Saturday, February 18, 2017

Practice the Pause

I'm sure I'm the only human who suffers from knee-jerk reactions. Right?
(Ahem)

 What I mean by knee-jerk reactions is that characteristic or quality we inherited from our parents or other environmental surroundings, that have taught us how to respond in the world. I've discovered the simple solution that helps me face these knee-jerk reactions, such as impatience or anger or even anxiety, which I really suffer from.

For me, I "Practice the Pause".
When stresses, pause.
When in doubt, pause.
When scared, pause.
When angry, pause.
And when you pause, PRAY.

Prayer has been a difficult skill for me to acquire. I wasn't gifted with it, and I went years, I mean roughly twenty years, believing my prayers were either
A. Ignored
B. Not heard.

It was a hurtful twenty years. But I was the one ignorantly causing that hurt. Prayer was just a skill I needed to practice and refine. I was really desperate to learn to control my emotions, my negative ones, maybe even some positive ones. The best way I could do that was to PAUSE. In that pause, it was important for me to pray in the ways I'd studied and practice listening for an answer or watching for it. I studied a lot of psychology, too. Which helped on a mortal level understand the human body and mind. With that, I studied the spiritual side of humans. I learned how to combine them for the ultimate prayer experience.

As with any life change, something that is required is total surrender. It's hard. It's painful. I describe it as walking into a furnace, at your own will and discretion. You know there is fire. You know it will burn. Yet, you also know it is only going to hurt for a moment before you are melted and refined. Suddenly, you are your purest self. In this pure form, you can easily recognize the spirit of God and prayer comes more naturally.

I faced a honest surrender over the last few years. It was a weirdly wonderfully painful journey. In many ways, I "lost" myself. I lost my mortal self, and found my divine self. The self God intended me to be. I know I have many more years to go--AND GROW--but it brings me peace, this new realm of PAUSE.

I encourage you to face the furnace. Be prepared for the sting, but know it is temporary. And the sweet comfort that comes after, and the monumental growth, is beyond worth it.

Share with me your stories of PAUSE!
Brittany Shannon