My early efforts with prayer and asking for God’s help felt like failure. And as I read more about it, I decided the failure must be mine.
Every book I consulted insisted that God was always responding to us, we were the ones unable or unwilling to see.
My answer was to try to work it out on my own, read everything I could find about mysticism, faith, meditation and prayer, and then hopefully reach a conclusion about what worked.
A closed system
Unfortunately because I felt God hadn’t answered me, and because I knew theologically that God is perfect and unchanging, I pretty much wrote God out of the picture while I went about trying to “fix” myself.
I’ve had a kind of iron-clad focus on finding my own answers, and even things like faith and trust were translated into belief-states or attitudes rather than relational states of being.
In effect, I was so convinced that I was the problem I stopped expecting or looking for help from outside.
Learning how to trust
Sometimes it’s empowering to look for answers on your own, but to always be alone in the search is actually bleak and miserable.
It makes a lot of sense: feeling betrayed and let down by God and other people, I resolved to work it all out by myself without help. If you can’t rely on help, take pride in your independence.
But as Esther Hicks likes to ask “And how’s that working out for you?”
I was so convinced I needed to find all the answers before moving forward that I ignored the bigger picture of God’s help.
It’s true that the resistance is all on our side of our relationship with God, but that doesn’t mean we have to do all the work, or that we have to fix everything ourselves before receiving assistance.
It reminds me of my son wanting to do things by himself, even when I can see the task is more complex than he realises. Sometimes I have to just let him try until he realises for himself that he needs my help. And then we can work together as I show him how to do it.
Ready to trust
I’ve reached a point with the Abraham-Hicks teachings where I know how to feel good all day, by focusing on thoughts that feel good to me and letting go of thoughts that don’t.
But whether it be Abraham-Hicks, Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism, Sufism or Christianity, everyone has said I need to trust more, and my response up to now has been “I’ll try that, and see if it works”.
Which simply means I wasn’t ready to actually trust. I wasn’t ready -until now- to open up this closed system of my own thoughts and perceptions and depend on something greater.
Trust that all is well. Trust that it is being done. Trust that everything is ordered for our happiness and my happiness in particular. Trust that God’s love is active, not inert. Trust that He wants me to be happy and is moving Heaven and Earth to make it happen. Trust that I don’t have to do it on my own.