You may lose me here but I used to have a strong relationship with “God” when I was a kid. My mother was very religious and together we would pray before I went to bed and when I would wake up everyday. The praying wasn’t like in the movies where kids would kneel by their beds and actually talk to god asking for something like writing to Santa. It was more of a mantra that would put me into a meditative state–sort of like a trance. I would do this ritualistic act twice a day and it would put my mind at ease. It would allow me to easily fall into a deep sleep and wake up refreshed in the morning.
I remember I was so good at getting into this meditative state that I believed I could go deep enough into this world that I would never come back. I firmly believed I could shut my brain off and die. Not in a scary suicidal sense but in a crazy metaphysical way. I also felt this childhood magic was beneficial to my well being as I was getting good grades and praise for my creativity. I was able to do anything because I could focus on the task at hand with the utmost clarity.
So what happened?
I entered high school and was bullied almost every single day. I would tell my mother about the bullies and her answer was to pray more. I then put it upon myself to wake up at 6 AM on school days and pray for hours to make the bullies stop. It was torture and I was miserable. I wont go into detail but they were picking on me because I was a visible minority. The bullying went on for a year and so did my praying. It wasn’t until the second year when it finally broke me and I lost my faith. I stopped praying and confronted the bullies. I sarcastically would play along with them to the point they would laugh at how ridiculous it was and the situation would diffuse. The evil smoke hole kids found a lot of respect for me. I had won and realized through humour I was accepted into every clique. I was the plainswalker. I then dominated my entire high school from starting as the outcast nerd to becoming the most popular kid.
So what happened?
I peaked. The rich hipster kids introduced me to alcohol and shitty music. The poor smoke hole kids gave me access to drugs and even shittier music. I felt a big hole from the absence of my daily prayer routine and turned to psychedelic hallucinogens to continue my adventures in metaphysically spelunking. I would trip on psilocybin mushrooms twice a week for a year until I couldn’t keep them down anymore.
I was at my peak and done. Nothing made me happy. I had zero motivation to do anything. My mind was full of so many thoughts, doubts, and worries that I ruined my academic career. I was emotionally tired all the time and stopped showing up to class in my senior year when I was student council president. It was really bad and lead to an avalanche of poor choices.
Now I’m not saying I’ve become some sort of hippy dippy religious freak or anti drug lamer. I’m just saying balance is important and don’t knock meditation. I understand now what “prayer” is all about and why it worked for me. I hope I can do it again and it’s not too late to regain the power to focus on my dreams and achieve what I set out to do 20 years ago. And I’m not afraid to admit my mistakes, swallow my pride, and do the right thing for myself. I don’t care if I’m an old, bald, white whiskered Billy now. I’m still that kid from 20 years ago full of fire and hope. Something burning inside of me kept me young at heart, kept me from doing anything too stupid that would keep me from being here and typing this out to you. Now let’s stop being cheesy and do something with ourselves.
Say your prayers and go to sleep.