The Mother Teresa Do It Anyway prayer is a prayer about unconditional love. It calls on us to look beyond all the conditions we place on what we do and look within to the most important relationship we have in life which is our relationship to God.
I came across this Mother Theresa prayer through reading some of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s work. While she was Catholic, her teachings and her work transcended all religions. She had no “profound” teachings nor was she a very articulate speaker.
Mother Theresa became one the most profound spiritual teacher of our time through just one simple message and that was the message of unconditional love.
The real difference was that she not only talked about unconditional love, she lived it. Her entire life was dedicated to showing unconditional love – to such an extent that it profoundly touched people’s lives in so many different ways.
Mother Theresa’s massive impact on the world came not through what she said but through what she did.
What has become known as the Mother Theresa Prayer was a slight adaptation of Dr. Kent M. Keith’s “Paradoxical Commandments” and she has that written on the wall in her home for children in Calcutta.
If you ever wanted a philosophy to live by, then this would not be a bad one to choose.
The Mother Teresa Prayer: Do It Anyway
Mother Theresa was not about philosophy, teachings or even religion. Her life was all about actually making a difference. This prayer gives you practical everyday advice for how to live your life.
People often want to know HOW to change their lives. It does not get more practical than this. It is a great “manifesto” that you can start to live by. Living your life according to this prayer WILL change you and everything you do.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
What We Can Learn From The Mother Teresa Do it Anyway Prayer
The “punchline” of this prayer hit me really hard. It really does speak to all of us at some level. We tend to get so caught up in life and we forget.
We live life with so many conditions – and almost all of them stem from the needs of the ego. We dispose of our love, kindness and forgiveness sparingly and almost always with some level of expectation.
We are kind to others but if we don’t receive kindness back, we start withholding it. When you start looking at it from Mother Theresa’s perspective, you realize that it is not about you and “them”.
This changes everything.
When you keep this idea central in your life it will change everything you do. When you understand that it is always between you and God then you will do everything different.
It can be so hard to act despite people’s negative attitudes or reactions to you. This is your ego’s plot to always be in charge. To be important. To get for the sake of getting.
Spiritual growth is different. There is a huge paradox. St. Francis pointed out that “it is in giving that we receive”
The overriding principle of Mother Theresa’s Do It Anyway prayer is that it is never about what you get from what you do.
Decide that “this is what I am” and become kindness. Become peace. Become forgiveness. Don’t let these be only things you do.
As soon as it becomes things you only do then it will always come with attachments. These attachments are products of the ego that demands a return.
When the return is not there, then the ego demands that you shut it down.
In The Final Analysis…
Everything that you do, you ultimately do for yourself. This requires a profound understanding of life and is something that all spiritual teachers embodied.
Hating someone else does nothing but hurt you. You can never hurt someone else without hurting yourself.
It is easy to think that the Do It Anyway prayer is about being selfless but it is not that at all.. When you understand that ultimately everything you do you do for yourself then “being selfless” takes on a whole different meaning.
This is all about overcoming your ego and learning to live from your higher self. As your ego takes a backseat in your life, the higher self can start to flourish.
Lao Tzu said that “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” Keep this in mind as you start the practice of reading Mother Theresa’s prayer every day for 30 days.
Ultimately you have to make a choice on how you will live your life. When everything in life becomes about ‘you and God’ then everything in your life will be transformed.
You can stop treating life as a big transaction where you expect returns for everything you do.
How you treat people is your karma. How they respond to it is their karma. Outside of this there is nothing to worry about.
You tend to your own garden.