Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain. – Robert Gary Lee
I didn’t realize I was still in pain.
My mother-in-law arrived in Kansas before Hurricane Irene arrived on the East Coast. Bertha is 81 years old and the possibility of being without electricity made the decision an easy one. While Miami was spared, we didn’t have the benefit of hindsight.
She returned to Florida last week. That’s when I felt the pain.
My mother died two years ago. Her death was self-inflicted. She didn’t commit suicide; her death was more of a slow burn. Years of substance abuse found its revenge.
My mom could have enjoyed time with her children and grandchildren; but she wanted to enjoy the bottle more. A mother’s choice, I suppose.
Forgiveness provided closure, but it hasn’t really soothed the pain.
The time with my mother-in-law went as expected. Bertha made sure we understood what she needed. Mary Beth and I took turns escorting her down the stairs each morning and then back up at night. Meals were prepared to her liking, Wheel of Fortune was never missed and I made myself available for her evening walks.
Doing these things didn’t make my angry – they just bubbled up the pain of not having a mother to do these things with. My reality, and the pain it brings, leaves me insecure, frightened, and desperate for a mother’s love.
Just as I was conceived and grew in my mother’s womb, I also became who I am today because of her choices. I am from her.
Nothing will change this fact. This is who I am no matter how perfect I try to become; no matter how much money I try to make and no matter how much love I demand.
The more I try to ignore my reality, the more painful life becomes.
I see this truth with pristine clarity now.
The night before Bertha left, I invited her to come back to Kansas. Hurricane or not, I told my mother-in-law she is welcome here. For a brief moment, there was a connection – like the connection between a mother and a son when the mother is trying to say, “Thank you for taking care of me like I once took care of you.”
Imagined or real, the moment brought relief. It told me the pain was not stronger than me.
And in that moment, I saw a little daylight, found the energy to start the next healing journey and felt the hope for peace – sweet, beautiful peace.
20 Simple Prayers
One remedy I’ve found to release the pain, is to say a simple prayer every day. These prayers aren’t very long, but they are packed full of meaning. I post these prayers on The BridgeMaker Facebook page. Consider one of these simple prayers the next time you need to find some peace, too.
- A simple prayer today: Allow self-love to fill me up and for its presence to encourage others to do the same.
- A simple prayer today: Allow kindness to come alive in the souls where it has grown dark.
- A simple prayer today: Help me use my power today to melt the walls that keep me from being the person I was made to be.
- A simple prayer today: Help me remember my power is mine to give away, or to keep – give me the strength to hold on tight.
- A simple prayer today: Help me remember my greatest purpose is to be happy.
- A simple prayer today: Help me see myself through God’s eyes.
- A simple prayer today: Help me see the gift in every situation and then appreciate the lesson behind each one.
- A simple prayer today: Remind me of my power to silence fear.
- A simple prayer today: Help me do the next right thing.
- A simple prayer today: Allow joy to fill us from head to toe.
- A simple prayer today: Help me find peace and to be love.
- A simple prayer today: Give us the courage to say, “I am happy” when that’s exactly how we feel.
- A simple prayer today: Help us see the everyday miracles that are happening around us.
- A simple prayer today: When we fall, help us get back up.
- A simple prayer today: Help us hear the chaos as a chorus.
- A simple prayer today: May we receive the peace we deserve.
- A simple prayer today: Give us the energy to take us where our hearts want to go.
- A simple prayer today: May we invite healing into our lives to help make our bodies stronger and minds clearer.
- A simple prayer today: May we remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
- A simple prayer today: May our hope come alive and our doubt become silent.