Excerpted from "Healing From a Grandmother's Heart." Used with permission.

My grandmother Edna's family came to America in the eighteenth century. The Larsons, my grandfather's family, were a much more recent arrival from Sweden and the cultural differences between the two families were vast. I asked Edna one day how she came to marry my granddad, Ivar. She told me that she fell in love immediately and they had eloped. Being a kid, I said, "Oooh, was your Mom mad?"  Edna looked me squarely in the eye and said, "Baby, I never cared. And no one has had a better life than me. Trust your heart and you'll always win. The whole purpose of life is to live it, love it, and take a happy smile to God when you're done. I never gave a hoot about what anyone thought."

 And do you know what? Every member of my family, both Larsons and Tilghmans, adored her.

Isn't it true that we spend a lot of time wondering what others think of us?


One of my teachers said the most marvelous thing to me years ago--"What you think of me is none of my business." I chuckled at the time, and he very seriously told me that his life was lived according to that principle. I'll never forget that phrase, mostly because it reminded me so much of Edna.


Edna somehow knew as a young girl that this life was meant to be seized and lived to the fullest. Apparently she did not have to go through the "what will people think?" phase. From all accounts she was calm, the anchor for many in our family, and was never swayed by outward appearances.


My grandmother was a true and steadfast believer in Spirit. She had been introduced to affirmative prayer by a friend. She credited this "very pleasant habit" with her ability to be steadfast, kind, and resistant to the negativity of others. She also just happened to be akin to the Rock of Gibraltar, and everyone who knew her was aware of the affirmations that made her this way. If you're not acquainted with this idea and way of living, I'll give you an introduction.


Affirmative prayer is about rejoicing and thanksgiving. It's recognizing all the wonder, joy, and abundance in your life and being thankful from the bottom of your heart. This way of life does not involve beseeching prayer-it's more like a meditation, a communion of Spirit. This kind of prayer affirms perfection in our lives as we are thankful for having received all that we need, even if it hasn't shown up quite yet.


It's about faith.