I wake up in the middle of the night .... a lot. Some of it can be blamed on menopause. Some of it is because I have a lot to do and my to-do list just won't let go of me. But, the worst is when my brain wakes me to ruminate on shit that I have absolutely no control over. Here's a great example of what woke me this morning.

I texted something to someone and, since then, they haven't returned my calls or texts. So now I feel guilty because I'm convinced that I must have said something wrong and hurt their feelings in some way and now I'm certain that they either hate me or themselves (or both) because of what I said.

I've already done all of the things that I can do: I've painstakingly looking through my text, affirming for myself and from others that there is nothing that can be misconstrued as negative; I've followed up in numerous ways to say that if I've hurt them somehow, it wasn't my intention and I'm sorry and I want to fix it. Short of turning back time, there is not another damn thing I can do about it.

Can you relate? I thought so! So in this scenario, I'm sure, like me, you have often asked your brain this question at 3am, "Why?! Why the fuck are you waking me for this thing that I can do nothing about? What good could possibly come from my ruminating on and worrying about this?"

And, unfortunately, I gotta be honest and say that I don't know for sure why your brain decides to wake you up to obsess over this shit, but this is my guess .... It's because you're good people! You are kind and loving and giving. You don't want to hurt anyone. In fact, I'm sure you're careful to word things in a way so as to actively avoid hurting people. So your brain is hoping to fix it somehow, because, and here's another great thing about you, you like to fix things; you want to make things better!

So what does a good person do in that scenario. Your illogical 3am brain is waking you up saying, "You should fix this!" And you're logical brain is saying, "But there's nothing I can do." This not so fun tug of war can create an enormous amount of stress. I once read that a good definition of stress is having all of the responsibility and none of the control, and I think that definition rings true here.

One of the things that I suggest doing when trying to stop a spiral is to "Give Your Brain Something Else to Do." Often, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I do something that will distract my brain AWAY from whatever is bothering me (read, watch TV, do some work, etc.).

But, this morning when I awoke worrying about this issue, I realized what I really needed was something that would make me feel like I AM doing something. So, when you can't actually literally do anything, what can you do?

The answer, of course, is prayer. Now, those of you who were brought up with some type of faith might yawn at this right now and think, um .... duh! But, for me, this is not something that I learned to do growing up, so it just doesn't come naturally to me. In fact, I was modeled that worrying was our only recourse and was, in fact, the loving and proper thing to do.

So, for those who are like me and don't naturally think of this or maybe don't know any prayers, I've included a few prayers and mantras below that you can try. I talk about each of them individually in other affirmations, so I've linked those if you want more details on them.

Today, I did the Ho'oponopono prayer. I said it over and over again like a mantra in a meditation and it made me feel so much better. I'm hoping one of them might help you too if you need it ... to give you some peace .... or help you let go ... and hopefully get some sleep!

Ho'oponopono prayer

I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You.

Metta (Loving Kindness) Prayer

May (you) be happy. May (you) be well. May (you) be peaceful. May (you) be free.

Buddhist meditation on forgiveness

If I have hurt or harmed anyone, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask forgiveness.

If anyone has hurt or harmed me, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive them.

For the ways I have hurt myself, knowingly or unknowingly, I offer forgiveness.

PS. If you have a favorite prayer or mantra that you use in these types of situations, please let me know. I can always use more...