I lived in the land of Too Little, Too Late for most of the first half of my life. It’s a way of life dominated by stress, impending doom, scrambling to make ends get within sight of each other (they never did meet.) Life in Too Little, Too Late is so chaotic, there is no time and not enough peace to sit and figure out where to find the exit door.
I had a prayer at that time and I chanted it regularly: “Oh, s%#t. Oh, s%#t. Oh, s%#t.” That prayer loosely translates to “Not again! I don’t know what to do. I hope, I hope, I hope. I pretend, I pretend, I pretend.” I chanted that prayer, followed by the pretending prayer so often that I inaccurately taught myself that words and thoughts weren’t powerful. I had no awareness that the under-lying words/thoughts were coming true every time: I’m screwed. I had no awareness that the under-lying prayer/chants only allowed me to act in ways that kept producing those undesired results. I had no awareness that the under-lying prayer/chants were–that I was–powerful.
That kind of repetitious prayer in the land of Too Little, Too Late is a rapidly descending elevator ride and, by the time the chanting starts, the elevator is already below ground. There is no natural light. I rode it down so long that I reached a floor that truly scared me and, in that moment, I realized that I had no answers–there were no answers in my brain. However, there was a glimmer of light on a possible answer floating outside of me: “Ask someone else. Tell them you’re lost and ask for direction.” In desperation, I decided to ask. The elevator began to rise slowly.
What happens when we reach the point where our prayers only produce results that don’t work and we make that decision to ask for help? New thoughts. New prayers. Someone doing better than us shares new thoughts and new prayers. When I first heard them, I thought they were more lies.
“There is enough time. There is enough love. There is enough money.” How could there be enough when I only got too little, too late?
To embrace those prayers, I added one word: Maybe. Maybe there is enough time. Maybe there is enough love. Maybe there is enough money. Even though Maybe is a word of uncertainty, it was a big step up from what I had been praying most of my life: “Oh, s%#t. Oh, s%#t. Oh, s%#t.” It turned out that Maybe was the travel visa that allowed me to leave Too Little, Too Late. “Maybe” opened the door to a world of possibility and opened my eyes to witnessing others living out those possibilities.
My descending elevator began to rise many years ago and it’s still rising. I seldom prayer “Oh, s%#t. Oh, s%#t. Oh, s%#t.” anymore and, if I do, I hear it quickly and I immediately know it’s no longer true. It has been replaced with one prayer in many forms. Sometimes it takes the form of “I want this and I will ensure that my thoughts, actions, and prayers lead me to it.” Sometimes it takes the form of “I don’t know where I’m going but I know I’ll get there.” No matter which form it takes it always translates to
I am blessed with enough and it’s here on time.
Excerpted from “Your Life Is Your Prayer,”