“breath” prayers


Focused on the flower


A “breath” prayer is a prayer that can be said in one breath.  The ancient monks often prayed, “Lord, have mercy” as their “breath” prayers.  Christians often repeat the name, “Jesus”. I have a number of them.  A few of my favorites are, “Be still and know”, “He makes me lie down”, “Be anxious for nothing”.

Today I’m including, “Focus”.

It’s one of those days.  Someone I love is going through a difficult time.  She lost something.  That’s it.  She just lost something.  Nothing irreplaceable, mostly annoying.  Sandwiched in between some other situations, however, that were troublesome.  But she let it mushroom.  While it was mushrooming, she ruminated. (Rumination is going over the same thing again and again. Unless once is determinedly seeking constructive answers, it always leads one down the path to destructive thinking.) Finally, after ten days of berating herself, she let a couple of people in on it.

I was one of those people.

At first, I wanted to laugh because it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  I listened instead.  I knew what she was doing.  It doesn’t matter what our age, we react to stress by doing something constructive about it or we let it sour other parts of our life. Because of the mighty outpouring of adrenaline, our emotions run out of control. We make mistakes, sometimes really big ones.  (One friend of mine ignored a stop sign due to her stress levels.  She now has a different car and a few points on her driver’s license. ) Our thoughts get all messed up. Stress unchecked has a destructive effect on all parts of our body.  Our constant rehashing keeps the adrenaline levels elevated-not a good thing.  I reassured her that her losing something wasn’t nearly as much of a problem as her thinking she had to keep it secret.  She was “humiliated she had done such a thing and embarrassed to let anyone else know about it.” She kept her own stress level up by keeping it hidden. When she realized it wasn’t such a big deal, she seemed to do better.

The issue for me today?

 Focus. Focus on not letting myself get dragged down to place where I juxtapose this incident onto everything else. And I could.  Her perception of her failing health has great implications for me as well. 

Focus. Focus on the fact that when I need further wisdom, I will receive it.

Focus. Focus on what I can and cannot do. And what I can’t do is make anyone think positively if they’re determined to think negatively, especially if it has been their lifelong pattern.

Focus. Focus on not feeling guilty although all the events but one happened the week before I left. (I will be gone one week.)

Focus. Focus on not buying into unnecessary drama.

Focus. Focus on not letting the stress of how she’s feeling cause me stress! 🙂

Maybe that’s a “breath” prayer you can pray today if you’re trying to stay above the fray.