Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to get out of the way

One of the most powerful prayers I have ever prayed has come as a result of complete surrender to a difficult situation that I could not change. I was so distraught by my bonus-daughter's(we use this term instead of step because of it's positivity) behavior and lifestyle that I could no longer participate in her life.
First, she didn't really want me in it because of the shame that she was carrying and second, I was so tired of trying and hoping and being let down that I could no longer carry on in the same way I had.

Many people in relationships where one person is self destructive, keep hoping that things will change but they must realize it is not within their power to change another. How many times have we heard this? You can't change others, you can only change yourself, but keep going into the breach thinking, "this time will be different. This time it will make a difference." But it doesn't. Then it becomes enabling and the shame pit gets deeper and deeper.

So here I was at the end of my rope worn out emotionally and feeling sad. I found myself sitting in a bookstore cafe in Fairfield, Iowa. I had taken a lunch break from working with patients and found myself sitting in the self-help section of the shop. And to my right was a book title that caught my eye, "The Dynamic Laws of Prayer" by Catherine Ponder. Ms. Ponder is a prolific writer and minister of the Unity Church. I already had several of her books and didn't know this one even existed! I opened the book and found the Prayer of Release.

This prayer will save you all kinds of time, trouble and heartache. She writes in the chapter The Prayer of Cleansing about this Prayer of Release, "You must cleanse yourself of possessively clinging to other people in your life, telling them what to do in the name of "love," if you want your own prayers to be answered."

That really hit home! It described exactly what I had been doing with my bonus-daughter. And here is the prayer that helped me finally let go:

I fully and freely release you. I loose you and let you go.
I let go and let God have his way in your life.

That's it. Short, sweet and to the point. USE THIS PRAYER. If you have something or someone in your life that is not responding in a healthy way YOU need to let go. This doesn't mean you don't want them to get well but it releases YOU and your "need" to make them change. Everyone has their own path to walk, we cannot walk it for someone else. When you release others to their own path it is surprising what can now take place.

Oh and my bonus-daughter is now happy, healthy and fully engaged in a wonderful life!

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