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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Replacing Loneliness

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Internet users want to avoid being phished—or deceived into giving out personal information by a legitimate looking icon that will later cause chaos in their life. No one really wants to be phished because it makes us feel like a victim. This phishing tactic is nothing new however. The human emotion of passion sometimes poses under false pretenses and deceptively gets us to spill our guts only to create later a loneliness that can’t be shaken. The loneliness goes on to threaten the integrity of our self or our relationships and causes problems. Fortunately, these problems can be dealt with in an effective manner and we can further garner a spiritual arsenal that protects us from future phishing attacks.

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How loneliness can fit into a world with 6.9 billion people is puzzling; but it happens nonetheless. More baffling is the fact that loneliness is so arbitrarily defined people who are lonely don’t even know it or people who think they are lonely are only bored or boring. But, personal information gets senselessly spread around and feelings of vulnerability, inadequacy, and spiritual emptiness take over in the thoughts of the victim.

Here are a few tips that can be tested to curb loneliness.

The first tip is to distinguish between loneliness and boredom. Loneliness is broadly defined as despair or isolation. Boredom is dull mindedness. Boredom is when our jobs, our everyday routines, or our expectations have become so tedious that our brain rewired itself not to notice the spectacular, hilarious, colorful, philanthropic, ingenious activity going on all around begging us to participate. We have become dreary. But steps can be taken to reverse this boredom. For example, pick up litter or wash a smutty smelly sidewalk area in the city. Not once, twice, thrice, or four times but until it is seen that pro-active positivity replaces negativity and there is no more lure to focus attention on that which is mind-numbing.

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The second tip is to realize that loneliness can’t be taken personally. This is a doozy of a task because human beings adore discussing themselves and what they are doing even though a majority of the time it is uninteresting and irrelevant to the world or spiritual progress. But remember, phishers have no personal vendetta, they are impersonal. Loneliness is only out to catch the first fish that chomps on the hook. So, don’t chomp.

To feel pessimistic, unappreciated, and disliked is pretty much to feel lonely, which we can do in the middle of an exultant group of enthusiastic people. Therefore, the third tip is to do to others what you would like them to do to you. (Matt. 7:12) Be optimistic. Don’t automatically be suspicious of what others are expressing. Appreciate. Value the progress made by others even if you believe it is pitifully small. It isn’t. Everyone’s spiritual progress and goodness is huge in the eyes of an impartial mind. This brings us to liking. To like, takes some finesse. We must like the spiritual more than the physical. Happiness has never come from a good-looking body or cute hairdo. We must like honesty more than eating Twinkies. We must like helping our neighbor more than watching TV. We must like our partner as much as we love them. These manifestations take effort. Contentment with the status quo is unacceptable.

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Successful follow through occurs when the goal is well-defined. The aim is not to get rid of loneliness, but to manifest optimism, appreciation, and likability, all qualities of God. We certainly don’t want to dismiss the validity of a solitude that reveals God-with-us. (Matt. 1:23)

For decades, researchers have been collecting data to determine how to control or treat loneliness but modern science is incapable of keeping up with the increasing claims of loneliness, and the resultant complications due to treatment of the symptoms, especially depression. Giving out personal information is not necessarily the answer whereas getting to know our own God-given capabilities to be friendly, helpful, and appreciative is more productive.

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From 21st Century Science and Health, “Prayer can’t change the unalterable Truth, nor can prayer alone give us an understanding of Truth. Prayer, attached to an eager consistent intent to know and do God’s will, will bring us into all Truth. This prayer really has little need of audible expression. It is best expressed in thought and in life.”

 

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A Gutsy Woman

posted by Cheryl Petersen

An outstanding community member died last week and I am in charge of writing a story for the local newspaper. Lois Ray grew up in this area and was a remarkable woman, I am finding. At one point, a local bridge was closed with no intent to fix or replace it. Then a second bridge was closed. Lois Ray was a member of the emergency squad and saw the value of those bridges so she went to the Town officials and expressed concern.

Bridge built in 1993

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Lois was told, There is no money, just tough it out and drive around to the 1 bridge in the middle of town.

It wasn’t a matter of toughing it out. It wasn’t a matter of doing something the way it’s always been done. Lois was atypical. If the officials weren’t going to do the job, she would.

So, she figured out how to build a bridge herself. After investigating costs and structure, Lois gathered some friends and they went to work to raise money.

People made fun of them. They never heard of regular normal hard-working people building a bridge before.

Departments came up with every reason imaginable to stop them from meeting their goal.

Lois and her entourage kept moving forward, unoffended.

Both bridges were replaced within a few years. Paid in full by community members.

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Memories of Marrakech

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Eating lunch on a roof overlooking Marrakech, Morocco, my senses took in the smell of fresh spices, the sound of vendors at work, and the taste of a life seasoned pungently with the Islam faith. Colorful carpets hung on the adobe walls of flanked buildings. The feeling of a modest larger view served to reaffirm the fact that my daughter and I had been courageously discovering the intricate and engaged city of Marrakech, unhindered by the intimidating aggressive men who taunted us because we were what?

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For 4 days my daughter and I had been wandering through a maze of narrow brick alleys while struggling to avoid getting in the way of passing natives, mules pulling carts, vintage bicycles operated by skilled riders, and 80 cc motorcycles spewing out thick exhaust. We listened to the calls to prayer amplified over the city yet were not. Curiously, each day, a few men would be triggered to provoke our attention, their shady comments showed a misinterpretation of our situation.

Yes, we sometimes did appear to be lost, but we knew it was only temporary.

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We knew exactly where we were. In Marrakech. Furthermore, we could admit we practice the Christian faith, however, that includes a respect for Muslims. Naturally, most individuals did interpret our situation correctly and we were allowed to discover courageously the intricate unique and engaged city of Marrakech.

The same human being that misinterprets everyday situations is likely to misinterpret religion. My daughter and I would not allow ourselves to interpret the aggressive men as practitioners of a religion but rather human beings in a competitive business environment vying for the attention of patrons.

Therefore, we loved our adventure, the experience, the people, and now the memories.

 

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Experiencing Healing in a Scientific Manner

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Courtesy geekosystem

On June 5 and 6, it has been determined that the planet Venus will cruise between Earth and the sun, a crossing dubbed the “transit.” With proper eye wear, a viewer can see Venus in front of the back-drop of the sun.

Astronomer Johannes Kepler used math to calculate a transit in 1631. But, he didn’t see it because he lived in Germany, a location from where the transit simply could not be seen.

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Astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks did a little calculation and realized a second transit would be visible 1639. Horrocks, stationed in England, and his buddy William Crabtree actually witnessed the transit of Venus in a scientific manner.

Now understood, Venus does this pass-by every 100 to 121 years. It happens whether witnessed or not. The transits of Venus are not only calculable but unstoppable.

I believe, when I have correct principles, and my consciousness is correctly positioned, that spiritual healing is calculable.

God is the only Principle, with principles of love, life, and truth. A consciousness filled with God, experiences the inevitable, spiritual healing. As much as I can’t stop a transit of Venus, I can’t stop the healing.

The point is not to pray for a healing. Healing is happening. Prayer is filling consciousness with life, truth, oneness, humility, spirit, self-control, productivity, timeless love, while positioning self to see what God has already done, revealed wellbeing, family, grace, strength—fait accompli.

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