True prayer, it seems, has nothing to do with talking. Jesus reprimands the Pharisees for their public prayers. Jesus commands us to go into our inner room, our inner sanctum. True prayer, would have us leave our positioning, to enter into unity with father, like Christ did. True prayer has more about entering the present reality, to allow God into our present moment.
We live in a society that lives on consumption and business. We also live in a society that is fascinated with information and data. None of this is bad. But, all good things can be abused, and, instead of us using it, it instead begins to use us. We can’t turn down the noise in our heads. When we wake up, we wake up to the people we live with, we watch the TV while we eat breakfast. We listen to music when we drive. At work, we listen to people talk, we listen to music, we surf the internet. We get in the car, listen to more music or radio. We go and spend time with our family or friends, we talk. We go home and we sleep.
We hate it when we can’t end our inner talk can we? We create the arguments we wish we could have with others. We listen to the voices that degrade us, tell us that we are not ________ enough. We rethink about how we could have done something different. We think about the intentions of others, about what they meant when they said such and such thing. All of this inner talk leaves us exhausted, lonely, and anxious.
Not a single days goes by where I don’t feel a stretch of exhaustion, loneliness and anxiety. The greatest Truth that I know about myself is that this is not who I am. When I stop all of the noise, I find how noisy that inner talk is, but, when I can make it past the inner talk, I find my soul, I find the voice of God, who wants to reveal to me all of my belovedness, who wants to bring me to rest, calms my loneliness and brings freedom to my soul. It’s in that place where I know that I have exchanged the Truth for a lie. That this community is enough. That God is enough. That I am enough.
My deepest struggles in entering this was learning to separate myself from the fact that I thought I was a person who lived in his head. I used to value how much information I could consume, that I naturally lived in my thoughts. I know now that my thoughts are less troubling, so returning to my head is less troubling. I can think things through with greater clarity. I also know that I am free to enter my heart space, where I am able to meet myself in all my brokenness, feel the pain of my life, and, learn to love what is my present reality. I know those parts in my days where I am lonely and anxious, are in fact when I have escaped my soul.
Developing your inner life is not an easy task. It requires you to unplug from all of the noise we fill our lives with. It requires that you feel the pain of all the inner talk. It also requires you to accept that you are not your inner talk. It requires that you learn to accept your belovedness, your beauty, your sacredness.
When we enter our soul, we find out who we are.