It Is What It Is
A woman was walking down the street when she was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked for a couple of dollars for dinner. The woman took out her wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, “If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?”
“No I had to stop drinking years ago”, the homeless woman told her.
“Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?” She asked.
“No, I don’t waste time shopping,” the homeless woman said. “I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.”
“Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?” asked the woman.
“Are you NUTS!” replied the homeless woman. “I haven’t had my hair done in 20 years!”
“Well,” The woman said, “I’m not going to give you the money. Instead, I’m going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.”
The homeless woman was shocked. “Won’t your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I’m dirty, and I probably smell pretty disgusting.”
The woman replied, “That’s okay. It’s important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and wine.”
In the book, “Point of Power”, Rev. Dr. Paul Hasselbeck wrote, “What I look for and what I think I will find is what I tend to find, not because it is inherently in the event or situation but because it is in my mind. I see, perceive, and experience my world through my thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes.”
We see what we expect to see. And we see what we have labeled it or named it.
The word CHURCH is a perfect example. What do you think of or feel when I say the word CHURCH? Many people have a hard time with the word because of their prior experiences and the attitudes they have developed because of those experiences. And so, they exclude themselves from the experience we have here today because they haven’t erased the word CHURCH and the attitude they formed from their past yet.
The same is said about many words, especially those found in religion. God. Father. Goddess. Christ. Sin. Bible. What were your feeling as I mentioned those words?
We have talked about some of these words. In Unity, they mean different things than they do in traditional religions. In fact, Unity doesn’t even like to use the word ‘religion’. We think of ourselves more as a Spiritual movement.
In Genesis 2:19-20, it’s written:
“Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the human to see what they would name them; and whatever the human called each living creature, that was its name. So the human gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.”
All the animals, birds, beasts were named and thus, that is what we expect when someone says, fish, robin, hawk, dog, cow, etc.
And in Matthew 16:13-16
When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
So, those of us raised in the Christian tradition think of Jesus as ‘the Son of God’, at least until, as I did, they looked into the other traditions.
As it is named, so we see it.
I had an experience while I was attending my last set of Leadership Classes at Unity Village. We had a double class of prayer; types, techniques, etc. As we were discussing praying for others, we had a practice session with a partner. My partner was Paula, a woman I had met during the last set of classes. When it was my turn, I was to give her something that I wanted to pray over, so I shared with her something that had come up regarding my health that I was experiencing at the time. It had to do with a nodule that was found on my thyroid gland, a biopsy was taken but there was not enough material to make a diagnosis. Being a breast cancer survivor, I wasn’t very happy about having another ‘lump’ in my body. Paula gave a very good prayer “for the right and perfect solution,” as I expected she would. After she was finished, as we were discussing the process we had just gone through, she told me something I had not considered….she said “it is what you call it”.
She was right. I was calling it a worry, a concern; a challenge, something that might throw my life into a tail spin. I was recalling my experience with Breast Cancer. I needed to call it, to ‘label’ it in a positive manner.
Our bodies hear everything we or others say to it. We should use caution when listening. I was listening to my fears of cancer and not to what I was learning in class. I needed to put my lessons into practice.
I’m sure I am not alone in this, calling something that is a change, something more. A crisis. A disaster. It’s devastating. What a shame. Poor so and so…. Just look at any situation in the world today or in your life and how it is labeled. And the labels we give to certain animals and to people! Pit Bulls for example. Or people from different cultures.
We see what we expect as Rev. Hasselbeck said. Why do we do that? Is there a benefit to naming something or someone in a negative way? Dr. Phil use to say that when we keep doing something negative; it means we are getting some kind of payback. So what is the payback for calling something a ‘crisis’? Or ‘devastating’?
The real question is why do we label something negative knowing that our thoughts create our world? Doesn’t that give our power away?
Again, my Metaphysic instructor at Unity Village, Rev. Dr. Hasselbeck says we would be better off asking ourselves what are we going to do about the situation instead of asking why it happened. Asking why, he states, keeps us in a victim role. But by asking what can I do about it takes us away from feeling helpless and into action.”
While visiting a friend several years ago, she was talking about manifesting a job opportunity. She related how she had asked for the last opportunity by listing what she wanted from it: abundance, of course, but she also wanted to be CHALLENGED. And she was. In every way….
So this time, we talked about fine turning that manifestation, and listed abundance, joy, peace, but also rewarding. No challenge. This second opportunity turned out to be much more of what she really wanted and needed.
See how easily it was to make a simple thought for a good experience into a pile of unwanted experiences? And to turn it around to good? That is what we did with the job opportunity.
Superstitions are another good example of labeling something negative…break a mirror, 7 years of bad luck. Why not 7 years of joy, peace, and good? What other superstitions can you think of that suggest a negative result to them? Anyone?(walking under a ladder, seeing a black cat,)
When painful events bring grief or discord into our life experience, when we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, we don’t have to pitch a tent and linger there, labeling it a tragedy, a crisis. Ernest Holmes said; “If we do not know the Truth in difficult times, we do not know the Truth”. What does that mean? I think it means that when we do have an opportunity to trust in Spirit, we need to do just that. Trust Spirit to guide us through.
Yet sometimes we do linger longer in the Valley than maybe we need. We only need to process the situation at hand. Yes, grieve if it is needed. Yes, Look for insights. Yes, Ask yourself painfully honest questions. But Stay there after you’ve searched everything thoroughly and learned your lessons. No. That is being a victim.
Each day is full & ripe with as much satisfaction & meaning as we choose to see. Henry David Thoreau said; “the question is not what you look at but what you see.” Our filters have a way of influencing what we see. And what do we see when we look at someone who is “different” than we are? If we are seeing through our filters, we often place that Spirit into a physical definition of different than; different color of skin, different life style, different way of living, different dress, different belief.
And not just someone we don’t personally know…we use these same filters on people we are acquainted with and label them ‘friend, ‘not too friendly,’ ‘mean,’ ‘sad,’ “distant’ and often we hardly know them. Have we ask them who they really are? Have we given them a chance to get to know who we are? Or are we judging them based upon our DOMESTICATION? Can you see how that may limit how we relate to others and may cause discord in relationships? How about looking for how we are alike?
And do you know the difference between ‘judgment’ and ‘righteous judgment’ or ‘discernment’? The word ‘judgment’ is colored by our domestication, by our filters, by what others are saying about the person or object or situation.
‘Righteous judgment’ or ‘discernment’ as used in the Bible and many of our spiritual texts, means we are looking with eyes of love, using our heart to guide us, we are seeing the Christ Consciousness in the person or situation and we choose from that perspective whether to involve ourselves.
This is a Hugh difference.
Think about how we define success, “The achievement of anything that you desire must be considered success, whether it is a trophy or money or relationships, or things. But, according to Abraham Hicks, if you will let your standard of success be your achievement of joy-everything else will fall easily into place. For in the finding of joy, you are finding vibrational alignment with the resources of the Universe.”
So, how do you define success? And how does that definition color your world?
It doesn’t serve us to create from false beliefs, yet that is what we often do. In our daily creation, we have a choice, we can choose to create consciously or unconsciously. Thoughts believed take form in our world, so it is most important that we only believe those thoughts that we desire to manifest, those that support our Spirit, and reject the others, no matter who is communicating these concepts.
We often get caught up in situations we have little or no control. This is where the power of our choices can help empower us to live our Truth. When a situation comes up where we have an opportunity to grow, we can look at what we have named it. We want to look at the potential good in the situation, not at the negative. As has been said, experience the moment, but then observe your habits & attitudes; try to understand where they came from; why you may be denying your good in this circumstance? Getting to the bottom, so to speak, of your belief, can help discover where it started so you can work on releasing it and choose positive thoughts instead. And if we are defining others through our filters and beliefs, we need to look at them and see with true sight.
So, when a ‘so-called’ disaster strikes, whether floods, tornadoes, illness of a family member or friend, instead of asking WHY, we can go into action, whatever it is that we are capable of doing. It could be saying a prayer, sending funds or help packages, or it could be going and doing something. Anything positive will help the situation. It can be as simple as sending Love and Light to the situation or person.
This is one why we have a Prayer Request Box and why Prayer is so important in Unity. We KNOW it works! So send a prayer when you have a concern or opportunity to grow.
Putting action, the WHAT in place instead of why, keeps us in a positive frame of mind, which is what it’s all about. Positive energy helps us all. What you do for yourself, you do for all.
Another area to pay attention to is if we are ‘seeing’ that our inner and outer circumstances are in sync. I have a friend who decided to buy a new car. She didn’t need a new car but was trying to look ahead: mileage was getting up there, her commute was long; she might be changing jobs. Even though she loved the car she had and all the other cars she was looking at would have caused her extra efforts to add the equipment needed to transport her kayaks, even the ‘not right’ feeling she had about the whole thing, even though she wasn’t comfortable in the drivers’ seat, she headed to the car dealer to make the buy. On the way, she received an even more direct ‘hint’ that she should reconsider the following through with purchase…a sign right in front of her said, “Don’t Do IT.”
Well, she bought a car…and after driving to work several days, she didn’t like the way it sat so she traded it for another car…didn’t like it, so she traded it for another car. This is all in a matter of about a months’ time. She didn’t like this car either, but determined it wouldn’t be wise to trade again, so she’s driving her mother’s car! STILL!
This is a simple example of not following our Truth, not listening to our inner voice. She ‘saw’ a need to get a car, not letting Spirit guide her, but listened to ego instead The error thinking, not listening to our intuition, not listening to our bodily signals, we can add suffering to our lives. Science of Mind says: “The universe does not demand suffering! Someday we shall decide that we have had enough.”
And Kahlil Gibran said, “We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.” Think about that!
SO when do we determine we have had enough suffering? When do we leave the Valley of the Shadow of Death? Do we linger there or do we learn what is ours to learn, do what we are to do, and then leave?
Charles Fillmore said, “God’s greatest gift to man is the power of thought, through which he can incorporate into his consciousness the mind of God.” But if we are to use this greatest gift, are we to dwell in its negative side? No, we use thought to create, to understand.
By questioning all our thoughts and beliefs and what we are being told, we can ask these questions in the Light of eternal Truth: 1. Is it beneficial for everyone, including all animals and the Earth? 2. Is this an unlimited thought, meaning that all is possible? 3. Does this thought empower us to live as we choose?
And if we say NO to any of these, we may want to ask ourselves where did I get that thought? What am I defining and why? And WHERE did that come from?
Rev. Dr. Hasselbeck also said, “The good news is that we create our own reality our own life experiences through our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. The bad news is that we create our own reality our own life experiences through our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. Knowing this we can assume our power, the power God always intended us to be.”
“The first place we lose the battle is in our own thinking. If you think it’s permanent then it’s permanent. If you think you’ve reached your limits then you have. If you think you’ll never get well then you won’t. You have to change your thinking. You need to see everything that’s holding you back, every obstacle, every limitation as only temporary.”
And thus we can know, as Robert Frost said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” And knowing this, we can also know it’s not the world that needs changed, it’s what we think about the world that needs changed. And then life goes on.
“Happiness can be found everywhere, and in everything. Or not. It’s our choice.” ~ A.D. Williams