Pray? Me? Pass.

 

I never got in a regular habit of praying as a believer and here’s why.

I’m an introvert. We hate small-talk…with anyone…including ‘God,’ whomever that is. I don’t like talking when I really have nothing to say and unlike many people I crave silence when there’s not an active conversation going on with another person. I have only heard of one person who said they heard the ‘audible voice of God,’ and I wasn’t told that by the person. That was in my Foursquare days when there were demons under every placemat. When I was there I was encouraged to not meditate as I had practiced it in my ‘former’ life as that was leaving doors open to ‘demons.’

I talked to ‘God’ because I was told by some that I needed to. I was told by others that I had to. In fact one pastor said I’d lose my ‘salvation’ if I didn’t pray. I guess we’ll overlook Romans 11:29 while we’re trying to scare a group of newbies into conforming and so they’ll keep coming back.

Talking gets to be exhausting. I just never liked being the only thing speaking in an empty room and that was what praying to ‘God’ felt like EVERY TIME. I did some of it but ‘I never prayed without ceasing.’ I suspect it was part of what led to my eventual exit from the faith. Today when I meditate I may state an intention or chant a bit but it’s very limited and not consistent. I ‘pray’ a little but I am no longer sure who I’m praying to anymore or if there is anyone to pray to. I may return to it as part of my spiritual practice, but I doubt it’ll be at the core. It will be my decision and not at anyone’s behest.

Partied out

Germany Christmas Geese

I’m a highly sensitive person. I’m still learning what all that means. One of the things that is hard to deal with is enclosed spaces with people.

I was at a birthday party last night at a sports bar. I go to this place every month or so for a get together with friends. This was one of the rare times when I was there at night with a large group in the dining hall, which is about 25×15′ with wood paneled walls and large windows. There were about 30 people in there.

This is a 30 second clip of the sound that I recorded. I’m using the image of the geese because they make a similar sound if you strip away everything else that’s going on in the scene.

Imagine an hour or two of that when you feel stuck there and it’s slowly It’s really difficult to get across to people who are not affected by this how irritating it is to be stuck in an enclosed space with more than three or four people for more than five or ten minutes without taking several breaks. It’s like walking around with a shoulder-width metal box on your head with random strangers hitting it repeatedly with objects of different sizes. Yes. I could go outside but if I do that I’ll dread coming back in. This same group outside wouldn’t have been a problem.

Identifying the problem

7 years ago I was at a friend’s house for their son’s HS graduation party. The group consisted of my friends, their families, and some of their neighbors and other friends. I’ve had a sort of rolling dislike of some of their neighbors and the way they seem to give them a revolving door invite to their house. Regardless, not my house, not my rules. It’s just something I have to put up with when I visit them.

So one of the neighbors from a few houses down is a loudmouthed non-stop talker. I didn’t identify this as extroversion or as anything more than annoying, loudmouthed non-stop talker. I couldn’t sit down and just drink a beer without him in high-speed verbal broadcast for probably an hour. Finally the guests were mostly either inside or out talking on the front lawn and I went in the garage and sat down with my beer.

Then the mom, who assumes that if you’re alone at a party you’re not having fun, (Introvert Pet Peeve #712) asks me if i’m “all right.” At the time I did not understand anything about being introvert other than the fact that I am one. So I didn’t understand that my being tired was somewhat due to being around too many people without a break, plus the motormouth idiot. So I blamed the beer. It was not my brand or the type I usually order.

If I had a chance to do that event over, I’d have told her, “yeah, I’m fine, I just need a few minutes.”