Periodically, I see images posted on Facebook that sound good, but actually reinforce negative beliefs about ourselves. This is the one I found today. First, I’m going to tell you why each line doesn’t work as a healthy prayer. Then I’ll rewrite it for you.
Dear God – you can ask God for help, but each of the items here is actually something that you can do for yourself. If you want to ask for help from above, there’s nothing wrong with it, just remember that you are ultimately responsible to make changes in your life to make you happier, healthier, and more joyful. God (and angels, and guides, and ancestors, etc.) can only help.
Enlighten what is dark in me – this implies that darkness is bad. Darkness is the great mystery – it is not supposed to have light shed upon it. Or perhaps this person is using darkness to imply the shadow places which hold her pain, in which case it’s again not about shining light on the area, but in embracing that part of ourselves that we are denying or in letting go of stories that do not serve.
Strengthen what is weak in me – this implies that we should be strong in every area. This is impossible and another way in which we create an unrealistic expectation for ourselves.
Mend what’s broken in me – too often we assume ourselves or others to be broken when inherently we are always whole. It is the coping mechanisms that are no longer valid or the beliefs that do not serve that hold us back.
Bind what’s bruised in me – I’m not sure what they mean by the word “bind” here, so I want to change it to be more clear. Tend to, heal, baby, care for, etc. would all be better words.
Heal what’s sick in me – sickness or dis-ease is the belief that creates illness. Acknowledging sickness doesn’t heal it. Acknowledging the illusion does.
Revive what peace and love have died in me – first, ick. Do you really want to think there is dead peace and love inside of you? And then the idea that they have died is a false one too. If they were truly dead, you wouldn’t want them back. What you want back is the experience of them. They are still there, you just can’t feel them.
I would actually change this pretty dramatically.
Dear Self,Help me embrace that which I do not find lovable in me. Help me to realize that it is part of what makes me unique and is, in fact, part of that love-ability that I so crave and sometimes forget I have.Help me to recognize that weakness is not a failing, but a place of vulnerability. It is not to be strengthened, but is instead to also be accepted. Please send me those who are strong in the places where I am weak, so that they can help me.Remind me that I am never broken. Brokenness is an illusion. The only thing that can be broken in me are coping mechanisms which were never part of me to begin with. I am always whole and perfect, just as I am.Tend to my bruises because they are the places where I have done the hard work and healing is needed to allow for integration. Remind me to take time to allow for the healing and to ask for help when I need it – or even just when I want it.Relieve whatever dis-ease has gotten stuck in my energy field. I promise to let go of my belief that it is real.Open me to receive all the love I have forgotten to accept in my life. It will help me to find my peace, love, and compassion for others once more.Amen.
What do you think? Is there anything I missed?