From Whoever I Am

My prayers are vague, unfocused, unlike the formal prayers I learned as a child. Those words lost their meaning and ability to comfort me long ago. As I’ve grown (aged?), I’ve allowed most of my formal religious training to drop away. I’ve replaced it with an odd mashup of pop-spirituality, mysticism, and vaguely positive thinking. If I read something I like, I throw it in the mix, hoping that on some level I’m becoming a better person for the effort. Through it all, I’m still searching for answers—who am I? why am I here? what does my life mean?

When I sat down to write this morning, after two days of horrible migraine pain, my first thought was, “Fill my mind with inspiration.” I desperately wanted to write something that took me out of myself for a bit. I felt beaten by pain and fatigue, so I looked to the sky, to spirit, to the universe—whatever you want to call it—and asked for help. I wanted to connect with the muses who sometimes drop poems into my mind when I’m not looking for them. I didn’t intend to write A Prayer, but that’s what came out. When that happens, I don’t fight it. Not on a day like today, when I’m feeling raw still and unsure of myself.
Sometimes it feels like I lose pieces of myself when I have migraines. I imagine parts of my brain disintegrating as the pain bores through my skull. When I emerge on the other side, it can take a while to feel like myself again. It’s almost like having to relearn my own life. I remind myself that I am competent, that I can drive, that I can do things, that I can write. Still, I’ll feel out of sync with the world for another day or two. I’ll feel fragile, afraid that the pain will return. During this time, I won’t want to make plans, won’t commit to any appointments, make any promises. I’ll try to remind myself to breathe deeply and not let the fearful thoughts run my mind. In my own way, I’ll pray myself back to wholeness, back to life.

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