There’s a lot to say about silence.
I'm wondering if other people do this too... but before I get to it, some backstory--
So, I used to be that person that wouldn't bother God with my trivial stuff. I always felt like He had too much on his plate already. It was weird to me, in my true softball days, that some teams would pray beforehand. You know, He's got the homeless, dying kids, wars, etc., to deal with. I just didn't see it.
After hitting a pretty huge plot twist in my life a few years ago, I was reminded that God could take that load off my shoulders. "Oh yeah!" I almost FORGOT about talking to Him, aside from the usual "Please watch over my family, etc." that I do everyday. I immediately felt lighter. Holy... I don't have to do this myself. Sometimes we forget that.
Isn't it crazy? I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic private school for eight years, church... all the stuff. And I had to be reminded. I had to be told that God wants in on EVERYTHING. Even the silly stuff. He wants to be my best friend and have that continuous conversation. And only then, when it becomes a part of you, when it's habitual, will you never "forget" again. And you will never be alone, either.
This is my issue---
I've grown accustomed to praying so much- especially in the beginning when that plot twist was too strong for me, it was like every five minutes when I felt I had no control over my thoughts. There was obsessive worry about a loved one, and I couldn't get a hold on mindfulness just yet. Everything has calmed down since, with a lot of work, but I pray so much now- just shooting up a quick sentence here and there- that I have to remind myself not to pray when I'm on the toilet (especially #2, am I right?). It's always when I'm peeing. Potty Prayer. I don't know what it is. Is it because I have a few minutes of quiet? When I'm not multitasking a million things? My mind drifts, does it's wandering, and I catch myself shooting up a prayer over whatever it drifts to. I have to tell myself, "Do not pray when you're peeing." I apologize then. This can wait.
By the way, I still play softball. And I do pray. Not to win or anything ridiculous like that, but to not get hurt, basically. Every 300 pound man that gets up while I'm playing 3rd or 2nd-- you bet your ass I'm praying that a line drive doesn't hit a rock and hit my temple or something. (That movie Simon Birch comes to mind a lot). I'm not as fearless as I once was. I try to grow into the youth that I once was. It doesn't always work. Things are different when you get older. I have to work tomorrow. This is a beer league. So, yeah, I pray on the field now.
Better than on the toilet.
Have a Silly Monday,
One weekend I was back home, hanging out with my sister, bro-in-law, and the kiddos, reveling in some cozy at-home time. The kids must've been razzing my nephew, Joshie, 5yrs old, because all of a sudden he yelled, "I DO TOO LIKE YELLOW!!!" "What's happening?" asked the adults. "She's saying that I don't like yellow and I do!" fumed Joshie. He was TICKED. The anger amplified by the minute. We adults snickered at the ridiculousness of this. They said something parental, which I don't remember, and Joshie moved on.
I thought to myself, wow, how often do I do that too? I'm probably doing it right now. Holding onto things that don't matter at all, really? My situations don't ever FEEL ridiculous, of course, because adults deal with heavier issues, but it still is the same thing when you get down to it.
"I DO TOO LIKE YELLOW!" Very much like the key phrases:
- "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?"
- "How important is it?"
- "How cheaply am I willing to sell my serenity?"
These quotes help when I find myself over-analyzing or obsessing over a situation out of my control and not giving my energy to the present moment, or what really matters. My thoughts can drift to past conversations, situations as unfair as all get out (narcissists are everywhere here in adulthood! You deal with one and ten more come out of the woodwork!), the woulda coulda shouldas... Resentments, memories that barge in uninvited, caring about what other people think-in any way, other people's words or behavior, a misunderstanding, a complete misconception of me- or my work, or a flat out untruth, etc. How often am I bellowing out “I DO TOO LIKE YELLOW!”, deep down, subconsciously, instead of letting go?
At that time, I noticed the correlation with Joshie's anger and some floating feelings of mine, stemming from my boss, company politics, which then expands into a downward black spiral of national politics, and maybe some intrusive unnerving memories of an ex-headcase that comes with random instigators once in a while, trying to get an uprise of mental anguish from me. In such a case, I feel like God is the adult and I am the child, and He’s telling me, “It doesn’t matter. The point is that you are out of that situation. Focus on what’s important- what’s in front of you.”
This correlation is also pertinent to interactions with family members and friends. And again, politics- any situation out of our control. When you feel like people just don't "get it", or, in Joshie’s case, don’t “get you"-- even if it's your circle, your tribe, the ones who should above all others "get you"--- and you have to defend yourself... You really don't. Ever.
I have a wise old friend that always reminds me, "You know the truth. God knows the truth. That's all that is necessary." I never thought that I needed those words as much as I do. I've always considered myself one that doesn't care what people think. But that emerges for all of us in a deeper sense everyday. There will always be cases where we have to practice this logic. Detach. There are people we come into contact with daily that will just never "get it". Their behavior and words could really get me seething... Or I can detach from it completely and cut that string. It doesn’t have to affect me.
We expect our families to truly know us. But, do you know of anyone who actually feels this way? Me neither. We are human. It can feel comfortless and isolating, but that's all a part of it. It's why we need God so much (or whatever you deem your Higher Power to be), and why it's imperative to strengthen that spiritual relationship continuously.
Because I am a sucker for quotes, I will also lay down these well-known gems:
- "Never waste time on people who are committed to misunderstanding you."
- "Be a good person, but don't waste time proving it."
Now, when I find myself upset or holding onto something that I need to let go of, when I have this awareness, I hear Joshie screaming "I DO TOO LIKE YELLOW!!!" And I am aware that I am being silly, and I move on.
Silly Monday to you,
Did you like this post? Tell me a trick or quote that helps you to detach and let go in the comments below. Please share this post and subscribe below to receive this silly blog in your inbox twice a month.
This one time, I was so drunk...
We had a girls' night celebrating some small victories and I got dropped off at home. I was sitting on my front porch, having a cigarette before I went to bed. I saw a deer on my neighbor's lawn, diagonally across the street from me. He was looking at me. He moved a little bit. Squinting, I tried to see across the street in the dark at this creature that seemed to be doing the same to me. We had a stare down. He's judging my drunk ass. I agreed with him and went to bed.
The next morning, out my window, I see that the deer is still there, alright. Fake. He's a lawn figure thingee that my weirdo neighbor youths just put out on their lawn the day before. Or did they? How long has that thing been there? As you will see, his head is completely turned away, as if the whole neighborhood has been shunned. Same attitude as the youths that live there.
I swear he was looking at me. I swear I saw him move that night.
Stare-downs with statues.
It was funny to me.
Have a Silly Monday,
We're going sledding up north at the cottage this weekend. I remember...
I was a younger tween-ish something. We were up north with my cousins and aunt and uncle. My dad and my uncle take the four kids sledding.
They look at all the kids and think, "Why isn't anyone on that hill right there?"
We'll come back to this. This will always be a sign for decision-making.
So, we go doubles on a sled and my nothing-but-a-peanut of a cousin, Ellen, is in front of me. She's six years younger than me. Basically a toddler at the time.
That is why when we flew into the air because of a bump not seen in the white snow, WE didn't come down the same way with the same force. My tailbone took it all. All of the force. Going through the air, in slow motion (picture faces in slow motion screaming), the helplessness hit that I have no control over what's about to happen. This is going to hurt.
To this day, I have to watch how I sit. Sometimes I have to readjust and lift a cheek (like how untrustworthy boys do when they fart. You know, they just kind of... lift a cheek?). I wonder if co-workers think that's what I'm doing. I am not farting! It's my tailbone.
Sometimes I'll come home and have to lay on my belly. How your feet hurt after a long day? My butt hurts. Like how bad knees tell you when it's raining? My butt hurts. I don't really know that for sure because I have bad knees too. So, I just know it's going to rain.
I have clear visions of my dad, my uncle, my cousin, and my sister (because she laughed) at this snippet of time in my memory. I guess you could say that they are all literally a pain in my ass.
Make your dads go first.
Also, whenever you ask yourself "Why aren't people over here?" or "Why wouldn't everyone do such and such?".... Stop and reassess the situation. Maybe ask someone.
I asked myself something similar in Maui. "Why aren't people swimming at sunset?" (It's feeding time for sharks. I found that out and never did that again. If Hawaiians aren't in the water, you don't go in the water.)
There's always a reason... If it's an obvious thought, don't you think all the dummies out there would have thought of that too? Sometimes following the crowd is a good thing.
Just thinking about the unfortunate event is making me mad at my sister for laughing. Inappropriate timing. Jerk.
Take a minute to be silly today,