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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Investigating positive thinking

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Positive thinking has its benefits, but it also holds a strong suggestion that people can be responsible for their fortunes, or misfortunes. If the status-quo of positive thinking people isn’t challenged, broader social problems can be marginalized and blaming fingers can point where they shouldn’t. In general, it’s the privileged who have better results with positive thinking.

I will admit, I like myself better when I have a positive outlook on life. However, in my study of Christian Science, I’ve learned the “positive thinking coin” must be flipped. I need to not just think positive, but I also need to “unsee” the problem.

I can’t just ignore problems. It’s foolish to deny problems as if they aren’t real. But, I can un-see them, just as humankind was able to un-see a flat earth.

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The technique of un-seeing is mental.

For example, years ago I had Strep. It included a severe ear pain. There was no positive thinking on my part. I begged God to take away the pain. I called a friend from church for help with prayer, but felt no relief, so called her back and told her I was going to call someone else. Within fifteen minutes it felt as though a pump went on in my ear and puss began flowing out, to my blessed relief.

My husband took me to the doctor who confirmed Strep and prescribed me antibiotics for 10-days. The doctor didn’t have much hope about my hearing returning to normal.

I only took a few of the pills because even the doctor admitted I was on the mend. And, by now, my life picture had broadened.

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The bigger picture: At the time I got sick, our young family was moving to another job, home, and community. It was exhilarating yet scary and the stress got to me.

While resting and praying, I could see God in the popular Biblical depiction of a Shepherd. My trust in God as Love to guide me and my family with wisdom and safety solidified. The fear lessened.  shepherd-sheep-550x320

What I’m about to write now, sounds totally contradictory, but I saw more clearly, that Strep wasn’t a part of God’s shepherding and this helped me un-see the disease.

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I didn’t try to get rid of Strep. I didn’t try to create God. I saw life, and myself, as an image of divine Spirit, Mind.

I didn’t even have a positive human mind of my own. I was image of God. My ear healed quicker than predicted and my hearing returned to normal.

Although I try to have a positive attitude, I don’t rely on it as a source of guidance.

I often seriously scrutinize problems to unsnarl their purpose and makeup, but this mental work is grounded on the fact that the physical body and mind are temporal while I believe God’s mind is substance and eternal.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “The Christian Scientist, understanding that all is Mind, commences with mental causation, the truth of being, to destroy the error. This remedy has the power to correct positively, reaching to every part of the human system. According to Scripture, it searches the “joints and marrow,”[1] and restores the healthy functions of the body.”

[1] Heb. 4:12

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Price of gas

posted by Cheryl Petersen

gasThe human mind gets stuck so easily. It can even require a shock to get un-stuck. The latest drastic drop in gas prices, show me how my mind got stuck. I can barely believe it now, when I fill up my gas tank for $22, rather than $51.

But believe the change I will, hopefully without dreading the time when those prices will go back up, because up they will go at some distant date.

The price of gas isn’t the point, but I can appreciate the plasticity of mind. I don’t have to be stuck. I can get my mind un-stuck, especially if it gets stuck in something not from God, Love, Life.

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God loves us and shines goodness through us. We have mobility and health because God does.

Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”–Matt. 17:20

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Courageous woman

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Living through two World Wars, and becoming intimately involved as the President’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote with an insight that is applicable today. Her book, The autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt, included an interview she had with Nikita Khrushchev, Former First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

eleanor rooseveltThe interview was given during the Cold War. Mrs. Roosevelt wanted to dissolve misunderstandings between the United States and the Soviet Union. She told Khrushchev that the United States increased arms to protect themselves from Communism, a lifestyle not representing the will of the people.

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Khrushchev told Mrs. Roosevelt that Communism will win because it is scientifically based on the writings of Karl Marx.

Mrs. Roosevelt wrote in her autobiography that Communism was the political means to shape the will of the people to the will of the leadership, which is in reality “dictatorship” which becomes hateful.

Time has proven that Communism isn’t all that stable. The Soviet Union has broken up and struggles to meet the basic satisfactions of the people. But, we here in the United States also need to struggle to make sure our leadership is offering the practical and spiritual needs of the people.

Different lifestyles or governments also exist in religions, therefore, I remind myself to follow not writings first, but God. Religions and churches have leadership and that leadership can represent more than a select few. Pope Francis points to religious convictions yet is able to do so with a forgiving tone, exhibiting an inclusive nature.

I have more to think about on this, however, I do recommend Eleanor Roosevelt’s autobiography. She led an amazing, fearless life with the proclivity to work with people and dissolve misunderstandings.

 

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In training with love

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Years ago, we had horses. It was when a new revolution in horse training was occurring. Trainers were transitioning away from “breaking” horses, to training with compassion and understanding.

We don’t have to follow the human pattern.

“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?” Matthew 23: 23-24The Message

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God doesn’t “break us.”

God loves us and is gently and constantly expressing through us patience, dignity, and wellbeing. We can accept this and go along with it.

horse train

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