Thoughts and prayers, please (but don’t stop there)

Photo by Dewang Gupta

The human mind can be so dualistic. ‘This or that’ seems to rule the dialogue in our inner narrative.

We’re all-in on thoughts and prayers. 
Or we’ll all-in on steadfast activism.

I started going the way of the latter the other day after seeing the horrific news about Vegas. The emotionally charged inner narrative of ‘fuck thoughts and prayers’ seemed really appealing in the moment, even from a self-described ‘spiritual guy’ like myself.

But today, the ‘this or that’ has cleared for a moment to let something else through (which is always nice). A ‘third-way’ perspective, if you will:

Thoughts and prayers are fantastic, as a starting point. But please, don’t stop there.

There’s real value in going within. In sitting with yourself and finding our footing and alignment there. In closing our eyes and surrendering the extraneous fear-based notions that keep us paralyzed, confused or actionless.

There’s even virtue in mentally ‘sending out’ thoughts and petitions of health and healing for all involved. There really is. We can’t ignore or discount this very human urge to pray. It’s an essential part of the process for many of us.

So, yes, pray. But, like my old improv class taught me, there’s an ‘and’ at the end of that ‘yes’…

Please don’t stop at thoughts and prayers. If you do, they’re in vain.

You and I, we’re human. We’re physical beings. Designed and built to bring our gifts into the material world.

Please let your thoughts and prayers propel you into life. Let them serve their true purpose. See them through and fulfill your end of this arrangement by bringing them into creative form as only you can.

If you can donate blood, do it. If you have the urge to embrace activism or take a stand if even in a small way, do it.

Yes, it’s great to start small by squeezing the ones you love tighter, having more conscious conversations with your kids, and gaining a deepened perspective about the fragility of your mortality…

But please, think wider. We need you right now.

So, please… 
‘Thoughts and prayers.’ 
But don’t stop there. 
Expand that sentence to something like this:

‘Thoughts, prayers, and…’

How you fill in the rest is up to you. I trust that you’ll do it in only the way you can.

P.S. I thought this insight was exclusively from the universe to me until I logged on and saw that Brené Brown had nailed it in one sentence:

Prayer + civic action are not mutually exclusive. Join me in both.
- Brené Brown

Might be worth Tweeting or at least writing on a post-it and hanging on your fridge ✊