“My biggest goal for this year is to celebrate my eightieth birthday,” I said. Then I laughed and added, “ I’m not sure what I’ll do after that because I can’t imagine being old.”
One of the best things about getting to the wisdom age is that you know that life is what it is. That means it never jogs backward but always trots forward.
This year, I’m not making resolutions or setting goals. I’ve decided to enjoy life. I live in Sunny San Diego and I’m going to stretch my arms upward and smile back at the sun the next time it shines on me.
That’s not a resolution. I love the sun and I claim my right to enjoy every moment. I am not going to work at being anything. I spent the majority of my life trying very hard to improve and then discovered I was already perfect, whole and complete from the get-go. From now on – I’m on vacation.
I’ve decided to follow the advice I received about 39 years ago. I am going to live one day at a time. That means, I am going to do more or less what I want. If I want to watch old movies all day, I will. If I want to go to the gym, I will.
I know the key to delightful aging is supposed to be learning new things. In previous years, I would have made a goal list and written, “Learn better Spanish”, or “Study social media”, but not this year. This is the year I declare that I love myself the way I am.
It’s true that I benefited from hard work in the past and I don’t really begrudge it, but I choose to move into true acceptance in 2013. I am going to take a leaf from my friend Dr. David Walker’s book, and say, “I Am Enough”.
Truth is, I already know an awful lot of stuff no one else knows. When I leave the planet, I’m convinced there will be no one left who knows the difference between lie and lay or affect and effect. Everyone will say, “He invited John and I to the party” and no one will cringe.
In my lifetime, I’ve learned a great deal about a great many things. For example, I learned how to put on makeup, brush my hair until it shone, dress to look slimmer, and use good table manners. It got me what I wanted at that time and it was fun while it lasted but that was then and this is now. I’ve dropped romance and now prefer sunshine keep my bones warm.
At one time or another, I used to know how to sew, cook, garden, and knit. I could make pottery, draw, paint, dance, write long sentences, and teach school. I learned about New Thought history, English literature, and the history of the opera, art, and film. It was all very interesting at the time.
Once, I knew a whole lot of poetry and literature by heart. I knew Emerson’s essays, Freud’s theories and the Zen stories. I knew the tales of the Bal Shem Tov and the Brothers Grimm. I could read Tarot cards, practice yoga, swim, play poker, play canasta, sell real estate, and dress for success. I even once knew the difference between shall and will.
I am – in short – an accomplished woman. So I won’t be writing any new resolutions this year. I like my life pretty much the way it is. After all, it took me a long time to settle into my particular rut.
So what if I prefer my old movies to the new ones? I am perfectly happy looking at Myrna Loy and William Powell drink their way thorough the Thin Man series. So what if I think Otis Redding is a better singer than those new guys whose names sound so peculiar. I understand the lyrics when Otis sings.
It’s true there are many, many things I never learned. I can’t sing. I never could touch my toes. For that matter, I never really learned to keep house. But I tried for as long as I cared to struggle. From now on, I’m going with the flow.
It is also true there are some things I might be able to learn if I set my head to it. I probably should have learned some of them a long time ago but I don’t intend to start now. I’ve travelled this far without multiplication tables, so I figure I can coast the rest of the way. BofA computers keep my bank balance now and I’ve had an account with Bank of America since I was fourteen. Why switch horses?
As for technology. I’ve already learned more than I wanted although I admit that my technological relationships are somewhat disfunctional. I had a fax machine and it went out of style. My scanner is too dim and my copier is crooked. I have a cell phone but it doesn’t work at my valley home. I have two Apple computers and only one of them gets the internet. I can’t download Netflix and the complaints go on…and on.
I was a liberal arts major. What can you expect of someone who didn’t even see a TV until she was 14 and didn’t turn on another one until she was 35?
Like Blanche DuBois in Streetcar Named Desire, I depend on the kindness of strangers (actually, mostly my relatives) when it comes to modern devices. I was in the hospital for two days last year and they let me go home early, probably because every time young Dr. Kildare came in, I asked him to help me with my cell phone.
I did not get a Kindle for Christmas because I did not want one. I love my books even if some are dusty. I don’t like machines and I do love books so why would I mix pleasure with pain? . You can’t underline the good books on a Kindle. You can’t trade the trashy ones in for more trashy ones.
Now that I’ve declared my independence. I give myself permission to change my mind. I will make some resolutions – at least for this day.
I Say No-No
I am not going to try to keep up.
I am not going to do things because they are good for me.
I am not going to criticize myself or others.
I Say Yes-Yes
I am going to march to my own drummer.
I am going to enjoy every moment I can.
I am going to see God in everyone.
I am going to have a Happy New Year.
May 2013 be filled with Love, Light, Joy, Wisdom, Health, Wealth and Lot’s Of Fun. You deserve the best!
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. Mine was lovely. This year, I enjoyed every bit of the holiday festivities. The events were low key compared to some years, but the love seemed even more pronounced. God is good – all the time.
One of the highpoints of this week was spending Christmas Eve with family members in Redondo Beach. This is the season for nostalgia and we all know that can be dangerous but this year the party was very present and very fun.
We ate a lot and laughed a lot and we didn’t drift into the “good old days” conversations. My family has never looked like Norman Rockwell’s idealized version of Americana but as the years flew by, we all found our own balance and happiness.
Even though memories flooded my mind, I enjoyed the present holiday season very much. I always loved my family but when I was younger, I didn’t know it as well as I do now. I am also better at recognizing their love for me. I’ve changed and so have they.
Redondo Beach hasn’t changed much, and everywhere I look, I see myself as a younger woman, making crucial choices. Especially at Christmas, I feel a bit like Old Scrooge (with less money) visiting my youthful self. These trips down memory lane are a little unsettling; I fade in and out of time warps even though I know the past is gone forever.
I lived in this beach town from age 16 until age 30. I then returned at 33 to live here until I was 40. During that time, I was widowed twice and I raised my daughter there. I also taught school longer there than any other place. History is all around me. Some of it is pretty bad but I see more and more good in those years – now that I’ve ridden and survived the rapids.
I started drinking there. I also had an auto accident and got sober there. I returned to drinking there nine years later. I worked my way through college there and I wrote my first novel there. There is also where I first attended Dr. Frank Richelieu’s Religious Science Church.
I’ve been sober for 39 years, by the grace of God and my 12 Step program. I really do know the past is gone forever. I also know I can’t push the rewind button on my life and make different choices. I can, however, take this season of Joy as a chance to be grateful. Life has actually turned out as well as any of those novels that Dickens wrote.
One of the greatest gifts of my age is the ability to look back and marvel at the “dumb luck” or the unseen angels that guided me to make some positive decisions. Forty years ago, I wouldn’t have bet a nickel that I’d still be here – let alone be happy.
I’ve already lived longer than my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Despite my smoking, drinking and eating issues, I’m still here. I’m interested in life and I can still be useful from time to time. That is surely a gift from God. Thank you, God.
I’m no Charles Dickens but I could write several different endings to the book of Jane’s life. If it were not for the crucial and (mostly) unconscious choices along the way, things might have been very different.
I could have been killed in that auto accident instead of ending up in the hospital and deciding to get sober. I could have married any one of several wrong candidates for my hand. I could have been a miserable human being if it were not for going to church when I was 23. I could have been truly broke if I hadn’t decided to go to college.
Until recently, I could only see the tragedy in going back to drink after 9 years of being dry. Now I see that those 9 years enabled me to raise my daughter, build a career and achieve enough I could use when I got sober the second time.
It is humbling to think about, when I look at my life as though it were a novel, I can see a series of dumb choices and also many others I made in the direction of life and love. I chose to keep on trying to heal even during some very dark times. I chose to believe that using the ideas I found in Science of Mind and 12 Step programs could help me turn my life around.
I chose to leave some people because I felt bad when I was with them. I chose to continue to seek love. I chose to try new ideas and to step out on faith. I chose to take better care of myself even though it was a long way down the path in the other direction. I chose to let the past be what it was and to believe I could make different choices today.
All of these choices amounted to acknowledging that God was for me, not against me. It took me a long time and it was a zigzag path but the forward steps added up.
I used to believe I was stuck and I wasn’t. Since I’ve discovered the power of choice, I have devoted myself to helping others take charge of their lives.
Many people aren’t sure they have many choices ahead or behind them. They believe they are only reactors, rather than actors on the stage of their own lives. They see themselves as victims. Whether victims of their early childhood, their late starts in life, their fate, their bad luck or their flawed characters, they define themselves as powerless. Despite what our culture teaches and what we may believe, everyone has access to Infinite Power and Infinite Possibility.
That Infinite Possibility and Power must be discovered within ourselves. No one can do it for us, although we can point the way for each other, we must make our own choices.
If I had that power, I would wave my magic wand and say, “Do it this way!” But it would never work. We all have to discover our own pathway to hope. In the end, we will all be writing our own life story.
One of the saddest things about seeing yourself as a victim is that you don’t know you have any power to change anything. Even if people get to the place where they hear an authority say, “You can change your thinking and change your life,” they may interpret that to mean, “It’s all your fault.”
In this Season of Love, I feel my Oneness with all people and all life. If I could, I would give everyone the gift of self- discovery this season.
Right now, I imagine every reader, unwrapping the gift of love and discovering Unlimited Possibility in the exact right size and color for his or her life. And with the gift, there is a message from me. It says, You have the power to change your thinking and change your life. Never give up hope! Never stop trying! You can do it!
What positive choices have I made in the past?
What positive choices shall I make soon?
What do I want to use my gift of power for?
My sister and I talked recently about the adults (besides our parents) we knew in our early teens. She was enthralled with a woman I remember as pushy but cheerful. I was fascinated by a woman who was brilliant and non-conformist.
I thought it would be good to write today about why we believe what we believe and how belief impacts our lives. While none of us is able to control every bit of our lives, we do need to know that we have a great deal more control than most people believe.
Our parents are our first interpreters of reality and if we are fortunate, we have others. Positive beliefs mean a lot to kids and I like to believe that kids raised in Religious Science get a positive attitude.
When I was a teen, Ernest Holmes was just hitting his stride. Oprah wasn’t born. I don’t think I knew anyone who believed we lived in a friendly universe. We had just finished a devastating war. We were stunned by the depth of cruelty toward Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and non-conformists in Nazi Germany. We were also stunned by the power of the atom bomb and the Cold War was starting.
Some of my teachers were optimistic and it helped. I was inspired by one who worked her way through college by typing. Another told us to get a library card because no matter how tough times got, books would always be free. Many teachers took time to encourage me to develop my mind. But I don’t remember anyone talking about unlimited possibility.
Many of my fellow students dropped out at 16 and went to work. The girls all planned to marry young. I knew one girl who dropped out of sixth grade to marry a sailor. By the time she was 18 she had three kids and she hated her husband. They all lived with her mother.
We believed the culture of our times. The movies were full of tales of 18 year olds marrying and living happily ever after. Only they seldom showed the “after.”
I knew life wasn’t the movies but I dreamed big dreams. I would someday be thirty-five, live in New York City and be a working girl. The term “working girl” meant something quite different in those days and while my job was vague in my dreams, my apartment was quite wonderful with white rugs and two white poodles.
I did eventually end up in New York City and I worked hard. But…I shared a rent-controlled apartment with an aging, divorcee. Ah well! I never liked poodles anyway.
It took me a long time to study Science of Mind and begin to hope that I could be happy. I now believe that we live in a basically friendly universe. My God is a God of unlimited possibility. I know that to make dreams come true, you have to change your thinking.
My ideas are common these days. Times have changed and change is good. I am happier than I could have dreamed as a child.
I wasn’t kidding when I said that we live in a basically friendly universe. Things go the way of our prevailing belief system. When we change our thinking, our lives change. Sounds simple but it takes, attention, skill and practice. So much of what we believe is from the surrounding culture and we are not even always aware of it. We must be independent thinkers.
The important thing is to remember that Spiritual Law is responsive to our thoughts, emotions and beliefs. The law of cause and effect is always working.
Many years ago, I read a chapter in a self-help book on how spiritual law always finds a way to respond. The chapter was entitled, You Will Always Get The Raise. If you begin to look around, you will see it is true.
Suppose you are in an abusive relationship and you are miserable. If you do nothing but think about how miserable you are, and stay in that relationship, you may begin to believe that you deserve whatever your partner says and does. The consequence will be more misery. Somehow, you need to find a new idea that gives you the courage to leave.
Even so, if you leave the relationship but hold onto the negative beliefs about yourself, the abuse will show up and continue in other ways. One of the saddest things in life is our propensity to repeat negative patterns.
This may be easier for you to see in others. Take a look at how patterns tend to repeat in others’ lives. Don’t judge or criticize, just observe. The next step is to look at your own negative patterns without judgment.
Now look around and find some success stories. Something will have changed in that person’s belief about life and himself. If you can observe clearly, you will see the way things changed because her belief changed.
You will observe that people who focus on the positive get more positive in their lives. You will be able to discern that Universal Mind finds a way to return our prevailing beliefs. You will always get the raise.
The concept that the spiritual law of cause and effect returns your prevailing belief is very different than the rules you learned about being a good little boy or girl. Working with spiritual laws opens people’s lives up to unlimited possibility.
You are truly in a position to prove the phrase, “Change your thinking and change your life.” Right now. If you have been around Science of Mind for a while, think back to how you were feeling when you first arrived and compare that to how you feel now. You will discover a great change for the better.
Even if you are new, you can prove this very quickly. Decide on a goal, and do spiritual work around the issue of belief. Keep records and notes for a month, then check you data. One reason Science of Mind is called science is that it is verifiable. While you probably can’t change everything in a month, you can test it and see some progress. And know that you can change your thinking a bit at a time for the rest of your life. It gets easier.
You may find affirmation cards helpful to carry in your pocket and review several times a day. You should also think about taking a class and going to church on Sunday. You can buy my book, Science of Mind Skills, on this website by going to New Thought Works page.
Most of us get a much narrower and tighter view of life as children than we can discover for ourselves as we become adults. You can change your mind. You are not stuck in your old thinking.
Remember that you can do it. Even if you encounter resistance breaking out of your early belief system, millions have done it before you. Go ahead and risk putting some effort into changing. Remember that all effort will be rewarded. You will always get the raise.
What’s one belief you’ve changed?
What’s one belief you want to change?
What’s one great prevailing belief you have that works in your life?
Whenever something horrible, such as the shootings at Sandy Hook School in Newton, CT, happen, we look for meaning. We may want to blame, or call out for new laws or beg God for an explanation. In the end, none of these attempts to deal with pain wipe away the suffering.
This was a tragedy that touched all of us at some level. We are all mourning.
All parents know that losing a child must surely be the worst thing that can happen to any of us. In the normal course of things, we expect to outlive our children and so there is shock mixed with grief.
Abrupt death is always shocking. Random, blameless, abrupt death of a child is a tragedy. The death of twenty children and six teachers is a national nightmare.
I’m certain that every schoolteacher in this nation felt something like terror as he or she suited up for duty today. Not only does the possibility of violence seem more real, but also the task of talking with the children about why things like this happen must seem overwhelming.
There were several things about this shooting that made it stand out in our national consciousness. For one, the neighborhood was an affluent community with no particular problems and plenty to commend it.
We know that there are school children dying violently in this country all the time but not in such a large group and on the “other side of town.” There is nothing like trouble in our own backyard to make it real.
That’s the truth whether we like it or not. Single deaths are shocking to those who are directly involved but we are accustomed to the fact that so many of our young people lose their lives to gunfire in cities. We should believe, like the poet John Donne wrote, that we are connected but we are cynical about our affluent islands.
Another reason this event was shocking is that there was no one thing and not just one apparent blame. The shooter must have been insane. Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws and it looks as if the guns involved were legal.
We may want to blame the ease obtaining guns, the media, video games, violent movies, TV and our national culture and there is truth in each part but it is not the whole story.
Don’t mistake me. I think we can do something about most of the things that abet our national predilection to violence. I would also include better identification and help for the mentally ill as something we could do more about.
I am all for social action steps. Even so, this shooting makes it clear that bad things happen to good people and we don’t always know why. So what are we to do in the face of uncertainty, vulnerability and sorrow?
First of all, we should not rush to blame anyone who was directly involved. The school officials, first responders, local and state officials behaved in an exemplary manner. The President’s two speeches were responsible, sane and inspirational.
We should follow the lead of the various religious leaders who spoke at the memorial service on Sunday evening. They exemplified diversity, cooperation and love that are found in the core of all great religions. I was sorry there were no New Thought people involved but there were several women, a young Muslim teenager and a leader of the Bahia’ teaching.
All great religions have taught us that we should love each other. We should hold each other dear, be together and comfort each other. We should take what action seems sensible but remember that the most important things we can do is be that candle in the darkness.
I was very moved by the service and also by the great love I felt expressed in our Center for Spiritual Living in Carlsbad on Sunday morning. I know that same love was expressed all over the nation, in and outside of church.
Here is my very incomplete shorthand explanation of what I think Religious Science teaches about the nature of good and evil…
There is First Cause, (that we call God) which creates everything out of itself. It is not a person, place nor thing but the Creative Energy of the Universe. It is the consciousness behind everything and it is Love.
This Love creates us, and works in our lives through spiritual law. We are spiritual beings having a human experience and that means we have free will. Our spiritual nature is always perfect, whole and complete and when we return to God, it returns as spiritually whole, perfect and complete.
No experience that we have on the human plane of existence ever damages us although, as humans, we face choices about how much of our God-nature we reveal and live by. As we live, we can reveal more and more of our perfection through choosing Love.
Since we were created by Love, we must have Love as our central nature, whether we always know it or not. We contact Creative Spirit or God through our beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. At the level of Spirit, we are all good and all equal. At a human level, we can gain in understanding and that consciousness can grow as we choose to love. Consciousness continues.
We are in God and God is in us but we are not all of God and we do not understand all that God understands.
Perhaps at some time it will all be revealed but now we do look though a glass darkly. The more Love we have, the more we understand. The more we understand, the more love we have. We can always choose to express more love. That is why three is opportunity in any challenge. Love may be deepened by any tragedy because we always have choice about how to respond.
For a more complete and clearer explanation, I suggest you take classes, read books and attend a Center For Spiritual Living close to you. If there are none nearby, check out the CSL websites and you will find online talks, written prayers and articles.
The main thing I you to take away from this posting today is that you do not have to have all the answers before you know what to do. Just follow your instincts and express more love. Make it a point to reach out and love others today. Send out your Christmas cards or letters and call up people you want to cheer up. It will make others feel better and it will also make you feel better. Love really is the answer.
Every one of us faces a choice today. We can choose to reach out and offer love to others. Or not. If we offer love, we are expressing the highest and best meaning that we can know about life.
That is what I understand on this day. Think about what you understand. Ask yourself if you can think of some way to express a little more love today than you did yesterday. Then make the move in the direction of the light.
How do I feel?
Who do I love?
Who can I reach out to?
Aren’t humans amazing animals? I was grumpy when I woke this morning and I really wanted to hibernate longer. Then I thought, “Know what? – We enjoy the season of darkness when we Imagine the Light!”
I got right out of bed because I’d found my theme for this post and I wanted to get to work. I find great joy in my creative activities because I love exercising my imagination. Do you enjoy using your imagination? How?
Quite a few philosophers and thinkers believe the quality that separates humans from other animals is their ability to imagine. We are especially good at imagining future delights even in the darkest days. Imagination is the gift from God that keeps us going when the going gets rough.
Most cultures dealt with the darkest part of the year by finding ways to imagine the Light. Whether they are called Christmas, Hanukah, Winter Solstice, Kwanza, Brumalia, Saturnalia or any other winter celebration, the common ingredient is honoring the Light.
Think about Christmas for a moment. There are the Christmas tree lights, candles, outside house decorations, fireplaces, Yule logs, and tee shirts with Rudolph’s nose all lit up. In some homes, fancy desserts are set on fire just for fun.
Long before the Christians celebrated the birth of the baby Jesus, the Romans honored Saturnus who was the God of sunny harvest and Mithras who was the ancient God of Light. The Egyptians honored the rebirth of the Sun and many of our customs are taken from these earlier religions.
None of this is news. Scholars have traced the trappings of our biggest shopping holiday to customs from earlier times in Europe and the Middle East. But the universality of bowing down and imagining returning light is something to think about.
How We Imagine The Light
We use the word light to mean spiritual light as well as physical light without any apparent contradiction or difficulty. That’s because we are able to imagine that our spiritual nature and our physical nature are the same. Religious Science founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes, says that the greatest discovery of all times is that our minds are connected to the Great Mind.
It took a spiritual leader like Holmes to see it and put it in words, but at some level, people have always known that the Life Force depends on the Creative Energy of an Invisible Force we call God. It shows up in the old and new stories that we tell one another.
Most of those ancient stories were probably imagined in the time of darkness as we huddled under our robes in the cold caves of our particular clan’s youth. Those stories often looked forward to better times. There were many, many tales about the return of the sun and springtime. Our human storytellers, whether we call them priests or shamans articulated the connection between Sprit, Mind and Body long before books were even invented. They quite unself–consciously imagined the light.
I am happy to celebrate this season by imagining the light. I am also very happy celebrate the imagination that creates the stories about the return of the light. I believe in hope and faith and happiness. I believe the stories are true to the nature of life. I started last year’s holiday letter with my drawing and a quote from Barbara Kingsolver, “No matter what kind of night you are having, morning always wins.”
One of my favorite things about Christmas is the retelling of the Nativity story. I love the words and music. I also love the poem, Twas The Night Before Christmas, and Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, O Henry’s Gift of the Magi. I especially love the great movies like Miracle on 34th Street, A Connecticut Christmas and It’s A Wonderful Life.
Of all of these, It’s A Wonderful Life has the most powerful message. I see clearly that the real hero of the drama is not Clarence, the Angel or George Bailey, the despondent protagonist. The real hero is the way our imagination straightens out our belief systems.
This year, when you watch that classic flick, think about how in the beginning, George’s imagination is out of control and how the plot of the movie is about his recovery of balance and light.
This is a season of celebration and it is also a busy, confusing season for many of us. I solved nearly all of my issues by refusing to play the game. I don’t decorate or exchange gifts but I do go to parties and listen to beautiful music. I keep control of my imagination and do what I want to do when I want to do it. I realize that is a radical position but it works for me. I am not suggesting you to follow my practice.
However, I want you to find your own balance and light. I challenge you to use your own imagination this season. What would bring love and light and happiness into your life? What do you want to do? What do you want to skip? Think ahead and keep your mind focused on the Light.
Use your God-given imagination and see the Light! Enjoy the season in your own way. Keep it bright and fun-filled. Keep it economically sensible. Remember you are in charge of your choices. Remember you are balanced and able to choose what you want in your own wonderful life.
I know these are days that can be dark for some people but remember you are created in the image and likeness of God. God is love and light and God lives in your life. There are times when it may be difficult to believe that it really is a wonderful life and that’s when our imagination comes into play. No matter how dark it is, the human spirit can find ways to see and believe in a better future.
Do I enjoy using my imagination?
What are my favorite parts of the Christmas season?
What customs do I want to drop?
My doorway to understanding life as a spiritual experience began with Tarot cards – I’m not ashamed to admit it. I started reading them for fun and I had remarkable success. I had to admit that there must be some sort of invisible world that, up until then, I was ignoring.
Are you a psychic? A mystic? The answer to psychic is probably no. People who read this blog are not usually taken in by the New Age nonsense they see on TV.
However, if you are a student of New Thought you can probably answer a qualified yes to mystic. The renowned Unity minister, Dr. Eric Butterworth says, “The mystic is one who really believes he lives and moves in God.” By that definition, I hope we are all mystics.
This teaching is based on a belief in our connection to God and to each other since we are all living, moving,and being in God. One thing that happens as we pursue this wisdom teaching is that we open ourselves up to feel our connection to others and we begin to understand unspoken clues. We find we can rely on our intuition in new and wonderful ways.
Many people think psychic and mystic are synonyms. Not so. A mystic simply believes in his connection to source. A psychic may promise to predict the future but the only thing he or she might be able to predict is what the world will look like if nothing changes. Happily, the world is always changing and so are you.
Don’t be misled by nonsense about the world coming to an end because the Mayans said it would. The world is so changed that it could not possibly be recognized by people who lived that long ago even if they were great astronomers. The end of the world isn’t coming soon. Don’t quit your day job.
My mother used to tell stories about Millerites in her Missouri town who gave away all their possessions and went to the top of the hill to await the end of the world. They had to come back down and keep on keeping on. She wasn’t old enough to have seen the original followers of William Miller who led his group into an event that historians call “The Great Disappointment” in 1844, but there have been stragglers since then.
As a child, I loved fairy tales and I do think many of them bore excellent spiritual messages. Quests, facing our fears, getting help from invisible sources are true in some way, aren’t they? My favorite story was the Snow Queen. I loved the heroine because she was steadfast and brave in her quest. What was yours? Did it have a metaphysical message?
There is no doubt that the myths and fairy tales of our childhood were important to us because they helped keep us open to the invisible world. Today, many of those stories are turned into cartoons and fantasies for the movies.
Most of the stories still contain metaphysical messages and they are helpful at a time when we see the world as shrinking. Our world is smaller but understanding of our connection is expanding as technology brings us closer together. The phrase, “We are one.” makes a lot of sense these days.
The movie Avatar was interesting to me because it was a technological masterwork and the basic story was the same old message that we need to find ways to live together in our sameness and not fight because of our differences. Our planet is ready for that story to be told over and over again.
Joseph Campbell, that great storyteller and cultural anthropologist said, “The only myth that’s going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one talking about the planet —not this city, not these people, but the planet and everybody on it.
The astronaut Edgar Mitchell saw the earth from a distance and it changed his worldview completely. He went from trained scientific man of action to a new kind of mystic. He said, “My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity.” From that time on, he has devoted his life to spiritual or mystical matters. He started IONS, among other things.
Our world is definitely shrinking and we need to see ourselves renewed in the light of our humanity. Technology is opening us up to that. Those cell phones and other gadgets are not just here to irritate me, they are very good news for planetary peace.
I am ready to predict a great new future and I don’t need a crystal ball to tell you that our decade holds wonderful promise. We are truly seeing our connections to each other. We are learning that we really are unlimited possibility. We can also see our connection to each other in Spirit.
I gave up my Tarot cards many years ago and accepted my connection to God or Spirit as the base of my true power and wisdom. Science of Mind has freed me from the belief in duality – the battle of good and evil. I am also free of a belief that I must delay enjoying life until I die and go to heaven. I believe in establishing heaven here and now.
Everyone in New Thought is a planetary leader whether we know it or not. As leaders, you and I can help the whole world see our similarities rather than fighting over differences. We can help the world free itself from rigid ideas about hierarchy of particular classes, castes or genders. We can deny the need to passively accept fate. We have a gift for the world and it is ready to accept.
Our ability to love and accept each other rests on our ability to move beyond the “facts” of the material world and depend on the spiritual realm of the infinite power. We will save the planet from evolutionary disgrace through experiencing the nature of Spirit or spirit of Nature.
We will feed the hungry because we embrace our connection in God. We will establish peace through our understanding of our connection to Infinite Abundance and Love. We will become supermen or superwomen. Better yet, we will become superpeople through our acknowledgement of mystical truths.
How will we do this? You and I will do this through our Religious Science. As we help others discover their spiritual magnificence. That does not mean we need to convert everyone to our religion. God forbid! There’s been enough of that in history. It simply means we will honor our connection to others in God. Yes we can!
Do I believe I live, move and have my being in God?
What was my favorite fairy tale?
Did it have a message?
How might I reach out this year?
To whom shall I send this blog?
Not too long after I began studying Science of Mind, I stood in front of the mirror, looked myself in the eyes, and said out loud, “I love you”. Then I burst into tears.
One of the most difficult ideas to understand in our beautiful New Thought teaching is that we need to love ourselves. We need to love and accept ourselves before we can exchange and attract love from others. Self love is an idea that frightens some people away and allows some people to condemn us as heathens. It is also a basic truth in Science of Mind.
Loving yourself creates true happiness, true wealth, true health and beautiful relationships once it is achieved. In New Thought, we learn quickly that our thoughts and beliefs are all-important. They attract our life events and circumstances.
If we want to attract the love and respect of others, we must find a way to love and respect ourselves. We must believe we are worthy of a good life. Many of the things we learn in classes and workshops are designed to increase our self-love.
Contrary to some old ideas, we must love ourselves before we can hope to love others and attract all the wonderful gifts of life. That is how spiritual law works. God is Love and you are created in the image and likeness of God. That means you must be Love as well.
We are built with an innate desire be love and to share our love and to attract the love of others. It is in our nature to desire loving relationships. We want a sane and pleasant workplace, a happy home life, a good romantic life, warm friends and a pleasant community. The circle of Love gets wider and wider.
Our desire for Love in our lives is natural and right. Some of us are confused about how to fulfill that desire and that is where the study of Science of Mind can help. We teach that the Love of God works though spiritual laws and we need to work with those laws to attract Love. We can do it. Yes we can.
Right now, I invite you to try this simple spiritual exercise. I want you to hug yourself. That’s right, put your arms around yourself and hug hard, then say, “Wonderful, wonderful me.” Try to repeat the phrase with conviction at least five times.
How you feel about that exercise? Your observations can be a clue to how you feel about yourself this moment. Do you know you are wonderful? Do you love yourself? Do you have what is called high esteem? Or did you immediately begin to list reasons why you couldn’t love yourself?
Most of us can use a little help when it comes to loving our selves. Anyone who is lonely, in quarrelsome relationships, or simply not feeling good about his or her ability to love, needs to know that change is possible. If you don’t believe me, take a minute and list things you have already changed in your life.
To get something new we usually have release something old. Imagine that your ideas are like clothes that are stored in the closet. Some of those ideas may be out of style or worn out and their use if over. Just because you’ve had something a long time is no reason to keep it.
Some of us learned a lot of wrong ideas about life very early. Many of those ideas had to do with love. For example, I learned that I had to be good to be lovable. I thought God was a bit like Santa Claus with a list and naughty girls were unloved.
Good usually meant quiet and obedient. It took me quite a while to work my way out of that paper bag. Ask yourself if you learned the words good and loveable were interchangeable for you as a child? Are you still stuck in that paper bags? I want you to know that God always loves you and it is your job to accept that fact.
You may have something you want to change and you can still love yourself. Don’t wait until you stop smoking or eating sugar to love yourself. Take a line from one of my favorite songs and make it your mantra. I love myself the way I am and I am willing to change.
There are other outmoded ideas about love hanging in the dark corners of most of our minds. Here’s another personal example. I spent many years in relationships with people that I tried to “fix” so they could love me as much as I wanted. Eventually, I discovered relationships didn’t work that way and I learned to love and honor myself,.
Ever notice how some people seem to be surrounded by love and others are usually experiencing a shortage? You can bet that the one who attracts love has high self-esteem. Don’t be frightened at the idea of higher self- esteem. It doesn’t mean rudeness or self-centered. Feeling good about yourself will not make things worse.
If a person needs to love himself more, and learns how wonderful he is, it will tend to balance his life. Bullies have low self-esteem. So do screamers, shouters, whiners and drunks. A quiet, confident, polite, attractive individual knows what he is doing and is self assured.
Do you need a different balance in your ability to love yourself? Your time spent in spiritual practice can include simple exercises such as hugging yourself and seeing yourself in the mirror and telling yourself how wonderful you are. You can keep a record of compliments and have a special box for thank you cards. Journaling is a good way to keep track of your discoveries.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is study Science of Mind in your local church or online. Reading New Thought books is also great. You will find that any of your studies of New Thought philosophy are helpful.
You will not get what you want by being self-effacing or always putting others first. That is not the way the world works. Being a good person does not mean being a doormat. You might read my book, Wise Women don’t worry Wise Women don’t sing the blues for more on this subject.
Spiritual laws have always been around. The Master Teacher said that those who had much, would be given more. That two thousand year old statement is really a description about how spiritual law works.
Loving ourselves may go against much of what we were taught, as children. Certainly, some religions seemed to interpret the Golden Rule to mean that we should love others more than ourselves but that is not what it says. The more we experience self-love, the more we are able to genuinely love others.
The Christmas season is a good time to be mindful of these ideas. It is a tragedy when we forget to love ourselves and wear ourselves out with nonsense. Too many of us trip all over our sanity, our energy, our budgets and ourselves to do what is “expected”.
The best gift we can give our loved ones this year is to love and take care of ourselves as much we would love and take care of others. This December, let’s remember that we are celebrating the Season of Love and include ourselves in our group of Loved Ones. After all, it all begins in our own hearts and moves outward in an eternally expanding circle.
Do I love myself today?
What do I love about myself today?
Who else do I love?
What old ideas do I want to let go?
What events or customs do I want to let go?