Day 40 of the Atheist Prayer Experiment was yesterday, on Friday 26th.
After two weeks of more of the same, I decided to give the last day a special effort. I got on my knees in front of an armchair, with my face in the cat's blanket. (The blanket bit wasn't planned - it just happened to be there.)
I'm nervous about sharing what I prayed after the request for revelation, as it's personal and talking about it makes me feel vulnerable. It also makes me feel foolish.
Me and food. We have a love-hate relationship. I was bulimic in my twenties and occasionally it comes back. I think about food, eating and calories far more than is healthy. It's also really bloody boring.
Having found the "Be thankful" advice helpful, I thought I'd ask the wise-voice-who-I-think-is-me-but-you-might-think-is-God to help me with this. Wise-voice-[etc] said:
"What do you want, above all?"
I thought about it. "I want to have a normal relationship with food. But I also really want to be thin."
I hate writing this. At size 8 (UK), I'm not exactly fat, but that's beside the point. The fact is, I'm super-annoyed with myself for being so in thrall to stupid societal expectations of what women should look like.
The voice came back: "Why don't you meditate on that?"
I've been in therapy so, on an intellectual level, I know what's going on here. Control issues, fear of letting go, fear that I can't trust myself and, underneath it all, the belief that I have to be a certain way in order to be acceptable. Or lovable.
I felt tearful down there in front of the cat's blanket. It's frustrating still to have these issues in middle age. Nonetheless, I'll take the advice on board. I've been tightening this knot for most of my life and it's not going to dissolve if I keep ignoring it. I'm just aware that it may take a long time to work loose.