Dangerous Compassions

praying in a riverbed

This post “praying in a riverbed” is a letter to my good friend that you are invited to read, like eavesdropping, but you’re wanted.

Dear friend,

I asked Ming to take me out to the desert.  Today he took me out to Late Night Trail which is just outside of Las Vegas.  There’s a riverbed right next to it, for part of the way.  I wanted to walk a little ways, then go to the riverbed to pray.  Praying in a riverbed is one of my favorite things to do.

I ended up getting two clear messages, so I wanted to tell you.

settling in

Ming sat nearby on a rock, helping me feel safe by being near.  Also I asked him the cardinal directions–he looked at an app on his phone.  I was slightly off.

I was wearing my red warmness that belonged to my mom, years ago.  It’s thick, soft, and almost all of the buttons have fallen off.  I lay it out on the ground, and I lay down on my tummy in the riverbed.

At one point I asked Ming to lift up the back of my shirt and expose my back to the sun, which he was happy to help with.  And at the end, I talked to him about the messages.  Then he went for a walk without me, at my suggestion, so I sat in the riverbed by myself and just rested.  It was a cool out, but not quite cold.

At first I didn’t really relax.  I was up on my elbows, like a sphinx asana / modified cobra.  I was praying out loud, thanking Mother God for my blessings and asking for help.  Help with my health, and help balancing a few things.  “Please hear my cry,” is a phrase I remember saying toward the beginning.

Lately I’ve been praying a ton, “Please help me balance caring for my own needs with caring for the needs of others.”

silent part

Then I was quietly looking at rocks and tiny plants growing.  Feeling my feelings.  This was the silent part.  By then I was lying down all the way.

I started thinking about my mom, and I was crying.  At first gently–then with my whole body.  I remembered that last year she was alive, when I spent my birthday with her.  She kissed me on that bench at the apple tasting place, and Ming took a picture.  In the riverbed, I realized she was kissing me goodbye.

Did she know that was our last time together, with her as a well person?  Not sure, but most kisses don’t get a photo of them.  Sometimes “you may kiss the bride.”  But it was very special, I have this picture of her kissing me goodbye.  Sweet mama, giving this gift to me.

Then I started getting sleepy.  I felt like maybe I could fall asleep there on my tummy, after praying in a riverbed.  “Should I let myself fall asleep?” I wondered.  Maybe I would have an important dream.

first message

Then I got a very clear message.  It was from my mom, though I didn’t ask for one.  It was over and over again, around six or seven times: I’m very very very proud of you.

Yes, my mom was always proud of me.  I know that, but this riverbed message went deep inside me.  She was giving me her strength, to help me keep going.

She told me over the years as a living person, how she was so proud of me.  I can do things she couldn’t / didn’t.  When she saw me leave a painful relationship, quit a job, move, and choose to do many things that other people cannot understand, she admired that.  She recognized I have a deep well of strength to live according to my values, not the values I’m expected to have.  She also liked that I went to school–she kept my BA and MFA degrees on her wall.

Then when she died, I could have gone a bad way.  Instead I got more strong in who I am, honest, and vulnerable.  So I get from her message: she’s very proud that I’m ok without her.  I took inside me the love she gave me, and I continue to do good with it.

second message

The second message, I’m not sure who it’s from.  Mother God?  The universe?  It was like: It’s completely ok to be crazy.  Being crazy is the appropriate response, to this world.  You’re doing great, being crazy.  Being crazy is exactly the right amount.

That message is very helpful also.  I don’t see my mom as an expert on craziness, so I’m not sure it was her.  Again, I already know this idea, but getting it while I lay face down, praying in a riverbed, helped me believe it more.

My huge feelings are just right.  My extreme reactions to extreme fucked up circumstances are absolutely right.  I felt thanked for my craziness, like my craziness is a ministry–I can set a good example, as a crazy person.  Hey–this is my truth, and these are my feelings.  If you think they’re too much, you’re the wrong one, not me.  I’m not over-feeling; you’re under-feeling.

It’s very comforting, to hear I’m on the right track.  The spirit validation is strengthening.  It helps me feel strong to do my life’s work.  I’m glad I could get some insight that I’m doing good.  My mom is very very very proud of me, and my craziness is 100% ok.  I’m unconditionally valid.  It’s true.

I love you

Thank you for hearing how it went for me.  I feel safe telling my life to you.  Your nourishing friendship is so helpful like my mom’s love and God’s love.  So it feels right to tell you these things, and I don’t think you’ll be surprised.

Thank you for paying attention to me and nurturing my well-being.  I hope I can do something good for you too.  I love you.


praying in a riverbed

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

6 replies on “praying in a riverbed”

You do so much good for me.

One really good thing that’s been creeping seeping into me lately is about Michael. He feels so deeply sometimes but doesn’t know how to talk about it other than venting, and for years I found it really uncomfortable for me to be around, because he would get so negative and it had the potential to really bring me down. He gets very down on the world and the USA in particular. I can shift to expanded perspective but he seems trapped inside a really dismal mode of thinking that I don’t want to go to, and fear going to because it would be so despairing for me.
So in me, allowing him to just be how he is, this I have learned from you. Giving him the thing you are giving yourself. Giving me the space to feel compassion for him instead of fear of feeling suxked in to his despair. Compassion is a balancer like that.
And it isn’t that I never feel despair, I do. But I don’t want to feel it every time another person does, a person I’m close to, because that’s too much. It’s about me, a rather empathic person, dancing to my own inner drummer.

I can feel the messages come into you, feel your mom sending you the clear message so important to her. It opens my solar plexus. Feels so very true and clear and there’s a feeling that comes through that is reflective of the words but quantum in ultimate meaning. And that opens my heart.

The second message also feels like Iike the most grounded truth. Yes, this is actually the normal in tune response to the out of balance whacked-ness of what humans are doing. You are alert, aware, awake. That is alive and good, but means you are really seeing what is going on, and what’s going on can be heartbreaking to really see.

I love you and am many thousands of fathoms-worth grateful we get to be in life alive aware together.


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