Dear Lord, please lift me up and heal me.
Cast out of my mind all thoughts that are not of You.
Cast out of me all harsh and critical nature.
Cast out of me all violence and anger.
Cast out of me all demons from my past,
for I would be made new.
Marianne Williamson’s work has been a part of my inspirational readings for many years. Like me, she grew up in the turbulent decades of “drugs, sex, rock and roll.” She also caved to the demons of her times. ILLUMINATA The above excerpt from a prayer for healing reminds me everyday that my “harsh and critical nature” is not totally resolved within me. It is one of the major character defects which can turn my daily interactions into completely chaotic fiascos. Just one word from my quick, unthinking tongue can erase tireless efforts to be the man whom I believe my HP wants me to be. A biting comment, an insult, an unwanted opinion in the morning has the power to shadow me for the entire day. Today, I am aware of my defects and at least now I have the tools to prevent the unkind thoughts and words from ever escaping out of my mouth….most of the time.
We don’t claim spiritual perfection, just progress. Thank God for this disclaimer. Without it I would be eternally lost in the seas of self-loathing and despair believing that I am the least worthy and most despicable of God’s creation. But, my HP delivers to me each new day the strength and resolve to become a better version of the old drunk, to become a vessel carrying his word to a suffering and distraught fellowship of other drunks, and to become a recovering voice in the darkness of addiction. And because he says I am a work in progress, I need not do this perfectly. I merely need the willingness to try.
That same harsh and critical nature is frequently turned inward. I am undoubtedly my own worst critic. If I truly believe that God’s saving grace has covered me with unmerited and undeserved mercy then how dare I dispute the work he has done in my life and the plan he has for me? How dare I criticize the miracle working within me? It is not up to me to judge others or myself. The indwelling Spirit allows me to be the observer of life, allows thoughts to enter and depart without passing judgement on them, allows others to travel this path alongside me without passing judgement on them, and allows me to be nothing more…or less…than a simple messenger.
Following is a daily petition inspired by Marianne Williamson in ILLUMINATA
“….cast from me all harsh and critical nature, cast from me all anger and violence; cast from me all doubt and insecurity, cast from me all fear and hatred.”
Just as the SERENITY PRAYER was my mantra in early sobriety and continues to be a source of strength today, my version of Marianne’s supplication is a mainstay in the cultural and political chaos of not only America but the entire world. When insight, understanding, and compassion seem to fail, what is left is either a plea to think, speak, and act in a civil and fearless manner or to react, respond, and attack in a hostile manner indicative of our prehistoric gene pool.
And therein is the solution to any and all issues facing us today. We live in a world which has polarized its population into two groups. The one advocates for the inherent rights of all people, the other attempts to continue the tribal instinct of self-protection at the expense of the remainder of mankind. One is the path to enlightenment and global co-existence, the other leads to oppression and eventual species annihilation. The choice of which direction to pursue is an individual decision. It sounds too utterly simplistic, but each one of us needs to decide on which side we will stand in the evolution or regression of mankind. We will all eventually exit this life in this world as dead carcasses so, it’s a matter of eternal legacy, isn’t it? Which legacy am I pursuing?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…..” DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
by Marianne Williamson, ‘ILLUMINATA’
Please bless and protect this sacred jewel, Our vulnerable planet so besieged.
May the rivers and the oceans and the sky and the land all be repaired somehow, dear Lord.
May the barbarism end, which threatens to destroy our priceless treasure. For surely the earth has been our home, the home of our parents unto all generations.
For the sake of our children, Lord, save this earth. Place in all minds a greater awe before her mysteries.
Shield her and heal her wounds, restore her to her former glory. Save her, Lord, from us. Amen.
“We have an opportunity at this time in history to completely change the course of human culture. That opportunity is not simply an option anymore, it is a gauntlet thrown down by the forces of history before a generation still not decided whether money and power or love and brotherhood should form the basis of our civilization. And we will decide, or life will decide for us. The human species will learn to become profoundly compassionate toward itself and toward all life. We will learn it through wisdom, or we will learn it through pain. But we will learn, because it’s God’s will that we become the people he has created us to be. It’s not up to us where we are going—but, how we get there and when is determined by every choice we make, every moment of every day.”
Marianne Williamson, “EVERYDAY GRACE”
Whom are we created to be? The world’s movers and shakers today chase after money and power while over 75% of our world’s population lives in poverty only dreaming of having enough food or proper sanitation or potable water. Corporate and personal wealth in the United States is mind-boggling yet one in five American children go to bed hungry. The compassionate world our God intended was not one divided over issues of power, wealth, and theology. The world’s massive wealth was not intended for just 1% of the world’s population. Every sacred scripture points to enlightenment as a civilization where all are created equal, where all are deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, where all share a piece of God’s blessing in brotherhood.
We seem to forget that our Creator had a game plan. Whether you believe in the creation story of the Jews and Muslims, the Hindus, or the Buddhists is unimportant. We were created as a compassionate species whose sole purpose was to please and venerate our Father. We seem to forget that God is holding the trump card, that his will shall prevail with or without our approval and cooperation. So, how do we conduct ourselves? Shall we learn through wisdom or through pain? It’s our call.
from EVERYDAY GRACE by Marianne Williamson
“We cannot give what we do not have. We cannot bring peace to the world if we ourselves are not peaceful. We cannot bring love to the world if we ourselves are not loving.”
LORD, it all starts with me, doesn’t it? Challenge me to acknowledge your power, live your power, share your power. It is the only reason for existence in your world. Transform me, bring light to the dark places, reveal love where I believe there is none.
It’s an inside job that only you are qualified to do. AMEN
from ST. FRANCIS
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where injury, pardon; where doubt, faith; where despair, hope; where darkness, light; where sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.