Q: I need help. Every day I pray the Welcoming Prayer. I trip up at "I let go my desire for security and survival." I'm a mother. How can I "let go" of something so imbued in my mothering DNA?
A: I am inspired by your daily commitment to the Welcoming Prayer practice. And I appreciate your question, as it points to an important nuance of the prayer. As a mother with similar protective DNA for my children, I can relate to the instinctive need to be vigilant about the security and survival of my loved ones. However, the Welcoming Prayer practice doesn’t ask us to deny or repress this basic instinct. In fact, in the teaching of the prayer, it is emphasized that our basic needs for power/control, affection/esteem and safety/security are “natural, necessary and good.” What we asking for help in letting go of is the exaggerated expression of these needs -- when the needs manifest more as demands. We are asking for help in letting go of the “un-freedoms” of our attachments and aversions – that which keeps us feeling isolated and separate from God in our own self-made worlds.
In practicing the Welcoming Prayer, we are welcoming what we are experiencing in the moment and cooperating with the Divine Therapist, knowing the Spirit is always present and active with us in our experience of what is happening. By letting go of our overidentification with security/affection/control, we allow ourselves to fully embrace the moment as it is. The Welcoming Prayer invites us to trust that God is always with us – and our loved ones.
Over time, letting go allows us to appropriately respond under the guidance of the Spirit to what is happening, instead of automatically reacting or repressing what we are experiencing. Welcoming allows the Divine Indwelling to motivate our action -- or confirm our inaction.
If you continue to experience resistance with this part of the prayer, then work with the feeling of resistance and how it manifests in your body.
By the way, the prayer has been updated slightly. Here are the three movements of the prayer:
- Feel and sink into what you are experiencing this moment in your body.
- “WELCOME” what you are experiencing this moment in your body as an opportunity to consent to the Divine Indwelling.
- Let go by saying: “I let go of my desire for security, affection, control and embrace this moment as it is.”
With all blessings,