No FailurePosted: May 21, 2012 | |
I am watching a TV talk show and a couple of actors are talking about the book, The Secret. One says. “I tried it. It didn’t work.” The other says, “The Secret – Isn’t that Oprah’s thing?” Then they go on to discuss something else.
Many people think changing your thinking in order to change your life should be easier than it is. If it doesn’t happen overnight, it didn’t work. It works, but not always overnight.
Sometimes the people presenting New Thought ideas do a disservice by making it sound as if affirmations and spiritual mind treatment are magical spells. Not true. You can’t just turn around three times and spit over your left shoulder to change your life.
I have learned a great deal about how to change the conditions in an individual’s life during the past 23 years in my ministry. That old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” is certainly true.
While it is usually not enough to say a prayer and have a new experience, a consistent and persistent approach does pay off. Believe me, I know something about consistent and persistent.
In retrospect, slow achievement has been my specialty. I dropped out of college and then eventually finished. I wrote for many years before I finally became a successful writer. I lost more than a hundred pounds but it took almost ten years.. I started a church with little money or support and grew it slowly. I’m now controlling serious health issues through persistent attention to spiritual practice and taking care of myself.
What I have learned is that we must never give up. If we take time to feel sorry for the failed results, we cheat ourselves of the victory. On the other hand, even if we fall down, we can always pick ourselves up, dust off the dream and begin again.
My experience has absolutely convinced me that most people give up too soon. They come to the church to learn about making positive choices and resolve to change their thoughts and their behavior but they slip and slide. They don’t actually fail, they just abdicate.
I’ve seen it happen over and over. They wanted to find a perfect right mate and decided to use affirmations, and get around more, then tried it for a month before they gave up. The plan didn’t fail, they quit.
Or they wanted to find a better job so they occasionally prayed and sent out resumes for two months and then gave up. The only real failure was in not to following through on the chosen action plan.
Certainly, the most common example of giving up too soon is when people vow to get fit. They pray a few mornings and join a gym. However, we seem to have an obsession with fast food and TV watching. We are all Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Of course, you realize that every criticism I make is because I have observed it in myself as well as others. I have been a slow learner about many things, including changing my thinking and changing my life. I have not always followed through on what I learned in classes but I’ve followed through enough to have some terrific successes.
In New Thought, we teach that you can have just about anything you can desire, envision, believe and accept. We all have desires. But we must change our thinking so that we can envision and accept our desires. That is where prayer and affirmations come in.
Our consistent spiritual practice is important if we are going to develop new ways of thinking and living. One of the things I have learned to do is set my day by starting with prayers and expressions of gratitude. There are many other spiritual practices that help keep me and anyone else on track. They include meditation, visioning, and reading enlightened books.
Prayers, gratitude lists, visioning meditations and affirmations all open up our mind to accept and believe at a deeper level of consciousness. Won’t you tell me and the other readers what dreams you have realized through spiritual practices? Please comment.
With consistency, we develop a new consciousness of who we are and what we can do. We also begin to appreciate and enjoy what we already have. It is important to remember that trained and directed thought (affirmative prayer) is truly powerful.
Every time we engage in a serious moment of spiritual practice, we open our consciousness and our acceptance level a bit wider. That’s how it works. Sometimes it seems slow. Sometimes it is so quick it seems like a miracle – but it always works according to spiritual laws.
When we pray, we are not really praying for “things” but for the consciousness to attract and hold a new idea of ourselves. We think we are sick but our new consciousness reveals that we are well. We think we are lonely and the new consciousness is so filled with joy that it attracts many friends. And so it goes.
Sometimes the new consciousness comes in a brilliant flash of light and we are revealed as a new idea created in God’s image. We truly see ourselves in a new way and since our lives will go in the direction of our prevailing belief system, life becomes a series of successes instead of failures.
My gift to each of you would be to understand that even the apparent failures are steps in the right direction. If we have to do it over again, we can learn to see that we are one step closer to our goal rather than at the end of the dream.
You have a wonderful life and you can fill it with wonderful choices. In this season of renewal and growth I want to remind you that you cannot fail as long as you stick to the program of believing in the dream and working toward it.
Remember to pray and remember that my friend and mentor, Dr. David Walker was right when he wrote his book, You Are Enough.
When should you give up? How about never?
What have I accomplished through prayer?
Do I have a plan for my dreams?
Are there any dreams I need to dust off and try again?