Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Many of you know things get posted here at some really weird times. There is no doubt that I am what is known as a "chronic short sleeper"--someone who routinely gets 4-6 hours of sleep per evening but seems to not have any ill effects from it. It creates the illusion among my friends that I don't sleep.

But even chronic short sleepers get insomnia.

I tend to have little runs of it, where I wake up two hours later. They are almost always during times I am stressed. I've had runs of it while I have been making all those Very Big Decisions at work.

A couple of nights ago, I woke up at 3 a.m. and wrote this prayer in rough form. I have sinced fleshed it out. I think it may speak to more universal aspects of insomnia although it really is more or less "about me."

A Prayer for Insomnia

O Lord, Your son said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Yet, at times, I cannot put down my burdens and use the same arms that carry these burdens to embrace You, and to embrace the refreshing sleep I need.

Sometimes, the "yoke of expectations" overpowers me. I yearn to be loved fully and completely, yet I also realize that within me resides this core of solitude that cannot be denied. Sometimes I let that core be absorbed by what I believe the expectations of others are, and in my quest to be loved, I fear I will disappoint.

Sometimes, the powerful gift of "awareness" you have cultivated within me can work against me. I am grateful I can feel and see easily what others cannot. But sometimes I take on too much of it as my own, and fear that putting down what is not really mine will cause someone to be "let down."

Sometimes, the delight of the uniqueness you created in me, becomes a burden itself. Sometimes, I long to have the life everyone else seems to have. Yet I know in my deepest heart, it is not the life that best satisfies me, or best serves You. The chafing of this realization also prevents me from accepting the gift of the nighttime rest I need.

Teach me, merciful God, to not pick up what I don't need to carry.

Remind me, O God of miracles, that my yearnings, even my unfulfilled ones, are also a gift--my humanity presented to myself, put there to remind me just how alive I really am.

Train my ears, O God, to the sounds of your presence within both the noises and the stillness of the night--to feel your presence as real as I feel my own skin envelop me, to hear the rhythmic breathing of your Holy Spirit parallel my own inhalations and exhalations.

But most of all, gracious Lord, teach me to embrace sleep as a lover, and not resist it as a foe; and in that giving of myself to it, I may feel the power of the true love You have for me, as well as the manifestations of Your love that abide in the hearts of those closest to me. Amen.

5 comments:

What a beautiful, heart-felt prayer! Being another night oriented person acquainted with insomnia, this resonnates in my inmost being. Thanks and blessings!

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Well I can't sleep early, I just sleep 4 hours on weekday and I just have a mess face (rings under the eyes :S) I wish It would be so easy to sleep well praying that, but I like the pray.
Thank you for sharing.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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