The Resolution Prayer
by Cat Saunders
In the late 1980s, I was given a one-sentence prayer in my meditations, and this prayer became a daily invocation. After watching it transform my life for several months, I began sharing it with friends and clients to see if it had value for others. The reports were consistently impressive, ranging from amazement to overwhelm. This simple prayer seems to stimulate clearing at many levels. Before saying more about the prayer, let me give it to you:
Anything unresolved in my life now resolves itself
gently, easily, and completely, for the good of all.
The purpose of this prayer is to get your conscious mind out of the way. In other words, it's not your job to figure out what needs to be resolved. Leave that part up to Big Mind - or whatever you want to call the unifying force of the universe. Whatever you call it (and I'll call it Big Mind for now), the important thing is that this prayer recognizes that there's something bigger than any one of us, something that has a better grasp of the big picture. If you want to take advantage of this larger source of knowing, the Resolution Prayer is one simple way to do it.
By the way, the idea of Big Mind doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the concept of God, unless you want to see it that way. It's possible to be an atheist and still take advantage of Big Mind. One of my most important shamans is an atheist, and he's one of the most spiritual people I know. In addition, if you object to the word "prayer," you can still use the Resolution Prayer - or any other prayer. Just substitute another word for "prayer." For instance, some Native Americans say that prayers are simply your thoughts.
Incidentally, if you don't understand how prayer works, you can still use it. You don't need to understand electricity in order to turn on a light, and you don't have to understand physics in order to drive a car. Whether or not you understand the deeper workings of metaphysics, you can still harness the power of focused thought.
You can invoke Big Mind through prayer by simply thinking about connecting to it. When you do the Resolution Prayer, then, you will be asking Big Mind to decide what the next layer of healing should be for you. More specifically, you'll be asking "anything unresolved in your life to now resolve itself." This is a trick to get the little mind, or ego, out of the way. As much as possible, you'll be asking that your unresolved issues clean themselves up, without any effort on your part.
Sometimes this will actually happen, through a process called grace. That is, some of your old patterns may dissipate simply because you have expressed your willingness for them to do so. However, resolution work will usually stimulate old patterns to come up in present time, to give you an opportunity to make new choices and resolve the pattern in a new way. Rest assured that if one of your old patterns shows up again, there's more work to do.
The next portion of the prayer, the "gently and easily" clause, is a request that the resolution process be as non-disruptive as possible. Believe me, it's not a good idea to do this kind of prayer without a clause like this. Without it, you might find yourself overwhelmed by all your unresolved issues flooding your life at once. While there's a lot to be said for taking the bull by the horns, I recommend that you err on the side of sanity.
In my former days of believing in the "no pain, no gain" theory, I did metaphysical work with no provision for making the process gentle and easy. As a result, I spent a lot of time learning to duck and cover! At some point, I realized that my tendency to push spiritual work to light speeds was just another attempt to control my healing by trying to speed it up. It took me a long time to understand that if I went too fast, I'd only have to come back and pick up the pieces later.
One word of caution: your idea of "gentle and easy" might not be the same as Big Mind's concept of gentle and easy. If you don't think your results are gentle and easy, take a moment to consider how much more intense your situation could be. In other words, if you use this prayer, assume that whatever happens is as gentle and easy as possible, given everything and everyone involved.
The "completely" modifier in the prayer was added months after continuous use, because I noticed that certain patterns were indeed resolving themselves, but they weren't completing. Adding this word to the request lets Big Mind know that you want your unresolved issues to get finished, rather than remain in a perpetual state of resolving themselves. This was another lesson for me in being careful about what I ask for!
The final clause of the prayer, "for the good of all," is in keeping with the standard metaphysical practice of including an intent that your healing be in alignment with the greater good. If you want to survive, much less prosper, it's wise to work with the flow of the universe, rather than against it. You might be able to swim upstream for a while but, ultimately, your personal allotment of energy is no match for the great river of life. In addition, when you invoke the good of all, you acknowledge the wisdom of a universe that is actually quite economical. That is, if you benefit from the resolution work, great. However, if your work can benefit others also, the universe will lend more power to your efforts.
Because one purpose of the Resolution Prayer is to request that Big Mind do as much of the work as possible, it's important to let it do the work. This means that you don't need to get compulsive about doing the prayer.
Don't write it a million times. Don't recite it endlessly like a mantra. Don't post it on little note cards and stick it up all over your house. Just say it out loud, once a day. That's it.
Saying the prayer out loud does two things. First, it makes a distinction between your clearly stated intention and all the other random thoughts running around inside your head. More importantly, speaking out loud sets up the vibration of sound, which adds power to your prayer. Sound is one form of energy, and it can be used in the physical world to break up old patterns more forcefully.
After you say the Resolution Prayer out loud once a day, let it go. Turn over the work to Big Mind, and watch to see what happens. Pay attention to everything that comes into your life. Notice similarities between different situations. See if you can spot any themes. Do your best to stay aware, avoiding reactive and automatic responses. This may take some practice, because when unresolved patterns come up for healing, you may feel pain or discomfort. Addictive habits may also intensify. Try to ride the crest of your patterns instead of being pulled down by them.
When you see an old pattern manifesting, a simple approach is to: 1) acknowledge it; 2) thank it; and then 3) kiss it goodbye. In other words, you recognize and name the pattern, appreciate that it helped you survive, and then let it die by doing something different. This approach is more helpful than exclaiming hopelessly, "Oh, no! It's happening again!" Self-talk like that only reinforces the pattern's place in present time.
Remember, patterns like to put on a show before they die. If you regard their death rattles as an indication that they are returning with even greater force, you'll be lost. If, instead, you can keep your wits about you, and realize that the surge of stuff is all a big show, you can simply give your patterns a hearty round of applause as they go by. Enjoy the parade!
The more unresolved issues you have, the less subtle your lessons are likely to be. I don't say this to scare you, only to warn you. Even so, it's important to realize that you have a choice about how to respond to your emotional patterns as they arise. If you can approach situations with curiosity and humor, rather than judgment and self-blame, old patterns can resolve themselves more easily. Your own perceptions play a big part in how gentle and easy your resolution work feels to you.
At some point, your work with this prayer may take off, and the quantity or intensity of old patterns may leave you feeling overwhelmed, despite your good intentions toward gentleness. If this happens for you, you can always stop doing the prayer and take a rest. If you prefer to rise to the challenge by going deeper, don't forget that there's no prize for doing it alone. If you get stuck, an outside perspective from someone you trust can work wonders for morale. Don't be afraid to ask for help. To paraphrase Arny Mindell, "You don't need to go into the deep, dark forest alone. Take a buddy!"
A former therapist of mine used to say that if you have a charge (intense feeling) over three on a scale of ten, then your feelings are not related only to the present situation, but to a past event as well. If the Resolution Prayer triggers a lot of deep feelings for you, remember to be as responsible as possible, because the people in your life now may have very little to do with the intensity of your emotions. Find ways to honor and express your feelings, of course, but remember that your feelings are your feelings, and no one else is responsible for them but you.
If the situations involving your old patterns seem to become more intense as you continue working with the prayer, you may want to engage a counselor, mentor, or coach to help you see any blind spots in your thinking which may be contributing to the intensity. On the other hand, if the general intensity of your healing lessons seems to be gradually decreasing, assume you're on the right track, and just keep working.
Ironically, there may be times when your lessons are becoming increasingly subtle, and you're on the right track, when suddenly a real "blaster" comes crashing through. This doesn't necessarily mean you're regressing. Instead, it may simply mean that you are being given a bigger challenge, as a "reward" for successfully resolving some of your less difficult issues. Welcome to graduate school! Consider the occasional blaster as an invitation to test your skills. Plow into it with the same curiosity, humor, and mindfulness you have developed while working with the smaller issues. And give yourself a pat on the back, too.
If you're wondering how you'll be able to tell when a particular pattern is done, here's the answer: it's over when it stops showing up in your life. Don't worry if a pattern takes many years to dissipate. After all, who knows how many years - or lifetimes - the pattern has been building? Try not to judge yourself for your rate of healing. Whatever is presented to you is what needs your attention. It's that simple.
Emotional healing work is like housecleaning. If you want to clean house, every room will require your attention at one point or another. It doesn't matter if you clean the bathroom or the kitchen first. And you can't just keep all the closet doors closed, in hopes that the proverbial skeletons will never fall out. In addition, once you get the house clean, it will still take effort to keep it clean. However, regular maintenance - for houses as well as minds - is usually easier than major overhauls.
Thus, after you use the Resolution Prayer to "clean house," I suggest that you keep using it to keep the clutter cleared out. After I'd used this prayer for about a year, I noticed that my life was working better than ever. I got a little cocky about this, thinking that my old issues were resolved once and for all. Dream on, Saunders! After a short time, I discovered that subtle manifestations of old patterns were showing up again. I realized that my cockiness was premature, and I decided to keep using the prayer every day, just for the sake of maintenance. The point is, no matter how up-to-date you get, new situations are always presenting themselves.
Fortunately, the universe is a very patient teacher. It will keep giving you the same lesson over and over, in all kinds of different forms, until you get it. You don't have to worry about missing your chance to resolve a particular issue. Quite the contrary! Sometimes you may even wish the opportunities to clear up old patterns were not quite so endless.
If you use the Resolution Prayer regularly, be respectful of its power. If it brings up more stuff than you feel ready to face, remember that you can back off. Perhaps you could say the prayer once a week instead of every day. Experiment until you find a rate of resolution that fits your level of comfort with healing work. Keep it at a level at which you feel challenged, and yet still feel safe. If you feel continually overwhelmed, constantly upset, or just plain scared, you may be going too fast. Learn your own warning signs which show when you're pushing too hard, and honor your limits. The goal is compassion and growth, not intensity and speed. Gentle and easy begins with you.
This article was adapted from Dr. Cat's Helping Handbook, due to be self-published in late 1997. More than ten years in the making, this book includes updates of many New Times articles, including "The Anger Primer" and "How to Love Your Shame." If you would like to be on the mailing list for Dr. Cat's Helping Handbook (or for any other reason), you may contact her in care of The New Times.