I first heard the essay/prayer listed below in a workshop with Tara Brach. The author is unknown and I’m not sure where it originated from. If you happen to know who the author is please feel free to reach out and let me know.
This essay beautifully describes all the ways we seek to avoid both our physical and emotional pain. But more importantly, it highlights how we can transform our relationship with pain when we allow it to come into our experience and hold it with loving awareness. Instead of a source of torment, it becomes a source of wisdom and a way we can connect with the essence of our beingness.
I invite you to read this essay and allow it to gracefully guide you into a place of mindful presence and meditation.
The Felt Sense Prayer
I am the pain in your head, the knot in your stomach, the unspoken grief in your smile.
I’m your high blood pressure, your elevated blood pressure, your fear of challenge, your lack of trust.
I’m your hot flashes, your fragile low back, your agitation, and your fatigue.
You tend to disown me, suppress me, ignore me, inflate me, coddle me, condemn me. You usually want me to go away immediately, to disappear, just back into obscurity. More times than not, I’m only the most recent notes of a long symphony, the most evident branches of roots that have been challenged for seasons.
So, I implore you. I am a messenger with good news, as disturbing as I can be at times. I am wanting to guide you back to those tender places in yourself, the place where you can hold yourself with compassion and honesty. I may ask you to alter your diet, get more sleep, exercise regularly, breathe more consciously.
I might encourage you to seek a vaster reality and worry less about the day-to-day fluctuations of life. I may ask you to explore the bonds and the wounds of your relationship. Wherever I lead you, my hope is that you will realize that success will not be measured by my eradication, but by the shift in the internal landscape from which I emerge.
I am your friend, not your enemy. I belong. I have no desire to bring pain and suffering into your life. I’m simply tugging at your sleeve, too long immune to gentle nudges.
I desire for you to allow me to speak to you in a way that enlivens your higher instincts for self-care.
My charge is to energize you, to listen to me with the sensitive ear and heart of a mother attending to her precious baby. You are a being so vast, so complex with amazing capacities for self-regulation and healing.
Let me be one of the harbingers that lead you to the mysterious core of your being, where insight and wisdom are naturally available when called upon with a sincere heart.
— Author Unknown
Practice fully connecting with all your felt senses!