This is sort of a post about God, but only sort of…and for those who have a challenge with even the word you can substitute, the Universe, Higher Self, Higher Power, Spirit or whatever word resonates with you. As my dear old grandma used to say…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…or words to that effect.
Have you ever heard of St. Ignatius? He taught the Jesuits The Daily Examen, which is prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence. A little like a meditation.
Ignatius thought that the Examen was a gift that came directly from God, and that God wanted it to be shared as widely as possible. One of the few rules of prayer that Ignatius made for the Jesuit order was the requirement that the Examen was practiced twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. Ending with asking for forgiveness for anything rotten you did, and for guidance for tomorrow.
I liked the concept of reflecting on my day and here is my own personal version, called revision.
1. I connect with my Divine nature by recognizing the Great Presence within and that there is nothing that this higher self that I am (that you are) cannot accomplish.
2. Review the day; don’t judge it, simply review it. Look over the entire day, all the episodes, all the events, all the conversations, all the meetings, see it clearly in your mind’s eye, and rewrite it. Make it conform to the ideal day you wish you’d experienced. Take scene after scene and rewrite it, revise it, and having revised your day, then, in imagination, re-live that day, the revised day, and do it over and over in your imagination until this seeming imagined state begins to take on the feeling of reality. It seems that it’s real, that you actually did experience it and I have found from experience that these revised days, if really lived, will change our tomorrows.
3. My prayer means getting into action mentally and holding the attention upon the idea of the wish fulfilled until it fills the mind and crowds all other ideas out of the consciousness. This doesn’t mean that prayer is a mental effort – an act of will. On the contrary, prayer is a surrender. It means abandoning oneself to the feeling of the wish fulfilled. Our thoughts are prayers…we are always praying.
4. Forgiveness is identifying with the ideal we would wish to experience. And so we do to others what we expect or would like the world to do to us. Whatever I myself would like to embody, that is the vision that I must hold of every man that I meet in my world; no man is to be discarded, everything can be salvaged, everyone redeemed and I do it by simply identifying the other with the ideal I want to externalize.
Forgive your day, remove the hold that past wrong emotional reactions have upon you by reviewing the experiences and changing them. Rewrite them in your mind, saying what you wish you’d said and doing what you wished you’d done.
5. Look toward tomorrow from the revised place you’ve just created.
6. Repeat every night.
Maybe if you view it as editing…which I’ve posted about before…it’ll make it easier. I know revision isn’t the most normal concept in the world. But hey, who claims to be normal? An added bonus is that it actually makes a difference.
Encourage one another.