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“Discover the Power Within You – A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within” The Great DIscovery

Great Morning Beloved!!

“Discover the Power Within You – A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within”
Maya Angelou was a student, and admirer, of Eric Butterworth. If you wish to learn more about the influence Unity had on her, search online for Maya Angelou & Unity. You can read about her discovery of Unity and listen and watch the interview by Oprah regarding it.
Maya wrote the Foreword for the 40th Anniversary edition of this book. In part, she said this: “Butterworth was a 20th century Emerson. His mission was to help others realize their spiritual potential and to empower the world through spiritual growth. His teachings focused on what a human being is and what a human being can do to live abundantly.”

Rev. Butterworth is considered one of Unity’s great authors and leaders. This book, “Discover the Power Within You – A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within” is considered a classic.

Butterworth starts his book with this statement: “The hope of mankind today lies in the great undiscovered depths within.”
What are your thoughts on that statement?

Within…. Some of us, actually, most of us are just discovering that WITHIN.
You recall the Hindu legend about our hidden divinity being placed in the one place we wouldn’t look…within us. This insinuation is we will go to great lengths searching for that one thing that drives us…but to look within, well…there’s work to do there.

Even two thousand years ago, the philosopher Epictetus (epic tee tus) knew: “You are a distinct portion of the essence of God; and contain part of Him in yourself. Why then, are you ignorant of your noble birth? Why do you not consider whence you came? Why do you not remember, when you are eating, who you are who eat; and whom you feed? Do you not know that it is the Divine you feed; the Divine you exercise? You carry God about with you… and know nothing of it.”

We are beginning a seven-week series on discovering our divinity…or maybe we should say remembering or re-discovering …because it’s been there, within us all this time, just waiting for our Great Discovery.
We’ll be looking at how Jesus demonstrated this understanding of his own divinity and encouraged us to understand and demonstrate ours. We’ll ask the question: “What did Jesus really teach?”

The power of God, that essential spirit, is within each of us. We have a choice…we can ignore it, or we can draw upon it and choose to grow…grow into our awareness of who and what we truly are.

This book, Discover the Power Within You, and others like it, invites us to know our divinity. That’s the first step in discovering our power, our greatness. That’s the Great Discovery.

Butterworth posits that Jesus is our greatest example of the great discovery. And we have said that many times over through the years….thus we call Him our Way-shower.

Imagine Jesus as a young boy, pondering the wonders of the world, when his consciousness brings an idea to him so great, He probably didn’t catch its full implications at first. It was the concept leading to the full realization of His unity with God.
Up to this point, we humans existed in the consciousness of separation from God. We could pray to God, talk to God and receive help and guidance from God. God was always up there, and we were down here.
Fichte (fish ta) said, “an insight into the absolute unity of man with the divine is the profoundest knowledge that man can attain.”

Embracing our divinity, our Christ within, is not a one-shot deal. We have probably figured that out by now!
We need to be reminded over and over again that, as Dr. Roger Walsh, professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology observes, we are more than we think…
1. There are two realms of reality – the everyday realm which we are all familiar with, and another realm, another world that cannot be known through the physical senses. Call it Spirit, Mind, the Tao or Consciousness, this realm is unbounded by space, or time or physical laws.
2. Human beings partake of both realms. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We have bodies, but at the core of our being, we have a center of transcendent awareness. This is the Divine spark. We are not divorced from the sacred but eternally and intimately linked to it.
3. Human beings can recognize this divine spark and the sacred ground that is its source. In other words, we don’t have to believe this philosophy on faith. We can experience this other realm for ourselves, by careful introspection, or what the Hindus call self-inquiry. This knowledge of the divine does not come from book learning, but rather through direct experience. (Or what Father Rohr called “learning to think like Jesus.”)
4. And finally, the perennial philosophy’s fourth claim is that realizing our spiritual nature is the highest goal and greatest good of human existence. Besides this, all other goals pale.

This then is the goal of “Discover the Power Within You” – This is not power about exerting our will over others, it is about being in complete truth with yourself.
It’s to help us to realize this truth about ourselves – that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. So, this work isn’t to deny our humanity, but to embrace it within the context of our innate spirituality.
Butterworth’s premise of the Great Discovery is that Jesus was not the exception to humanity, but the example for all humanity. Jesus was a teacher who made this wonderful discovery and then attempted not only to tell us all that we had this same potential; He gave us simple steps to take to realize it and be transformed by that power—-the power of our own divinity.
When Jesus said, “follow me” He is referring to our acceptance of the high level of consciousness that He achieved. He is not the moon, so to speak, but is asking us to look as He is pointing to the moon. Maybe saying… “this is the way”.
When He becomes the object of worship, He ceases to be the way-shower. This is a major difference between Unity and other Christian based religions or practices. We do not worship Him, we follow him.

This splendid spiritual discovery can be unfolded through self-realization and self-discipline. There is no short cut to the Kingdom. Growth is an unfoldment.
Meister Eckhart reminds us that there was never an ‘only begotten’ but there is the eternal begetting…
The only begotten is spiritual human, the Christ principle. We all, always have within us the infinite Christ potential.

What does all this mean? Quoting Dr. Walsh, “The words differ from one tradition to another, but their central message is the same -you are more than you!” We have underestimated ourselves, and each other. All the traditions agree that this discovery of our selves is the supreme joy and greatest goal of human life.
Jesus stressed a spiritual philosophy that is ‘you-centered’. We can’t just believe things about Jesus, we must come to believe about ourselves what He believed about himself.

You all have an opportunity to participate in this series.
I’m encouraging you to embrace a couple of practices.
First have a practice of regular meditation, be willing to create one. Even if it’s just sitting in the silence for 15 minutes a day.
Second, this series might bring up some old “stuff” around Jesus and religion and sin and who knows what! So, keeping a journal might be helpful. I’m available if you need to talk.
Use the weekly study guides, available on the Information Table, to deepen your exploration of this work.
I am here on Wednesdays and Fridays if you wish to chat about anything and appointments can be arranged. If anyone wishes to start a discussion group around this series, let me know.


What’s Love Got to do with it?

GREAT Morning Beloved!
What’s Love Got to do with it?

A college professor had his sociology class go into the Baltimore slums to get case histories of 200 young boys. They were asked to write an evaluation of each boy’s future. In every case the students wrote, “He hasn’t got a chance.”

Twenty-five years later another sociology professor came across the earlier study. He had his students follow up on the project to see what had happened to those boys.

With the exception of 20 boys who had moved away or died, the students learned that 176 of the remaining 180 had achieved more than ordinary success as lawyers, doctors, and businessmen.

The professor was astounded and decided to pursue the matter further.

Fortunately, all the men were in the area, and he was able to ask each one, “How do you account for your success?”
In each case the reply came with feeling, “There was a teacher.”

The teacher was still alive, so he sought her out and asked the elderly but still alert lady what magic formula she had used to pull these boys out of the slums into successful achievement.

The teacher’s eyes sparkled and her lips broke into a gentle smile. “It’s really very simple,” she said. “I loved those boys.” (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

We often poo-poo the power of love, yet many more stories like this prove the power it has. And we are aware that love & connection are one of the basic needs of humans.

We in Unity talk about the power of Love. We affirm that we are love because we come from love…God is only LOVE and we are of God.

Everyone has their own idea of what Love is. In the 21st century, many seem to have their own definition of the word “love”—from popular talk show hosts to your garden variety psychologists and self-styled pop icons, everyone wants to weigh in. Even you and me!

Our English language is lacking in having only one word, LOVE, that really expands over many ideas and definitions. The Greeks have 6 words for the different types of love and in Spanish there are 11words just nouns for love, that doesn’t include verbs and all the side meaning of affection.

Think for a moment what LOVE means to you….

In an age when words speak much louder than actions, it’s high time we return to the only one who can truly define “love”—the One who created it:

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8)

Now place that definition before the meaning you had a moment ago….how do you compare?
I’m guessing closer that we think.

In our human form, love often takes on our needs…and rightly so, to a point. On a human level we do have certain needs to be successful humans.

But I believe part of that ‘need’ is also to give….to give love.

Most of you know that my belief about love is in the verb…loving. I believe many of societies issues can be lessened by giving love.

1 John 3:18: “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue. but in deed and in truth.”

And that giving can be simple…for example; many of you here give in many ways, from participating in the Service as Greeters, Platform Assistants, to Fellowship helpers bringing food to share and cleaning up after, providing flowers, leading groups, sharing food and clothing and pet food and backpack items and items for our Service people, and playing games during Game Night…oh yes! That is sharing love too.
All that is happening here.

But you do much more…think now….where do you share your love?

Unity believes that Jesus had the right idea about LOVE. He asked us to love God and love each other.

Jesus did not send us into the world to make believers but to make disciples. We can worship Jesus without doing the things he says. We can believe in him and still not follow him.

In fact, there’s a passage in Corinthians that says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

SO how did we get to “what’s love got to do with it?” That kind of minimalizes love, doesn’t it?
Haven’t we minimalized the ‘real love’ that is our Principle? Are we really following what our Way-shower has asked us to do?

The important becomes trivial, and then the trivial becomes important.

We got where we are when loving people and loving God and really knowing what that means becomes minimized. Then possessions and power and prestige and what people think and what you wear and what schools your kids go to and how you’re doing, produces these demands where we start living lives that are a shadow of who we really are.
What we want to do is flip that…to minimalize ‘things’ and maximize love. –

When we talk about purposely, specifically loving other people in authentic ways – some of the trivial things all of a sudden lose their luster. Who cares about this or that, when love is really happening?

How do we then maximize love, so love becomes what’s important and some of those trivial, less important things, diminish in their priority and demand on your life.

I believe the key is learning to love…to Be loving

The way love works is, love celebrates our differences. Love looks at different people and realizes that every one of them is important and they’re different colors and they’re different shapes, but love celebrates differences and love refuses to compare

Jesus demonstrated love’s power to bless and heal ourselves and all those around us. He said one of the greatest commandments is to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Jesus further commanded his disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

Ancient and modern-day prophets alike have spoken about this concept of unconditional love for others. St. Francis of Assisi prayed: “Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” In his book, Strength to Love, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spelled out a formula for loving your enemies: “Hatred cannot drive away hatred; only love can do that.”

We can all do our part in sharing love. There are as many ways as there are people in this room. And if you think you can’t get past something and change it to love, consider this:

Anthony Ray Hinton in his book, The Sun Does Shine. After spending 28 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, Hinton was exonerated in 2015. When he was initially sentenced, he asked to speak to the court and proceeded to forgive each one of those who held his life and his fate in their hands. He told them he didn’t hate them, and, in fact, he said he loved them. During nearly three decades behind bars, he taught his fellow death row inmates the power of unconditional love through Bible and book studies.

A white supremacist who was about to be executed was asked whether he had any final words. He was one of the men Hinton had befriended, and he observed that the very people he had been taught to hate were the ones who, in prison, taught him how to love.

As Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore wrote: “Love is the great harmonizer and healer … love will bring your own to you, adjust all misunderstandings, and make your life and your affairs healthy, happy, harmonious, and free”.

If we choose to be happy, we must help others find happiness. If we desire to be loved, we must spread that love around.
The story is told of a farmer whose corn each year earned the winning prize at the state fair. One year, a reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew his corn. The farmer told the reporter that he shared his prize-winning seed corn with his neighbors.

When asked why, the farmer explained: “The wind picks up the pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If the neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

The same is true for the way we live our lives. If we wish to live in peace and harmony, we must help our neighbors, families and friends do the same.

See it as opportunity in every situation.

The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity – Law #4 Finding Your Divine Purpose

GREAT Morning Beloved!

The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity – A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance

Here we are, the final Law of Prosperity – Finding Your Divine Purpose.

This has been an interesting venture through Rev. Gaines’ book. Lots of wisdom so far, and I do not believe it has ended.

This final Law is about Passion and reminds us of the need for Commitment.

At one time or another you’ve probably asked yourself, What is the purpose of my life? What is its meaning? Why am I here on Earth, and what am I supposed to be doing?”

Chances are, you work hard, whether you take care of a household or have a job outside of the home. Your days are filled with seemingly endless chores and tasks like getting the oil changed in your car and going to the grocery store. Perhaps sometimes, when you get tired or stressed out, life can seem like just one long and meaningless “to do” list with a bland retirement and a gold-plated watch at the end of it.

You may have a sense that given the right circumstances, you could do much more than you are doing now. Perhaps you long to make a real difference in the world, to assign meaning to your life, and to listen to the yearnings of your very soul.

All of the great and wise people who ever made a difference on planet Earth heard their souls’ yearnings and chose a purpose for their lives. People such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela seem to have been driven by a self-defined purpose that they chose for themselves. Now, we often think of such people with a sense of awe and respect as if they were somehow different from us — better, smarter, saintly, or more courageous. Sometimes they hardly seem human. But the truth is that the only real difference between you and those people is that they all seemed to have a clearly defined life purpose that they selected for themselves and then embraced with steadiest dedication and unshakeable determination.

You have that very same opportunity as well. Every single one of us has some special gift, some special interest, some special talent, some special way of impacting this world, so that it becomes a better place for everyone. You have the potential to live at the level of Gandhi or Mother Teresa. The question you must ask yourself is, “Am I willing to define, embrace, and hold fast to my divine purpose, prayerfully, persistently, and patiently?” If the answer is yes, then the seemingly impossible truly can become possible in your life.

Now, finding and following your divine purpose is different from setting your goals. A goal is a tangible desire with an end result, but your divine purpose is really a way of living.

For example, a goal might be to learn to paint with watercolors, but your divine purpose might be to bring joy to peoples’ lives through your art. Another goal might be to get a PhD, but the divine purpose would be to live in the world of the intellect, the world of ideas. Your goals have finite deadlines, but your divine purpose is something that you will be working with and growing with for the rest of your life.

Rev. Gaines relates, “Years ago, a teacher explained to me that if I wanted to fully realize my potential in this lifetime, the first thing I had to do was look out upon my world (understanding that we all look out through our own consciousness to see different worlds) and notice all the things that need healing, or fixing, or transforming.”

“Very frankly, I see that a multitude of areas where we as a human family need to direct our attention, change our priorities, get rid of the systems and concepts that are not working, and begin anew.”

“The task, then, my teacher instructed, is that after looking carefully at the world, we must pick out one thing that we feel needs transforming, something that would be fun for us to get involved in repairing, shifting, restructuring, fixing, and perfecting. Please note the use of the word fun. This is not about martyrdom or great personal sacrifice. It is about focus, joy, and a sense of purposeful possible achievement.”

Next, we must take a bold step and make a 100 percent commitment to “fixing” the problem we have identified, followed by devoting our energies, time, talents, skills, and money to transforming that one piece of the earthly puzzle. Even as you’re working toward solving the problem, keep in mind that what is really important is not whether the problem ever gets solved; it’s that you are working toward the solution with dedication and persistence.

An example would be to help clean the world for future generations…by recycling as much as possible and watching what you purchase and how it is packaged!
Keep in mind, it is YOUR solution. It may seem small, but it is a step in the right direction. We at Unity suggest helping with Fellowship or being a Greeter as a step toward getting involved as a Volunteer. Then step into what calls to you on a deeper level.

When you choose your divine purpose, you are framing your life with meaning. You are also taking an important step in your spiritual development: to demonstrate to yourself that you are a divine being and to prove to yourself that you have the power to affect change — that you are bigger, stronger, more powerful, and more creative than you thought.

It was Emerson who said, “Oh Man! There is no planet, sun or star could hold you, if you but knew what you are.” There is nothing in the universe that could hold us, if only we knew our true power and stepped into it.

Passion is involved with this commitment…it must be. If you are not passionate about the activity, you will not commit. Charles called it Zeal, one of our 12 Powers.

So, it’s whatever we feel strongly about, a direction we feel compelled to take, or an activity we find fascinating and absorbing, step forward toward it. That focus + enthusiasm is the strongest possible force for creating what we desire in our lives – including money.

Ever heard the expression “do what you love, and the money will follow”? Well, there is a lot of truth in that. Your passion creates a channel in your energy fields, and the more you focus, the stronger and deeper the channel. This makes it easier to do what you are passionate about.

Most of us have a pretty clear idea of what we are passionate about, because it’s what we naturally enjoy and/or feel happy doing. We each have an affinity or talent for certain interests or activities: music, dancing, writing, physics, toy trains. When you engage in your passions, your inner being is saying “yes!”, guiding you in the direction of your divine blueprint.

So, what are you passionate about? What fills you with focus, joy and excitement? That is a great indicator of what you are here to do on this planet. We each have a specific assignment; there is something only you can do within the overall assignment of the human race to recreate heaven on earth.

Obviously, you are going to have the best and most excellent life if you follow your divine blueprint. The way to figure that out is by following your passions. You don’t have to explain them, justify them: your passions are sufficient in themselves.

What you are passionate about indicates your desires, and your desire nature is a direct connection between your human self and your divine self.

The only way you can get direct guidance is through your emotions – through what you want and don’t want, through what you are passionate about. Passion not only shows you where to go, it keeps you on track towards getting there.
Passion has seven components: love, knowledge, desire, excellence, focus, vision and integration. So, if your passions are not sufficiently clear to you, if you are not aware of what you are here to do, then ask yourself:

1. What do I LOVE more than anything else?

2. What do I KNOW better than anyone else?

3. What do I DESIRE, want, crave, feel attracted to?

4. What do I EXCEL AT? What do I learn or do with natural ease?

5. What do I FOCUS ON whether I consciously intend to or not?

6. What do I SEE that others don’t? What is my vision for my perfect world? What problems am I aware of for which I may be part of the solution?

7. What do I need to INTEGRATE? Integration means getting your system lined up with what you want, on all levels.
All great questions that can guide us to our passion.

So, what does this have to do with money and prosperity? Well, if our passions indicate what we are here to do, then it’s not possible we are sent to do something without the resources to do it. Money, prosperity and abundance enable us fulfill our assignments and bring our passions into manifestation.

So, it makes sense that focusing on your passions will open the conduit through which money and abundance can flow into your life to support those assignments.

God doesn’t limit our abundance – we do. God doesn’t say to a tree “if you lose any of those leaves, I’m not giving you more!”

We are here to learn how to co-create, and we cannot do that unless and until we put some conscious effort into our creations. Spiritual progress is just like anything else: you have to start small and build up your willingness, ability, talent and experience so that you can take larger and larger steps into manifestation.

Commitment plays a crucial role in each aspect of our journey – to tithe every time money comes into your life; to set goals & then move outside your comfort zone to achieve them; to forgive those who have hurt you in the past & to work to forgive yourself

So, add living according to your divine purpose. Step with integrity, the universe will open a way.
You are moving from a commitment to survive to a commitment to prosper

A commitment verbalized automatically creates its own support team. Said with faith & conviction, it draws people, ideas, coincidences & synchronicity to you

God is ready when you are & verbalizing is the signal.

“Courage is the commitment to begin, without any guarantee of success.” Goethe

‘Listen’ to the signals spirit is giving you to be a beneficial presence on earth. There are “go’ signals, ‘stop’ signals and ‘wait’ signals. Listen carefully to your guidance.

“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and to keep it lit.” Mary Lou Retton

So, there you have the four spiritual laws of prosperity. Try these spiritual laws for just three months and see how quickly your income goes up – and your spiritual fulfillment, too!

The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity # 3 Forgiveness

The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity

It’s time we look at the Law that many people have an issue with.
We’ve discussed Spiritual Laws of Prosperity #1 & 2, tithing & giving and setting clear-cut goals. Now it’s time for the 3rd Law, Forgiveness and Worthiness.

Could having to do forgiveness work of feelings of unworthiness be what is blocking you around money and abundance – many of us still have some questions of worthiness? Maybe have some forgiveness work to do too.

Worthiness means having value or merit. We often question our worthiness and lack of self-esteem. And that lack can often come when our lives seem to be less than fulfilled. Maybe things just aren’t going our way. Maybe we have money issues or relationship issues, or both!

Often this will tie into the fact that we have blocked our flow of good because we have not forgiven others …or ourselves for perceived or real slights.

Time to do that forgiveness work.

What is forgiveness? By definition, to forgive is to overlook, pardon or excuse a slight, offense, hurt, mistake, crime, or transgression. In the Christian tradition, we are told to forgive others, even unto seventy times seven. Notice that there is no requirement for the supposedly offending party to repent or express remorse. It’s OUR job to forgive, no matter what the other person does or doesn’t do.

Forgiving is actually a highly-evolved position.

When we look at the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament and many similar religious traditions, vengeance is more highly valued than reconciliation. Jesus came to complete the old Law and introduced a new commandment: to love one another. Forgiveness is an integral part of this. After all, almost the last thing Jesus is reported to have said was, “Forgive them; they know not what they do.”

Studies have shown that negative thoughts, feelings, words, and behaviors affect our mental and physical health, our success and our self-worth.

Richard Smoley, author and philosopher, suggests: “Think of forgiveness like housecleaning. When clutter builds up in your house, you throw or give away things you no longer need. Forgiveness is essentially the same process. When you carry grievances and grudges, you have a lot of things going on inside that are not doing you any good. In fact, they are poisoning you. Make a point to release grievances and grudges. Getting rid of the mind’s clutter and filth will lead you to greater happiness.”

Now, what does this have to do with prosperity? Well, unforgiveness means you are dwelling on your hurts and offences, instead of being thankful for your blessings and all the parts of your life that make you feel good.
Whatever you focus on expands in your life, (thoughts held in mind produce after their kind) so if you are focused on feeling hurt or worried, the universe assumes you want more of that.

Eric Butterworth reminds us, “It is not the incident but the memory of it that causes the effects of it today. The moment it is dropped from your consciousness, it is gone from the only place it ever existed.”

Divine Spirit is forgiving, so if you stick with unforgiveness, then you are not in alignment with your divine nature. You cannot be at your brightest and best if you are operating at the low frequency of unforgiveness.
Now, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you condone what someone has done. It doesn’t let the other person off the hook of their own conscience. It DOES mean that you no longer intend to carry that grudge or unforgiveness around with you, poisoning your life.

It means you care enough about yourself to smooth out your energy fields and focus on what you want to experience in your life NOW, rather than the hurts and offences of the past.

In fact, forgiveness is more about you than the person you are hurt by or annoyed at. Holding onto unforgiveness is like poking yourself in the eye and wondering why it doesn’t hurt the person you’re not forgiving. There you are, fuming, and the other person doesn’t even notice! How annoying is that?!

And speaking of eyes, remember this? “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

We look at others doing what we are judging instead of minding our own business. Who’s business is it? Byron Katie asks that question…it’s either yours, theirs or God’s. And there are way more things that are not your than are….

Refusing your forgiveness doesn’t actually solve the problem or situation that needs it. It just keeps you stuck in resentment and pain. Meanwhile, that stuckness blocks the flow of prosperity and blessing in your life.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you give them permission to hurt or abuse you; it just means that you aren’t spending any more of your precious time and energy focused on feeling hurt, indignant or wronged. You’re lightening your load by dumping that luggage overboard!

Start by forgiving everyone you have ever put outside your heart, no matter what the reason or how justified the grudge. Imagine that each piece of unforgiveness is like a potato that you are carrying around in a plastic bag. After a week or so, those potatoes are pretty slimy and vile, right? So throw them out! Chuck them through the nearest window right now – with sound effects! (You need actions to engage your right brain and sounds to engage your left brain; actions and sounds together integrate both sides of your brain.)

Make a start by forgiving everyone in your past, in your family, and at work. Forgive God (or your concept of God) for hurting, ignoring, or abandoning you when you didn’t understand any better; forgive yourself for any hurts you have caused to another, or any self-sabotage in your own life. Throw out those rotten potatoes every day and see how much lighter you feel!

And start from where you are. Rev. Gaines suggests, If there is someone you really can’t seem to forgive, try saying, “I forgive you, you sorry SOB!” If you do this every day for a week, the next week it may be easier to simply say, “I forgive you”, the following week you might start to believe it.

Try saying this before bedtime….
For whatever harm I have caused others, may they forgive me.
For whatever harm others have caused me, may I forgive them.
For whatever harm I have caused myself, I forgive myself.

When people hurt you, there are only two reasons: either there is a misunderstanding, or the person is a sociopath. As the latter is relatively rare, chances are good that there is some kind of misunderstanding… and once you stop thinking people set out to hurt you deliberately, those misunderstandings are easier to forgive.

We must realize that no one can hurt us unless we allow them to hurt us.
We must realize that no one can hurt us unless we allow them to hurt us.
Feel betrayed? How are you betraying yourself?

She says:
No one can steal from you unless you are a thief
No one can cheat you unless you are a cheat
No one can gossip about you unless you are a gossip
Think about it…..she uses the time we steal from others complaining or gossiping as example.

The people who do us wrong are our teachers…we can learn valuable spiritual lessons about compassion and understanding from them.

To Clean your inner psyches ask:
1. Whom am I blaming?

2. What am I blaming this person for?

3. Why am I blaming this person?

4. Who hurt me?

5. Why did I allow this person to hurt me?

6. What do I need to forgive, in myself, in my parents, in the government, and in my world?

7. Whom have I hurt?

8. Why did I hurt this person?

9. In what ways do I punish myself and others?

If you have any kind of debt, look for the unforgiveness that is keeping it in place. In her book, Rev. Gaines tells the story of finding out she was liable for her ex-husband’s debts to the tune of $60, 000. After getting over her rage and disbelief, she decided to forgive her way out of debt – and she did. Forgiveness is key to clearing debts.

Try it yourself! Instead of holding onto your grudges, see how quickly you can clear them! Give yourself the challenge of finding out how fast you can free yourself from debt by releasing the chains of unforgiveness. At the very least, you will feel better, lighter, and more able to move forward into your divine abundance.

This is freedom from the bondage of the past. What you have been is not important. All that counts in your life is what you are reaching for, what you are becoming. With forgiveness, we can let go of the past and turn to other, more important issues

Keep in mind, forgiveness is something you do for yourself

Here are her 5 forgiveness techniques:
1. Writing, speaking & listening to forgiveness affirmations help to begin the forgiveness process
2. Every night ask, Have I put anyone outside my heart today? Forgive yourself for the judgment, release the need to control others’ behavior-none of your business
3. At least once a year, do a complete forgiveness inventory of your entire life; go through your entire life checking feelings and memories to see if someone was overlooked to be forgiven.
4. Forgive yourself…share with at least one other person, someone trustworthy and chosen with care, and share with them for your peace of mind. They are only an impartial listener. Just the telling can release it
5. Ask God for help

Forgiveness is about shifting out of our human tendency to wallow in a victim state so that our minds are clear enough to come to realize that we can have what we want…the Universe is asking us what do you want every day.
In the Bible, Solomon asked for an understanding heart…what does that mean? An understanding heart is that you cannot blame anyone for anything….especially yourself! Live in a constant state of forgiveness.

I’ve included an insert with your Bulletin today with affirmations and a Forgiveness Journal. The Journal helps clear what we need to forgive … in ourselves and with others.

Forgiveness Journal:
I am through feeling guilty about:
I am over feeling sorry for myself:
I am no longer going to blame _____________ for:
I am finished with all sadness about:
I forgive my parents for:
I release all suffering about:
Above all, I forgive myself once and for all for:___________________________
It is done!