Blessings and prayers

A blessing for those experiencing anxiety

Themes: anxiety, anxiousness, stress, Mental Health Awareness Week, coronavirus anxiety

Anxiety is like an enchanted forest, held in spell by some faceless evil
A weaver of lies and a distorter of truths

As we walk under their boughs, friendly trees become silent sentinels
Shadows become waiting beasts
And, before we know it, we are utterly lost

When anxiety has us in its grip
When we find ourselves in the heart of the enchanted forest, at sundown,
And shadows jump out everywhere
We must learn to be our own rescuer

When you find yourself running through the forest of fear,
May you screw up your courage, slow your pace,
Touch a hand to your heart and say ‘you are safe’

No matter where your footsteps take you
Your body is still your home
And your breath your anchor
But, dear one, sometimes it needs your reassurance

Anxiety feels like it has strong claws
May you learn not to fight with it
Instead, as gently as you can
May you tell it ‘you are welcome here’
May you show it radical acceptance
Then perhaps it will step into the light
And you will see it for what it really is

A frightened child who thought that she was the only one lost in the forest

Who could she be?

Dear one, take pity on her
“Don’t worry,” you tell her, soothingly,
“Each part of you is doing its best to serve you
Be gentle – oh, so gentle – with you”

“Allow all thoughts to express themselves,” you tell her.
“But mind which ones to which you pay attention
Write down the fears which hold you in their grip
In time, they will become a map to lead you out of the forest”

“Accept this challenging present, moment by moment
But know that this, too shall pass
And know that even in the heart of the forest of fear
You are never alone.”

And without even knowing it
You may find your way
Out of the dark canopy
Into gentle and soothing light
And the frightened child will smile and take your hand
And disappear.

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