My demeanor has changed.
My son told me the other day, “Mom, you used to yell all the time—now you don’t anymore.”
I am clearly calmer, and I don’t fly off the handle so easily.
A few years ago, I started a simple practice. I did a morning writing, a morning prayer, a morning journal, and a morning meditation.
I have a notebook next to my bed and a pen. Before I get up, I begin to write—my writing usually sounds like this:
“Dear Lord, my creator: I give you all of me today. I surrender to you everything that I am and everything that I have. I call out to you, Lord, please hear me. I surrender to you, and I lay it all at your feet. Please guide my day. Please show me which path to take. Please make your presence known. Please show me who I can help today and how to do that. Please take me and walk with me.”
This is just an example, but I let it flow. Usually, if there is something weighing heavily on me, I pray about that specifically.
I pray for the people in my family for their safety and protection.
I pray for all of the people in my life who come to mind and write their names down as well. I continue to ask throughout the day and pray for calmness, for the right thought or action, and to be constantly reminded of presence.
There were times in my life when anxiety would strike at night, and I couldn’t sleep. I would literally sleep with a notebook and wake up in the night and just write in the dark.
It’s illegible, of course, but I think the sentiment is the same. Carving out a quiet place and a time to speak with (and to) my “higher power” or God of my understanding creates such a connection and helps me feel less alone in this great, big world.
I always work through my fears and anxieties. I ask for answers about the unknown, for things I need or want, even if that’s not what praying is all about.
I seek wisdom.
I turn my life and will over to the care of God as I understand God (step three in Alcoholics Anonymous).
I used to fly off the handle and had such a bad temper. I threw things and punched walls. I peeled out in my car when I was hot or angry. I ran away from arguments. I used to drink and use drugs because of people who hurt me, but it didn’t damage them—it damaged me.
I stuffed myself with food and went shopping to heal my hurts, but after trying all of these things, this practice has been a saving grace for me.
Taking five minutes (sometimes longer, if I have the time) in the morning and connecting with God has made me feel less alone.
I feel more connected with everything, and I crave this time alone with my creator.
Sometimes, I even come back for seconds.