing. Never mind that it would be months before she would even enter the world, let alone move around it and find its electrical outlets: I was convinced that when it came to babies, there was no such thing as too many precautions taken too so

posted 6:46:18pm Dec. 16, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.