This is the final post in the series of Becoming Your Own Counselor. Personally, I’ve not had any progress in personal or spiritual growth that can be traced back to anyone that I paid. Most of what I’ve learned that has truly benefited me has been from my own reading, research and prayer. My passion for this series is personal and genuine…born from my own frustrations with paid counselors and therapists. In fact, most of them have seemed to be trying to heal themselves while taking my support. Maybe I’m just a cynic. For sure it’s not that I don’t like the process of counseling–I love it! I’ll say it again, I like to talk about myself! But I believe I’ve made progress only when I’ve been listening to God, as opposed to paying someone else to tell me what He says.
Only the Creator can truly give me the direction for my life. Along with that, He has often used friends to show me the truth when I was unable to find it by myself. Even then, I believe it was an answer to the confused pleadings that I had expressed in my prayers.Therefore, the key to the concept of relying upon God to give me the truth about myself is prayer.
Prayer. Expanding your comfort level with prayer is a good retreat activity. Creating space in our minds for God to speak is very hard for most of us. This isn’t a performance test that I stress over. All I can do is practice.
I can think of few things that are more important if you want to become your own counselor and stop relying on others to act as mediary.Here are some suggestions for prayer:
- Write a plea to God in your journal and read it over several times.
- Choose a favorite passage in a book and read it to God.
- Try repeating a phrase or word from your reading that has touched you.
- Read aloud from The Bible, The Book Of Common Prayer or other prayer books.
- Sit silently and try to totally relax, when a thought comes to mind, just relax and start again.
- Focus on a candle flame, or other object, relax and try to think only about the flame.
- Only acknowledge the stray thoughts that surprise you. Perhaps write them down.
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God.~ AA p 164
I’ve tried the “om” repetition, but that doesn’t work for me. I found this link: 4 Reasons To Meditate that doesn’t involve changing your religious convictions and simply offers tips for various meditation practices.
This clip sums up my feelings on retreats and prayer. It also makes me think about the process of giving up most of my accumulated stuff, moving into my RV with my best friend, and becoming a gate guard in the Texas desert. I just want Him to find me waiting for Him again and again!
Perhaps you have suggestions…methods that move you closer to God and closer to His path for you. I love your comments.
Side Note: My dad is not expected to make it through the night. For those who missed it, here’s my tribute. I’m glad his suffering is coming to a close and grateful to the AA program for helping me set things right years ago.