However you describe it—self-discovery, authenticity, growth, personal development, actualization, purpose, passion, or transformation—the choice to question and to change is a journey of fits, starts, forks, decisions, lessons, frustrations, repeats, epiphanies, and miracles. Well, at least mine is.
When I embarked on my journey, I did so with the help of three prayers I borrowed from Anne Lamott—Help, Thanks, & Wow. These are the three essential prayers she wrote about in her book by the same name. I figured if these were the essential prayers Lamott culled from her life, these were going to be the only prayers I would need. And indeed, they served me well, especially Help. Most often prayed with the urgency, and in some instances desperation, of an added exclamation point Help!
I now can see the gifts these prayers provided were the gifts of time and grace. Time to take a step back, time to take stock of what was happening, grace to avoid acting or reacting, and grace to remind myself I am a perfect work in progress. The simple blessing of these prayers was a momentary spaciousness in which to breathe, let go, and regain perspective.
But lately, I find myself using a new prayer. This in not an original prayer, I read it somewhere along my travels. To the unknown author of this verse, poem, or prayer, thank you. I am grateful for your words:
Help me to see,
Make me aware.
Where once I was praying for intercession, I now find myself praying for clarity and wisdom. Uttering these words is an invocation, an invitation to take the time to understand and appreciate the mystery that lies before me more fully.
Best kept secret #4? Have something personally meaningful—a word, poem, verse, or prayer —at the ready. It creates a spaciousness to be, to reflect, to question, and to receive. But know that, as your journey changes you, so too will you change your prayers.