Breath Prayer for Anxious Souls
Inhale: O Holy One, come swiftly.
Exhale: Return me to myself.
Breath Prayer for Authenticity
Inhale: Emmanuel, God with us,
Exhale: Help me stay with myself.
God gave each of us the gift of a Self. During panic attacks, high anxiety or high emotion moments, or just regular old stress and people-pleasing, I feel like I am moving away from the Self that God gave me. The intensity ranges from mild discomfort to intolerable panic.
When the feeling is intense, as in the middle of a panic attack or depression, I used to feel guilty when I couldn’t get to God. I prayed, “I can’t get to You, so I need You to come to me.” I realized that incarnation is exactly what God did/does.
Then, I ask God to return me to myself. Occasionally, I’ll hear the whisper of a healing thought, like “Move your body.” More often, I ride out the wave, reminding myself that it will pass.
As I’ve done Enneagram work as someone who is in the dependent stance (this includes Enneagram 1s, 2s, and 6s), I’ve become aware that having my reference point outside of myself makes me feel sometimes like I’m leaving myself whenever another person is in front of me. Subconsciously, I’m adjusting myself according to my perception of the other person, which feeds the insecurity of not knowing if I’m really liked or loved for my authentic Self.
Before social situations, particularly with people I find intimidating, I’ve started praying for God to help me stay with myself. Miraculously, I have noticed a difference since. I feel more settled and confident, and my whole perception of certain interactions and relationships has shifted. I realized how much I had been projecting my insecurities onto my relationships. After this prayer, people seemed to interact with me differently. I don’t know whether this was because my perception changed or people were responding to a change in me. Either way, it has led to peace and quiet confidence that I hope will continue to grow.
The Self God gave each of us is a gift. I pray that God will bring us home to ourselves so that we can more often experience the joy in being loved just as we are.