Most of us share a common belief that life is dangerous, unpredictable, and unforgiving. No matter how confident some may appear, there is fear purring in the core that everything is fragile and intent on ruin.
Perhaps this fear has been genetically passed down to us by our ancestors, surviving hunger, thirst, intense cold and heat, and the threat of wild animals. Some may even say that fear keeps us alive and is extremely valuable to our survival. We are constantly on guard, balancing on a tightrope over a bottomless abyss, and hoping that today it won’t swallow us up.
This fear of missteps and danger is hardwired into our nervous systems. We want to live and we are simultaneously terrified of life.
I feel this fear from nearly everyone around me. We step lightly as if constantly being watched by death, who may also be wearing the cloaks of failure, shame, and poverty. This is how it has been for thousands of years, and we are still nations powered by cortisol and temporary highs.
Prayer can be a powerful way to unravel core fear. But what do we pray for? The opposite of fear is surrender to the Divine. We can pray to let go into the Divine – let go completely. We pray to stall the gears that cling to control every aspect of our lives. We do our best and surrender everything, even the focus on surrender.
Deep inside, we know that we have no control and interpret that as weakness. However, there is strength and freedom in the wisdom that we are vulnerable, ephemeral, and our lives brighten and dim. There is profound mystery in the life process, which can only be felt while letting go – not holding on.
I do not pray for wealth, comfort, or certainty. I pray to let go ever more deeply into the mystery that lives all of us. I pray to live a life of gratitude and wonderment. I pray to tread lightly with profound respect for all life. I breathe the same air that filled the lungs of others and carried birds and butterflies across continents. I borrow the atoms of those who lived before me. I am thankful. Period.
I walk my tightrope as if it were a giant bridge. What is the point of quivering? Humanity wants to be sure of something – anything. Well, we can be sure of now. And that certainly is humbling.
Even deeper than our fear is the knowledge of the present, giving of Itself to us. When we hear its song, we let ourselves be free of wishing, calculating, and maneuvering. We stop thinking, speaking, and doing, and we begin to listen.
While life wants us to live, people primarily want themselves to live – and to live well. With all of our technology and ability to soften our surroundings, there is a lack of consensus that we can wish each other well. We judge one another to determine our place on the food chain, and we fear that we are not at the top. We hate the ones who have more of what we think we want. We hate ourselves for being so breakable.
I do not care that there are those who appear to have more than me because I believe that there is enough for everyone. Maybe if we all saw this, the entire puzzle of survival would vanish. Maybe the narrowmindedness of short-term gains would simply disappear and a new reality of coexistence with each other and the planet would emerge?
True power is in knowing that we are completely interconnected in life and in death. True power is living life to the brightest torch to which we can align and let go of the rest.
There is an absolute moral compass that always points toward true north. The heart of the human race is true and pure, regardless of the soiled vestments we may wear. 7.6 billion equals 1. Always 1.