A while back I had surgery for the first time in my life. As I was in recovery at the hospital, a volunteer came to my room to ask me if I would like to pray. I welcomed the lady in my room, although I had no immediate desire to recite any of the few catholic prayers that I know (or used to know). I could have said no, thank you, but I listened.
For me praying became yoga. And yoga became my prayer. My practice is my prayer. The one repetitive mantra that calms me and soothes me, my breath is the music. I connect.
But I didn’t think explaining this to the lady would make sense. Already my friends don’t understand my journey well sometimes, and people think my yoga practice is a bit of a sect-related activity. I let the lady sit down and then she asked me how I was doing. She asked me: will you be alright? I told her I am alright and explained I was on my way out. She looked relieved. And she said, well, that’s no impediment to pray.
I put my best face and gathered courage to tell her that I don’t practice religion and haven’t practiced in a long time, that it was a choice and I am happy with it, and that I am not a catholic, nor I want to be one, or like someone told me once: I am a catholic in recovery. I was raised catholic but I have chosen to stop practicing, and I do not follow the religion anymore.
I felt a little sad that I had to tell her all this.
I think I was more afraid of her answer than my own statement. I thought she would try to convince me. And I would have to defend my view, and justify myself and all that.
She asked me: Is there any moment during the day, when you feel joy, when you look at someone, or something, and you are trully happy to be alive, when you feel awake and you realise how blessed you are? Is there a moment of joy like this in your life? Do you believe in god?
Yes, every time I look outside, I feel blessed. I feel happy that I can enjoy my life as I do. I find joy in the flowers when I walk on the street. I feel joy when I am with the people I love. When I feel the wind on my face, and I’m cold, or warm, I feel alive, I am alive, bliss. There is not one day that goes through, that I do not feel this joy. I am not sure I believe in God, but I believe in something.
She said: Well… maybe, THAT, is your prayer.