Holy freaking cow. So full disclosure, I’m at the tail end (I think. I hope.) of finishing writing a 350 page book version of The Gospel According to Josh. It’s vulnerable. It’s deep. It’s gonna be the hotness. And I wanted to share some of it with you because...well, I like you...and maybe because the message of the writing could be of use to you.
How? Give me just a sec, I’ll get to that. But this portion of writing I’m sharing with you did not originate as a piece of the book. It’s actually from a diary/blog I started in January 2011 and something that’s never seen the light of day—till now.
This particular post I wrote in early February 2011 and it’s interesting to me because I think it’s useful to see where you are as a person from one year to the next and how you’ve grown and changed etc. (Gulp) Here goes:
An excerpt from the book version of The Gospel According to Josh: (Insert Funny Unfinished Subtitle)
The Power of Prayer
Today I’m feeling the best that I have in awhile. I’m also thinking about the value of prayer. But what I’d really like to talk about today and what seems to be even more valuable to me than simply just praying is praying out loud.
Now let me just give a little disclaimer that at times I might be a little spiritual but I tend to keep my religious beliefs to myself. I want to include everyone, religious or atheist who may have mental health issues (or not).
Back to praying out loud. So recently I have rediscovered prayer after about seven to eight years of not praying once. I grew up in very religious home but felt a little oppressed by it so I vowed to leave it all behind completely. I’ve always felt spiritual and have always believed in a higher being (God) but I haven’t felt the need to talk to God until recently. And for me, praying out loud by myself has really helped my depression.
I feel like when we simply think things and never focus enough to say our thoughts out loud or write them down, the thoughts become jumbled or forgotten and not acted upon. But speaking thoughts out loud or writing them down is a form of taking action. We’ve focused on what we want and are taking the effort to try to remember them again. So when I pray I ask God to help me to feel better. I ask Him to help me connect to positive people and positive experiences. I ask for motivation and wisdom and I ask to be a better friend, son, brother, future husband and father (those last two aren’t imminent but they could happen). I ask for all of these things over and over out loud. And by asking for these things over and over, I’m actually starting to make efforts to be that better friend, son and brother. I’m actively seeking out positive experiences and people. It’s not a perfect or perfected process but it’s helping me and I imagine it helps some of you as well and I wanted to share and connect about this recent revelation.
Now I do know that sometimes when I’m praying I’m connecting to God and sometimes when I’m asking for these things over and over I’m just talking to myself. But the repetition of these prayers is very similar to a mantra. And according to my Apple dictionary a mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. So the repetition helps me concentrate on what I need. I think my point on this is that we spiritual or religious folk can relate to our atheist friends on this point of praying out loud/repeating a mantra. All of us can ask God for things we need help with consistently and out loud OR if we don’t believe in God (and even if we do) we can consistently repeat mantras of things we need help with in our lives...(can this previous sentence be fixed for clarity?)...
Sometimes it’s nice to know that all of us, as different as we are, have a few more things in common than we realize when we just break things down and analyze them a little bit. Have a great day and thanks for reading.
I’m not sure how this post will go over and I’m famous for ruining the moment with my sometimes vulgar humor so I’ll simply say again, thanks for reading. -J