I’ve always prayed. To heal. To have. I pray for people I love and people I have a hard time liking. I’ve sat in prayer circles petitioning rain and for someone’s cancer to dissolve. I know dozens of prayers from various faiths. I’ve published prayers. Danced them. Sang them. Sweat them. In reverence, in shock, in exquisite thanks.

I pray differently now.

For so long, my prayers were a nuanced negotiation. I thought if I gave The Divine my strongest, most capable, grateful, diligently-believing self; I’d earn what I was asking for. So, I brought my best “I got this” attitude to the Universeperfectly in order for our “be your best” culture. A Perfectly Devoted Daughter of Life.

But what of the days when I was not even close to my best? When I was feeling broken or put upon? When I was short on faith and long on craving? If I couldn’t reveal my darkness to the Light, where could it go to be healed?

The great mystics speak of vulnerability in prayera spiritual nakedness where you disrobe of pretences and come to God as you are. Actually, “disrobing” is a misleading term, as if you slip off your kimono for a dip on a sunny day. Soul exposure is usually more of a burning. To the bone. It’s very, very thorough.

But anywaaaay… I thought I was already naked. I was peeling it off in therapy. Not a day went by that I didn’t give my attention to the cosmos. I was mostly certainly telling God about my fears. But what I was not telling Her was that I was afraid of my fear… and ashamed of my shame, and terrorized by what terrified me.

I was never a chronic people pleaser, but I’ve been a God Pleaser. And if you relate, then you know: it’s a full time JOB. To uphold my strength for Creation, I was overriding most tender pain. And here’s what I know now: Your pain is what God is most urgently interested inlike any parent with their child. Let’s get this healed so you can go out and play.

You’ve got to feel it to heal it. And that is how we “give it over to God.” We bring our pain to our Higher awareness and then Life can take it from there. And that’s the transformational ignition. We are born through our authenticity.

Free the pain beneath the pain—so you can live a whole life.

My prayer life radiates with thanks and desire, awe and joy. And on some days, this very clear request:

Take my fear. Take my fear of my fear.
Take my shame. Take my shame of my shame.
Take my terror. Take my terror of my terror.

A prayer for deep healing.
Honestly divine.

Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.” She is author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another. The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul—the book that has been translated into 8 languages, evolved into a yearly day planner system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators in 15 countries. Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, millions of visitors go to DanielleLaPorte.com every month for her daily #Truthbombs and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” Her charities of choice are Eve Ensler’s VDay: a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and charity: water, setting out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her favourite philosopher, her son. You can find her @daniellelaporte and just about everywhere on social media.