When Prayer is Harmful

prayer a bad thing

Can prayer be harmful?

“I’ll pray for you.”
“You’re in my prayers!”

We typically think of prayer as a good thing, and we’re usually grateful to hear these words. Unfortunately, there are times when prayer functions as a psychic attack on another person or group. When that happens, prayer is harmful—not healing.

A sincere prayer to the great Universal Mind for the good of another person, even if we don’t know or understand what that good is, can be very healing. Your thoughts and good wishes for the well being of others is a good and helpful thing. But when your personal preferences and beliefs—and therefore your ego—get involved, then you are essentially practicing black magic against another person.

Let’s consider some context:

“I pray for those children!”

Let’s imagine the children who are the object of this prayer just lost a parent. Praying for the easing of their suffering is a fine thing. No problem there. Now let us suppose that the speaker is praying for them because they have gay parents. Or non-Christian parents. Fill in the blank. The prayer doesn’t feel quite so good now, does it?

Praying for the opposite of what the person being prayed for wants is the psychic equivalent of sending daggers into their field. In reality, such prayer is telling the Universe that you do not approve of that person as they are. You are telling them, psychically, that you do not love them as they are. You want them to change, and you are calling on the Powers That Be to back you up.

Inevitably, of course, all such prayers will never be fulfilled as we envision them. Everyone in the Universe is as God created them. Everyone in the Universe is walking their own divine path, and we can never fully understand what that is, or why it is. Our only job is to love and accept all of these other manifestations of God unconditionally. We are not doing that if we are praying for them to change so that we will feel more comfortable.

While such prayers will never be answered to our satisfaction, they do cause harm, as I’ve written about before. That mysterious pain in the neck or back, feeling out of sorts, nervous, or anxious… These can all be manifestations of prayers delivered with all the ferocity of a crossbow. If you stop to think about who is sending you these little gifts, you’ll probably know. Use your own psychic sense. Then ask Archangel Michael to remove the daggers and cut any cords, and lovingly give back what is not yours. Forgive them, but let them know it is theirs to own, gently. The best way out of a psychic battle is not to engage in it. Choose Love instead.

So, what’s the best way to pray? Pray for the highest good of everyone, and then let go of any attachment to the outcome. If someone is very ill, please pray for them, but understand that their highest good might mean that it is their time to cross over. While that is painful for those who are left behind, it may still be what the Great I AM intends for them. Your prayer may help them recover or, if necessary, cross over gracefully.

Likewise, if a person is truly making unhealthy choices for him- or herself, you cannot control that. All you can do is give them the unconditional love that may, if they take the opportunity, help them to find the miracles in their own life. Every path is different, and even when it looks like someone is “failing” somehow, understand that they are just learning their mastery. These are the lessons that their Spirit has chosen for them, and while it may look like “failure” to some, this is their perfect path of spiritual matriculation.

With prayer, as with all things, let your feelings be your guide. If it doesn’t feel good, it probably isn’t. Prayer that seeks to change others is all about control, and—you guessed it—no one has any control over anything except their own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Given that, the “problem” our prayer is attempting to address may not lie with someone else. Instead, it may be an opportunity for us to examine and revisit our own thoughts and beliefs.

Everything That Rises Must Converge

planet_gridDid you feel it?

This past Saturday, the world was supposed to end, according to a Christian fundamentalist prediction. The Rapture, they said, would be on May 21, 2011. Later, of course, they said, “Never mind—now it will happen in October.” And we all made some jokes and had a good chuckle. And yet…

What if the Rapture actually happened on Saturday? Maybe it just didn’t look the way they thought it would.

Our collective consciousness shapes our reality, and a lot of minds were on the Rapture last weekend. The truth is that our world IS changing. The vibration of this planet is rising, and ours along with it. We are not separate from this planet or anything else. We are rising, ready or not, and this is a process—not a final destination.

Massive amounts of energy are streaming in to help us, and massive amounts of energy are shifting daily. You may not see it or even be aware of it, but you probably feel it. Maybe you feel a little “off” or strange. Odd things keep happening. What is with that crazy weather? That guy in the newspaper really lost it. Why am I suddenly getting headaches or feeling dizzy? Things look the same, but they don’t feel the same. You just feel different and can’t explain why.

We are continually undergoing massive shifts, and for many it can feel hard to keep up. Even the most seemingly “spiritual” or “with it” people are being put through their paces. No one is exempt or immune from this change, but it’s okay. It’s actually better than okay. What we are living through is the greatest show in the Universe right now because it is SO AMAZING. We can’t see the big picture because we’re living in the middle of it. Just know that it’s beautiful.

Still, some people are having a hard time, and that calls for compassion. The amount of energy that has shifted in the last three days alone is significant. Did you feel it?

As we rise, we converge in our Oneness. We begin to remember that we are more than our egos, our personalities. We are part of the Great I AM, and we are One. And as we rise, some of the parallel realities begin to converge. Yesterday, two parallel realities merged into One; a decision was made, collectively. We have committed to a potential future. The two pathways became one. Asha X converged with Asha Y. Your X converged with your Y. We are, after all, just holograms in this playing field of the Earth Game. Our true selves have all of the power of the Great I AM because we ARE the Great I AM.

So, two significant timelines converged into one. Where does it lead? It will lead in part where we choose to go, but it will also lead where the Great I AM wants it to go. We have chosen the convergent path, the rising path, the ascended path. Many of us will bodily accompany Gaia in her healing; many of us will accompany Gaia in spirit. The lotus is opening wide to the rays of the Great Suns.

We are all so privileged to be here now. We live in truly miraculous times. Follow your heart, have faith, and go with the flow as much as you can. As the angels continually remind us, “Look forward with joy!”

Thoughts About Chaz Bono’s Journey

Photo of Chaz Bono courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Chaz Bono courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Chaz was on Oprah today, and the film, “Becoming Chaz,” premieres this week on the OWN network. Chaz and I are the same age, and I have always felt a connection with him that I could not explain.

When I was a kid, I was a serious Sonny and Cher fan. I had the albums. I knew all the words. And I loved the “Sonny and Cher” show. At the end, of course, little Chastity would appear in ruffles and bows, held in her glamorous mama’s arms. There was something sad about her, but I didn’t identify it that way then. I didn’t have the emotional understanding. If I had, I might have identified my own internal sadness, which seems so terribly out of place for a three- or four-year-old.

Over the years, Sonny and Cher divorced, and Cher’s subsequent romances enlivened the pages of the tabloids. She, too, had to figure out who she was. She had to grow up.

We didn’t see much of Chastity until she came out as a lesbian. Somehow, this didn’t surprise me. It took many more years before I would come out, even to myself. When I did, however, I had to wonder about that kinship I felt with little Chastity. Maybe that was it? My gaydar was functioning at three?

A few years ago, Chastity Bono co-authored a book called Family Outing, which both Ahnna and I read. This lesbian thing was new to us, and we were still coming to grips with our own self-realization. Some aspects of Chastity’s journey—the mother-daughter conflict—were similar to my own. Chaz is lucky, though, that Cher is able to work on her issues and try to be there. My own mother, bless her, is just not capable of seeing beyond her own fantasy world. In my mother’s reality, I am not a lesbian, but I am “doing all this” (living my happy life) just to bug her.

It is interesting to me that Chaz has had gender reassignment surgery. I can actually relate, although I am content in my female body. There were a number of years when I was a child that I wished I had been born a boy. First, my father clearly would have preferred that. Second, even at a young age, I could see that boys had more privileges than girls did. They had more freedom. There was no double standard. They could be intelligent and opinionated without repercussions. And third, I got along better with boys than with girls.

The only close girl friend I had in school was in middle school and junior high, and in retrospect, that was my first romantic relationship. Neither of us wanted to see this or admit to it—in spite of the taunts from other school kids, who called us “gay” and called me “Gayla.” We denied these accusations vehemently, as an act of self-preservation. Eventually, though, this girl friend dumped me unceremoniously, and I became the target of her own inner guilt. Along with the other girls in my class, she taunted and bullied me for the entire eighth grade year, which really did break my heart. It was the loneliest year I had in school, and if it weren’t for my guy friends, I wouldn’t have had any friends at all.

After that, I learned better how to “behave,” and I dropped the tomboy clothes, wore way too much makeup, and curled and sprayed my hair. (It was the 80s, after all.) I attempted to do what girls are supposed to do. I had one boyfriend the entire time I was in high school, for about two months. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t attract boys. I knew I was attractive enough, so what up? Looking back, I think I scared off most men because I simply didn’t behave the way I was supposed to. I could dress the part, but I sure couldn’t act it. I would not dumb myself down for anybody, and I sure didn’t let the boys dictate my likes and dislikes. These apparently were not attractive features in a woman. Really, I think I just acted too much like a man for their comfort.

When I was about thirty, some of my own gender confusion began to make sense, however. I went to a channeler who informed me that energetically I was about 75% masculine energy and 25% feminine energy; most people are closer to 50/50. She also told me that I had spent many, many more lifetimes here as a man than as a woman. Ah, Grasshopper, now I see. This fit in with my own memories. I knew that my most recent lifetime had been male, and now I knew that I had spent most of my time in masculine form because, well, I was mostly masculine energy.

It took a few more years for me to understand where the extra feminine energy had gone. Not everyone has a twin soul (which is okay—it’s not an indication of your worth if you don’t), but I did. And when I found her, well, she was about 75% feminine energy and 25% masculine energy—literally, my other half. So here we were, together again.

In the first year or so of our relationship, I felt some pretty strong gender confusion. We had been together so often as male/female, that being with her again made me feel decidedly masculine. It was an odd feeling. Frankly, I didn’t know what to do with it. It did seem to subside over time, however, and I began to feel comfortable with having a female form again. When I got pregnant with our first child and gave birth to her, I finally felt some peace about being female. It was the first time I could really embrace it. After all, without it, my precious daughter would not be here.

Still, in many ways, I think Ahnna and I behave sort of like man and wife. It’s funny:  people will look to me first the way some people look first to the husband for a response. Then if they don’t like what I have to say, they try to work on Ahnna.

Chaz, of course, has always identified as a male, and he finally decided to do something about it. There is nothing wrong with that. If I felt strongly about it, I’m sure I would have considered it, too. I didn’t, and that’s just my path. He did, and that’s his path. Because of his celebrity, he is able to speak for a community that really needs advocates and spokespeople. There is a divine order in all things, and that is now part of his path, too.

I wish Chaz and everyone else well who walk the difficult path of needing to express themselves in a way that seems at odds with their body. They are all teachers, here to remind us that our body is just a car, after all.

Jesus was an Idiot – or – We Have a Serious Violence Habit

430px-Christ_Giving_His_BlessingI do not actually believe that one of the most important spiritual masters ever to walk this earth was an idiot, but some people apparently do. While singing the praises of the Prince of Peace, many people simultaneously believe that violence is the only way to deal with conflict. Still, Jesus did say stuff like:

“Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.”

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”

But people are funny, and some apparently think that there are exceptions, as though after writing it down, Jesus came up to Matthew and said, “Ha! I was just kidding. Let’s go kill some Romans.”

Still, it is a hard thing to rationalize violence if you follow or at least respect the philosophy of a Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, or what have you. But the ego is the best rationalizer in the Universe, so people say things like, “I’m all for peace, but…” Or maybe, “Peace is a great idea, but it’s just not realistic, because they don’t want peace.”

In other words, Jesus was an idiot.

Only a real simpleton would advocate not retaliating after 9/11, right? We were attacked, so we just had to strike back and show them that we are not to be messed with. And strike back we did. We avenged roughly 3,000 deaths by killing or injuring nearly one million people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yeah, I guess we really showed them.

Our literature is filled with tales of revenge. By the end of Hamlet, few are left standing. Njal’s Saga, written in the late 13th century, describes a blood feud between two families in which the killing of one family member is avenged, causing the other family to retaliate, and so forth, until Njal and his family are burned alive in their house. That was the end of the blood feud, because nearly everybody was dead. We know, as a race, that violence is a fire that is fed by more violence until it becomes a conflagration that consumes everything in its path, leaving nothing behind except ruin and dead bodies.

Violence is an expression of our anger, and we do it because we believe it will make us feel better. It will make the hurt or the “wrong” go away. But it doesn’t do any of these things. Instead, this “anger in action” only causes more hurt and more wrongs.

If the United States had, in fact, turned the other cheek after 9/11, the world would be a safer and more peaceful place today. We could still have taken measures to secure what needed to be secure. Taking precautions isn’t stupid. But by choosing to feed Al Qaeda’s hate with our own newly formed hate, we fed the fire. By doing so, we confirmed their worst narrative about us—that indeed, from their perspective, we must be a great satan to rain bombs upon their nations and take so many innocent lives. This fed their fury, and Al Qaeda’s fire was able to grow. But if we had chosen not to retaliate, that fire would be embers or ashes by now. We are reaping what we have sown.

Not retaliating was never considered, however. Violence has become such a habit that many people honestly believe that it is the only option we have. If we are attacked, we must hit back. If we don’t, they’ll just hit us again. But there is another option:  choosing not to engage. When my son takes my daughter’s doll, and she gets upset, he keeps doing it. She makes it fun for him. But if she didn’t engage—if she ignored his behavior, then he would stop eventually.

Peace is always available to us as a choice. It is not the fashionable choice. It is not the Hollywood choice—no one would go in with guns blazing. It is not the easy choice, either, because it takes real courage to choose not to respond with anger and violence when provoked.

As the pacifist A. J. Muste said so eloquently, “There is no way to peace; peace is the way.” Like Jesus and so many others before him, he was not an idiot.