The Magic Pill

Our country is obsessed with the “quick fix.” From a pill to make it all better and fast food to satisfy our hunger, we Americans love to have it now.

The challenges of life are seldom solved with the immediacy we might desire. It takes time to overcome and heal our issues. Faith in God, the Universe or a master teacher can help with finding solutions, but what happens when the object of our faith is reduced to being nothing more than a “magic pill?”

I thought about this last Sunday morning while listening to a sermon on the radio. The evangelist was preaching about having faith in Jesus to reach the reward of heaven. But little if anything was said about enjoying life to the fullest while still here on earth. Any pleasure, any satisfaction, any fulfillment was delayed until being united with the Lord. Everything that happened was up to Jesus. It was as if we had no say whatsoever in the outcome.

Jesus never taught us to sit back and wait. He was a man of action. When he prayed he expected results, as should we! The evangelist I listened to was quick to blame the Devil for everything that we judge as bad, or that if things didn’t turn out to our liking then it was not God’s will for us to have whatever it is we desired. Feeling like we have no control over our situation makes it easy to ignore the present “hoping” for a better future. We fail to appreciate the gift of the present.

If a woman is in her third abusive relationship it isn’t the Devil’s fault and God certainly didn’t create the situation for her pain. That’s like blaming Mother Nature for us being wet if we choose to venture outside in the rain without an umbrella. A little common sense goes a long way to right the wrongs in our life, but this requires that we change our attitudes and actions. In the case of the abusive relationship, there is something familiar about repeating the mistake. Familiarity means “I know how to do this because I’ve done it before,” so we tend to repeat the mistakes of our past expecting different results. It doesn’t work.

Blaming of others and relying on the mood of a divine power is not what Jesus taught. It is, however, a great way to live life as a victim. By taking responsibility for our actions, and taking action that is in accord with the greatest good for all concerned, we move forward in faith so that our desires are made manifest.

It is through our faith, in whatever we believe, that we are empowered to affect change in our lives. Though we cannot change someone else, we can change our attitude about the situation. By doing so, we will not fall into the trap of searching for a magic pill while life passes us by.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Of All the Unmitigated Gall!

I’m growing weary of people in our country who judge others by putting themselves up on a pedestal. I’m ashamed to say that most of the people I see doing this are Christians, or at least those who claim to be. I’m sure there are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists and (gasp!) even Religious Scientists who might fit into this category, but people who call themselves Christians are what we seem to have an abundance of here in Central Pennsyltucky, so Christians it is.

TWICE, not just once, but TWICE, dear ones, I have had a run-in with a “Christian” in a gas-guzzling pickup truck while driving from our farmette in Carlisle to my Center in Camp Hill down Rt. 641. Both vehicles were so high off the ground I’m sure they required a step ladder to board. The trucks were covered with NRA and “Jesus is my co-pilot” bumper stickers and more American flags than you see at the VFW hall on Memorial Day.

One driver was a guy who puts the “red” in redneck. I’m sure he makes his mama proud. He simultaneously flipped off another driver while swerving through traffic and was still able to toss his lit cigarette out of the window. What skill. The other was a blonde in a tank top that had seen better days in a time when it actually fit both of her breasts (take this as my nod to “Feel your boobies” this month…which you should be doing). While yakking on her cell phone she was Christian enough to speed up and cut off an elderly woman who was trying desperately to get out into traffic. The poor old broad nearly had a heart attack. Bless her heart.

Okay, now that I have all THAT out of my system it’s time to tell you why I chose to write about this issue. It’s not just Christians and I’m not Christian-bashing, so if you’re Christian please don’t get your knickers in a twist and send me encyclopedic emails. I was, as you can readily ascertain, in high-bustle reaction to two people on two different days who are themselves probably quick to tout rightwing, evangelical values while judging Democrats, gays, blacks, anyone with an Arab-sounding name and the rest of the people in town who are not gun-toting, gas-guzzling, flag-waving believers in Jesus.

And you know who else does the same thing? Me. That is what this is about and not Christian-bashing. Those of us in the Science of Mind philosophy and other New Thought or metaphysical teachings who talk about the Love of the Universe out of one side of our mouths and then look down on someone who has made life choices that are different than our own are making judgments. The scenario applies to anyone who wants to talk the talk more than s/he wants to walk the walk.

Christianity and living the Science of Mind principles are not something we practice only on Sunday at church or while in class. They are supposed to be a way of life, not an occasional activity. My story about the two drivers and all my judgment of them is not about two faux Christians. It is about my own decision to judge the situation as bad, instead of allowing myself to observe what I was doing and consciously choose to apply the principles I teach.

It brought me back to the Christian teaching of my youth: Take the rafter out of your own eye before you try taking the splinter out the eye of someone else. What I saw made me angry. When I realized what I’d done I felt shame, which was appropriate under the circumstances. It also gave me the opportunity to be able to change my thoughts and my experience. And that, my friends, was a good thing.

In Spirit, Truth, Playfulness…and this week….Humility,

Terry

What’s Next?

There are very few “overnight sensations” in Nashville. Most of the “new” performers and acts have actually been around for years, sometimes decades, working honky-tonk after honky-tonk. Often they have barely gotten by.

Successful people are highly motivated to work tirelessly to reach their goals, yet their accomplishments can look so easy. In truth it should be easy. Success is not something that is an elusive, unattainable dream. If we truly believe in the Law of Cause and Effect we know how to focus our minds on the expected results, not all the reasons why we cannot attain what we desire. We know how to allow Spirit to move through us to manifest those desires.

Manifestation is Science of Mind 101. We don’t believe we can have everything we want; Ernest Holmes said if humans could do that it would not bode well! However, we learn early on in the study of metaphysics that there is a Law of Good in the universe and we have every divine right to use it and enjoy the benefits. The first part is simple for any practitioner of this philosophy. The latter, however, can be a different story, since simple doesn’t mean easy.

Enjoying the benefits of success is difficult for many of us. Perhaps our reluctance to enjoy our good work comes from the medieval pro-Church teaching preached in many churches that to be approved of by God we must be poor and martyred. This is the opposite of what the Bible says. The Old Testament God Jehovah challenged his people to put Him to the test to provide for them. The Great Teacher, Jesus, said to ask of the Father and we would receive.

Receiving is a good thing, be it praise, position or material belongings. Once we have walked the long path to our goals it behooves us to take the time to celebrate those wins, acknowledge our work, and know that a Power greater than we can imagine has expressed life through us as no one else can.

I teach people to write down three separate lists at least twice a year. Those are: What you want in your life; what you don’t want in your life; and, most important, all the people, places, things and beliefs for which you are grateful. Take a few minutes over the next three days to write at least one list per day. Then on the third day, rejoice and celebrate your accomplishment!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Eavesdropping is So Enlightening

We recently moved to a smaller town. The main post office is quite neighborly, with many of the patrons chatting back and forth while waiting in line. I was busy affixing 377 stamps to a mass mailing this week and was able to pass the time listening in to what other people were saying. Oh stop gasping, for heaven’s sake. It’s not like they were trying to be private!

Here are some of the comments I overheard:

· “I’m doing good. It beats the alternative!”

· “It just keeps getting worse and worse. Floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes. What’s next?”

· “You oughta know by now I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.”

· “She needs to put a smile on her face, that one does.”

· “It don’t matter. Nothing does.”

Each of these folks believed what they were saying. They came in all colors, ages, socioeconomic status and educational levels. In spite of the area being predominately white, conservative Christians, at least there wasn’t any evidence that morning of racial prejudice. I was impressed by that!

The majority of the other comments showed a range of despair, resignation or fear. The expressions accompanying the words resulted in frowns, slumped shoulders and sighs. Rather than judge what these folks should be doing to change their thinking, I chose to think about what negative self-talk I had engaged in that day.

I am my own worst critic. I am particular about many things, often fighting my anal-retentive or dogmatic tendencies about certain tasks, and must remind myself daily that no matter how hard I try I will simply never please everyone. Putting myself down, however, doesn’t help the situation.

Take just one hour today and listen to what is going on inside your head. Ask yourself if that is what you want to believe. Think about what the reaction would be from a good friend if you talked that way to them!

Hopefully your thoughts are filled with encouragement, praise and support. If not, consider what it would take to lovingly guide yourself back onto the path you wish to travel!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry