Seeking solace has become part of my morning routine. The walks I take in nature with my canine BFF are as therapeutic for me as they are physically beneficial for him. This forty minutes or so is my time for quiet, reflection, and contemplation. My morning walk is my time to connect with my maker. This is somewhat of a new development for me. I’ve always believed in a higher power, but I’ve never developed a relationship with that power.
I’ve always said I’m not one to pray. In the past, I’ve asked for those I love to be healed, and it always failed. Not once did anyone I love make it when I asked for them to be saved. This left me angry, resentful, and feeling unheard. I believed I was too insignificant for such greatness to care for me and my petty prayers. Things have gone terribly wrong in my world —people who are supposed to be there no matter what walk away. People who I moved mountains for have betrayed me. Those I love and care for were harmed and touched by what I define as evil. In all those scenarios, I never felt heard. That is until recently.
Lately, I have been listening to Joel Osteen when I drive alone in my car. I know he’s a television evangelist, but this guy speaks to me in a way no one has before. His messages are uplifting. He speaks what I feel. He confirms my instincts about kindness, treating people well, and following the golden rule, and his message challenges me to take my beliefs a step further. He uses bible based stories to reinforce and expand what I already feel. It’s refreshing.
Our friend has trail cameras placed across our property for tracking game. I’m sure he sees me walking and talking every morning when he checks his footage. At first, talking aloud felt strange and a bit uncomfortable. However, after almost a year, it has become my normal. I don’t shout or speak loudly. I just talk quietly, often expressing my thanks for the blessings bestowed upon me. I, of course, ask for forgiveness for my trespassings, and they are many. I ask for strength to face my issues, as well as creativity, positivity, and the ability to be a better person.
It’s strange; as I become more comfortable with my new relationship, I feel a calmness I haven’t felt before. I always end my conversation with the phrase, “I open my mind, heart, and hands to you and your purpose.” The thing is, dear reader, this new feeling of calm and rightness translates to all areas of my life. I no longer lose sleep worrying about tomorrow, next week, or next year. I have this comforting feeling that all will be well.
Do I face hardships? Of course. However, I have contentment like never before. The days of stressing, internalizing my worries, and feeling sick and overwhelmed are becoming fewer. Instead, I have a conversation with my maker and unload my burden. For a person who doesn’t have a strong religious background or attend church, I am finally realizing after fifty years on this earth what all those sermons and bible verses meant when they say to give your troubles to God.
We all seek meaning, want to know what we do here on earth matters, and want to feel heard. This new ability to believe and turn everything over to a higher being feels like a weight has been lifted. Why am I telling you this? I guess because I feel like if it can work for me, it can work for others as well. My hope is that if you read my simple story, maybe it will resonate with you, and you, too, will feel this peace that I feel.
I am no expert. My knowledge is limited. My relationship with something greater is in its infancy. However, I will tell you that talking honestly and openly, turning over my burdens completely, and willing myself to believe all will be well has made a big difference in my life. The difference in my personal well-being is noticeable. I’ve had three people comment on my calmness. One dear person told me I am a calming factor in their world. This, dear reader, is one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever been paid.
I’m not a “bible banger,” and I will never push my beliefs on another. However, I feel that if sharing my new and personal journey helps just one person feel better, more at peace, content, and happy, it is worth it. Whatever your belief, I respect it and hope it helps you to feel better about your journey while here. My hope for you, dear reader, is always for you to be safe, content, kind, and fulfilled. Whatever your belief, I hope it brings you all this and more.
On this chilly October day, stay safe, be smart, don’t be afraid to begin and share your journey, and keep washing your hands.