Prayer and physio.

I’ve been busy, but I’ve been using my busyness as a barrier to spending time in prayer and meditation. And this, if I’m honest, is why: because I’m scared.

The wonderful theologian Michael Mayne (why have I only discovered him this week?) writes, on prayer, that “in silence we might find disturbing feelings bubbling up from our unconsciousness”. He writes that it’s the silence which we enter which opens us up to feelings we’ve long supressed, or refused to acknowledge, or thought we’d dealt with. Feelings that we’re ashamed of, that might be connected with the darker side of who we are. The emergence of this “shadow side”, he writes, is healthy, and can be a healing process.

I do want healing. I do want health: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. I do want wholeness, and I feel that I’m doing the things I need to do to get there: I’m eating well, not drinking too much, keeping myself safe when I’m not ok; I’m living a life in accordance with my values. But I’m not doing all the things I need to do to get there. I’ve been frantically trying to stop myself from feeling what was done to me. Trying to stop myself from feeling anger, and shame, and above all from feeling hurt and grief, because those feelings are horrible, and prickly, and painful, and if I’m honest with myself I don’t know how to handle them. So I keep busy and I make it hard for myself to do anything – like spend time in prayer and meditation – which gives these feelings an in. I don’t want them anywhere near me.

But that’s not how it works. If I break my leg tomorrow, I’ll spend time immobile in a cast, but then I’ll spend weeks in painful physical therapy, pushing myself, agonisingly stretching and strengthening abused and weakend muscles – and I’ll have no choice if I ever want to walk, and run, and move with the freedom and flexibility I currently enjoy. Not that I’ve ever broken my leg, or am planning on doing so – ever – but I’ve had enough experience of physical therapy to know that it’s painful.

Not as painful, perhaps, as the need to spend time feeling things I’ve long tried to pretend aren’t there. But there isn’t a choice. I feel them now, or I let them continue to cripple me. And my life is worth more than that.

Still, all in all, right now I think I’d rather the physio.

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4 thoughts on “Prayer and physio.

  1. Yes you are right your life is worth far more than those feelings. All who know and love you know just how valuable your life is to them. You are valuable for who you are, and increasingly for your positive influence that extends far beyond your immediate circle of family and friends.

  2. And whilst it may be painful…know that you are not alone…but upheld by the prayers of others, who admire your strength & courage, who wish you well, who are part of a ‘crowd of witnesses’ cheering you on & who may not be able to take the pain for you,(…or even fully…truely understand the depth of the pain & difficulty..) but who know that there is a Saviour who does & whom we can entrust with your care as we bring you before the throne of grace & we know that He will be there for you and with you! 🙂

  3. Thank you, all. It’s a timely reminder of the love and prayers that we as a family – the cloud of witnesses, all of whom are deeply connected – share as we all dwell in the love of the Creator of love.

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