We pray to God, the Universe, or Higher Power (whatever you want to call it) for support and guidance, but when we get a response and it does not look the way we think it should, we don’t even realize our prayers have been answered. I want to discuss three points around this topic today and what we need to keep in mind when we are looking for guidance from a higher power.
· The Answer Will Not Look the Way We Think It Should
· The Answer Will Usually Take Us Out of Our Comfort Zone
· Finding The Answer Will Require Us to Become the Master of Our Brain BS™
Answers Won’t Look the Way We Think They Should
Let’s start here because this is a common problem we all face. We think that when we pray to (insert what you want here, my preference is The Universe), we are going to get what we think we need. This will get us into trouble every time because as humans with brains, we have no idea what we really need. We think we have it all figured out, but we don’t. It is so much easier for us to see other people more clearly than we see ourselves. As a result, we cannot be objective and are unable to see that we actually receive guidance because it looks so different than we anticipated. So when somebody tells you that their prayers are being ignored and that The Universe has turned its back on them, we know that is total BS. What is really happening is that individual has lost her ability to see the whole picture and the underlying issues beneath the surface.
For example, I have been looking for guidance from The Universe to help me reduce my desire for alcohol on the weekends. I thought that would look like me not getting cravings to have a glass of wine when the weekend rolled around. If only this was the way it worked, LOL. How awesome would it be to miraculously eliminate all the cravings and never experience any discomfort (which is basically what I was praying for)? Well, if we pick this apart, we can see the flaw in my logic and expectations regarding cravings. If I do not learn how to manage urges and get comfortable with uncomfortable emotions, I will never be able to create new relationships with old habits. I will continue to reach for something external as a reward or diversion, which just reinforces the habit. I will continue to believe that my action of drinking is the problem and will not dig deeper to understand why I am drinking in the first place. So my thinking the answer should look like less cravings was not what I needed at a deeper level. It turns out that what I needed was to understand every aspect of my habit and feel many uncomfortable emotions and not avoid them. I needed to learn how to refrain from responding to urges, allow them to be there, and to learn how to not make them a problem. I needed to feel my feelings and not freak out over them. In the end, that is what will build the foundation to reduce my desire for alcohol long term. See how it works?
Get Ready for Discomfort
One thing I have come to realize about trying to evolve and uncover my higher self is that it is rarely comfortable. So when I pray for a solution or an answer, I can be pretty sure that whatever it is will require me to feel uncomfortable emotions. For example, stopping alcohol requires me to manage intense urges at times. Stopping smoking or any other habit will produce the same result as well. So say I pray to the Universe for a solution to stop feeling anxiety on the weekends because the emotion inspires me to drink. Most people would think that if I kept experiencing anxiety, the prayer was not answered. But the truth is, the Universe knows that what I really need to do is get used to experiencing anxiety without reaching outside of myself to solve the way it makes me feel. That dynamic is what creates habits and eventually can lead to addictions. We teach our brains that alcohol or another habit will solve the emotion we are experiencing as if it needs to be fixed. It doesn’t! Feeling our emotions and not getting triggered by them, is powerful stuff.
Another point I want to make is that it is not all or nothing so there is no way it is going to be easy all of the time no matter what choices we make. When we are trying to change a behavior or create a new result, we are going to experience discomfort for sure. This is not a problem. The problem is that we think experiencing discomfort is an indication that something has gone terribly wrong. The opposite is actually true because we know if there is discomfort, growth is on the way. The discomfort will come from staying the same despite understanding that our habitual behaviors continue to produce the same result we do not want. OR it will come from changing the way we think and creating a new relationship with the habit. The Universe will meet us where we are and not give us more than we can handle.
For instance, I have prayed many times for my clients and money in my business. When my prayers did not result in new clients in the past, I felt unheard and unrecognized by the Universe. For those of you who are into Human Design, you know that an unrecognized projector is not good for any of us, LOL! Well it turns out I may have thought that what I needed was more clients to feel better, but the Universe knew I had to feel better before I could get more clients. Therefore, it withheld more clients until I built the emotional foundation I needed to support them (and myself!) as a coach of a thriving business with and many ups and downs. That meant I needed to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And that meant I had to stop resisting urges and emotions that I did not like. I had to stop wishing they would go away and to a degree, be grateful they were there so I could learn how to manage them.
Mastering Our Brain BS™
I have mentioned about a hundred times in this blog how our thoughts create our feelings, and those lead to actions to give us our results. So if our thought is God doesn’t care about me or some sort of variation of that thought, our brains are going to completely overlook anything that contradicts that belief. For example, say I pray for a particular client to sign on with me because I believe she is the perfect fit, but she decides against it. Because I think that I am not supported by The Universe, not signing with me will be perceived as a confirmation of everything I thought. This is what we call being mastered BY our Brain BS! We are buying into all the negative thoughts that are not serving us and possibly even making future decisions that can cause us pain and suffering based on faulty thinking. I might start to question my abilities as a coach and second guess my decision to make coaching a career choice. You get the idea. It can go on and on.
Now if we mastered our Brain BS instead, our perception would totally change. In order to do that the first thing we must do is lose any notion that the Universe would ever turn its back on us. That would never, ever happen and I know that if I start to entertain that idea, it is a wake-up call that I am not managing my mind well. The next step is to identify fact from fiction and be able to recognize Brain BS when we we see it. Any thoughts that put us in victim mode, inspire us to feel sorry for ourselves, and are just generally not helpful, come from our ego and are Brain BS. The next step in mastering our Brain BS around prayers, is that we want to ask ourselves really good questions when we believe we did not get something that we really wanted and prayed for.
By really good, I mean open-ended questions that give us an opportunity to explore both sides of the situation and a chance to respond in a positive way. I might ask what is this situation trying to teach me? Or I might ask how could the client not signing on be happening for me, and not to me? Maybe I would ask how is this perfect for me and everybody involved? I am sure you can see how this is so much more helpful than thinking the Universe does not have my back and something has gone terribly wrong. If we ask good questions and take time to reflect, we will always discover that the prayer has indeed been answered, and that we either don’t like the way the answer looks or we might fear the way it will make us feel if we listen to the solution offered to us.
I want to give you a scenario to illustrate how our thoughts and mind management truly do determine if we are able to see that our prayers have been answered. There is no committee out there in charge of tracking whose prayers got answered and whose did not. We are the only ones who can determine the answer to this question, so I want you to understand your mind and how it works so you can always find the answer to your prayers.
Say you are older and back on the dating scene for the first time in decades. You really want to meet somebody and be in a monogamous and intimate relationship with a partner. You start dating a guy and you really like him. He seems perfect and you feel like your prayers have been answered but then he starts ghosting you. You are trying to figure out what the heck happened. You get very discouraged and feel devastated that it did not work out. You feel like God must not want you to be with anybody and you start to believe that you may end up alone. You believe your prayers have not been answered and that there must be something fundamentally undeserving about you. Can you tell this is what it looks like when you are being mastered BY your Brain BS™?
Let’s take a look now at what the same scenario would look like if you were mastering your Brain BS™. The guy starts ghosting you and you notice that your brain is offering you a lot of thoughts and most of them are not favorable toward you. Even though your brain wants to make you think God doesn’t care about you or that you must have done something wrong, your higher self knows better and is not taking the bait. In fact, you start to try to figure out what the situation is trying to teach you and how it is a good thing that he is no longer in touch with you. The truth is God is looking out for you and knows that person you think is so perfect, is anything but that. In fact, God knows who is perfect for you and wants to give him to you but first you have to get the emotional foundation in place to support this relationship you want so badly. The answer is you can’t let your self-worth be defined by another human, so you have to be able to tolerate rejection and not stop believing in yourself when a man you don’t really know decides to bolt. FYI: You also have to get rid of the riffraff to make space for the real deal.
In conclusion, when we pray to The Universe (or insert whatever here), we often times think our prayers have not been answered for a variety of reasons. One is that the answer does not look the way we think it should, so we don’t even see it. The second is that the solution offered may be too scary and uncomfortable to actually contemplate, let alone implement. The third reason, is that we are being mastered by our Brain BS™ and not managing our minds well. This means we are believing our BS, we don’t believe the Universe has our back, and we forget to ask effective questions that can lead to positive and enlightening answers. Join me in The Brain BS Podcast to discuss this further.
If you have heard enough and you understand that your prayers have actually been answered and you just did not realize it, sign up for a free 60-minute consult with me at www.thebrainbs.com We can talk about what it is you want so badly that you are praying for it, and I can help you to see the answer that you have been overlooking all this time. I promise you, our prayers always get answered.