“In the case of an emergency, put on your own mask before helping your children.”
The instruction and demonstration as an airplane prepares to take off has been repeated so often, we often don’t pay attention to the wisdom.
Though taking care of oneself first may seem selfish and taking care of ourselves can certainly be taken to extremes where others are never thought of or helped, there is wisdom to be gained as we pay attention to the flight attendant’s instruction. Plus, taking care of our own mask is an acknowledgment that we are in need of help and guidance before we try to sort out someone else
(as Jesus remarked that we need to see the log in our own eye before removing the speck in another’s eye. See Luke 6:42)
Many mornings I use a prayer of Loving Kindness I first read about in a book by Joan Borysenko and made some adaptions for my use. It begins with a prayer for myself:
May I be at peace
May my heart always be open
May I awaken to the Divine deep within
May I be healed
May I be a source of healing for others.
It is a prayer of petition as I enter the day that I will be peaceful, open, awake and healed. Good things to carry with me as I encounter people and situations, varied and different each day.
The prayer has a second verse that can be used for family and friends, or political leaders, or people in need, or people hard to love.
May you be at peace
May your heart always be open
May you awaken to the Divine deep within
May you be healed
May you be a source of healing for others.
I may say it several times as I think of different people in often difficult situations and offer my prayer for them as I place them in God’s care.
And lastly the prayer comes around and finishes with the first verse as I pray for myself again. The prayer has helped me be more peaceful to myself and to others. Inner peace and world peace, they flow together and with this prayer, I vow to bring a peaceful, open, awake and healed presence into the world. I do not want to add any more fear, hatred or violence into our world.
As prayer attributed to St Francis begins, “May I be an instrument of peace.” Begin there and carry that peace as you help others with their masks or hurts.
And, if you want someone to talk to about your prayer life or want to join in a day retreat to nurture your prayer life, give us a call 503-794-8542. Peace.