I wasn’t raised with the idea that the Spirit of God was within me, was the animating Spirit of me, and so as a little girl, when I prayed, I imagined that God was something other than me; something distant, remote, unknowable and ultimately impossible to please. This logically led to prayers that were more like groveling, pleas for help, hopeful wishing, and sometimes despair, anger and frustration. I finally abandoned this conception of God altogether in my 20’s and declared myself an atheist which frankly seemed like a step up (at the time) in the living of a happy life.
I had a spiritual awakening when I was 30, and this was the beginning of a conscious quest to find the The God of connection, peace, harmony, acceptance, beauty, wisdom: The God of Love. The thing that I feared, rejected, and finally found, was never lost, but it was in the last place that I looked: within myself….within each beating heart.
Even today, I sometimes catch myself praying as if I need to convince someone else that I am worthy. And if I pay attention to the tone of this kind of prayer, I can feel that it is not a recognition of the Spirit within, but is coming from a fearful, desperate place of “small human trying to get Big God to act on my behalf”. When I do slip into this way of thinking, I now recognize that I’ve simply (temporarily) fallen asleep spiritually…I’ve forgotten that God/Spirit/Universal Life Force is as close as my breath, my heartbeat, my thought, and it’s time to go within.
“As soon as man is (consciously) at one with God, he will not beg.” Ralph Waldo Emerson