Category Archives: Environment

My relationship with pain

Most human beings invest time and money in the endeavor to get rid of physical pain.

Is that like getting rid of a rotten spouse?

Some people take pain better than others. I’ve often marveled at those people who follow through on extreme sports, immersing their bodies in harsh conditions (e.g. racing the Iditarod, climbing the 8,000 meter peaks). They don’t seem to notice pain even though their bodies are assaulted by severe weather or lack of nutrients.

For us normal people going about a daily life of family and work, we sometimes resort to psychology, massage, or medicine to try to manage or control pain.

But alas, pain still racks human beings.

CHINA - AUGUST 16: Digging out a tent after a summer snow storm. China. (Photo by Tommy Heinrich/National Geographic/Getty Images)

CHINA – AUGUST 16: Digging out a tent after a summer snow storm. China. (Photo by Tommy Heinrich/National Geographic/Getty Images)

On a personal level, pain doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve had pain, but it doesn’t scare me and when I calm myself down and focus on spiritual good, eventually the pain goes away.

One day, I thought about my relationship with my husband. It’s a good relationship. We’ve been married more than 30 years and the way it works is when we don’t try to get rid of one another. “Getting rid” of one another isn’t even an option.

We also don’t try to manage or control one another. Doing so only produces a disaster of hurt feelings, sloth, or anger.

We don’t love one another so much that we don’t love others. We just love the goodness each of us expresses.

Do I have a relationship with pain?

Pain doesn’t express too much goodness, except when it tells me, “Don’t stick your finger in moving bike wheel spokes again.”

I don’t try to manage or control pain. I don’t love pain, but I don’t hate it either. I can respect it enough to listen to it. And, this relationship with pain seems to work for me in that it doesn’t take over my consciousness and it doesn’t dictate my future.


Finding those oases

Spiritual power can sometimes be oases in the middle of the big desert of birth, maturity, decay, death, fear, gain, and loss.

Our life journey takes us from one oasis to another as we look for that heightened consciousness that controls the physical world with goodness, healing, and strength.

It’s a letdown when moving toward an oasis, only to find it is a mirage.

This is when we can tap into our reserves. Like the body. It starts breaking down fat when famine is the case.

My reserves can come in the form of memories. Because I don’t want to live in the past, my memories aren’t necessarily brought up often. But when I feel desolate, I can choose to remember when I felt forces of love.

As much as I’m convinced I love my children, I can apply that conviction to a God who loves me. A God who can do anything for me to make my life full of grace. I find an oasis and am revived to move on in the infinite.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.

—Isaiah 35: 1-2

desert oasis

Lessons from wildlife

We had lunch with our neighbors last Sunday and learned about a PBS film, My life as a turkey.

After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed. Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother. One man’s remarkable experience of raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood.

Hutto learned to make 30 different turkey noises to communicate with his brood.

He learned the turkeys have feelings.

The turkeys tried to understand their surroundings.

The turkeys were born with an innate understanding about other animals. They knew to stay away from venomous snakes.

The film reminded me of the oneness of our world. In divine Science, there is one Mind, one intelligence, and all inhabitants apparently can image this forth.

From 21st Century Science and Health: When we admit that matter (hormones, DNA, neurons, etc.), acting through the five physical senses, constitutes a person, we fail to see how physiology can distinguish between humanity and animals. Animals also have hormones, DNA, and neurons. Do some pets act more humane than people? Physiology and anatomy have a difficult time determining when people are really people.

wild turkey

Moving an Alzheimer’s patient

Instead of trying really hard to heal spiritually, I’ve learned to stop myself. I’ve decided that If God is healing, then God is healing all the time. Nonstop. I don’t make healing happen. I don’t need to look for something to heal.

Instead of praying for healing, I pray to see God healing. It is right in front of me, part of my experience.

As the cloud’s shadow passes over me when out in the woods walking, or as an idea enlightens my thought, healing results.

???????????????????????????????Months ago, I’d planned to help husband/wife friends move from Arizona to Washington State. The husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was in a wheelchair. The wife told me, “Cheryl, he responds to you without confusion.”

The morning before I needed to fly to Arizona, I got sick. Food would not stay down. My husband told me, “This healing is here because you are the one for the job.”

We were staying at my husband’s sister’s house and she nursed me with mother love. By that afternoon, an hour before my scheduled flight, I was well enough to pack. My brother-in-law took me to the airport early and we both agreed that if I felt I should cancel my traveling that he’d return to pick me up at the airport and take me back to their house for rest. “I don’t mind one bit,” he said. His trust in God, through his Latter Day Saints faith, held a purity I could feel.

Healing continued and I traveled to Arizona. The husband and wife were ready and waiting to travel and move to Washington. The flight went without a flaw.

I was grateful that the husband did respond to me. Though the airports were hectic and loud, he was calm and hopeful.

I pondered “spiritual Alzheimer’s,” living in the past with confidence, yet easily angered when asked to do more than what the limited perspective expects.

Then I read from Matthew 4:1, 8-10:

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry…[Then[ the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

Though I believe that in spiritual reality there is no devil, there is a devil to contend with humanly. The devil of Alzheimer’s will be cast out and until then we can prove it step by step. The devil was rebuked during our travels and we did worship God, Love, resulting in a gracious experience. We hope to continue.

The newness of prayer

My husband just returned from a trip out west. In Seattle, Washington, he boarded an airplane after 6 a.m. and was in Albany, New York before 6 p.m. Seattle clock time was 3 p.m.

A nine hour trip that took him 3,000 miles. Doug went from sixty degrees Fahrenheit to one degree. From flowering rhododendrons to shimmering frosty trees and three feet of snow on the ground. Kinda funny.

Two hundred years ago, this reality was  not experienced.

Today, people take travel excursions regularly and know to take a winter coat to wear over their shorts and t-shirt when they arrive at their destination.

When we are praying, take this disparity into account. Too often our prayers don’t work, or wander around aimlessly, because we are trying to repeat a prayer that was experienced yesterday. We are only taking into account what the physical senses say now.

Prayer is to experience the glorious ever-expressing God. Prayer is to be prepared for a God expressing more gloriousness, more life, more love, more truth.

I think the Buddhists glimpse the importance of “being quiet” in order to stop the interrupting human mind trying to direct our prayers. “A coat will only make you sweat,” says the human mind.

The Science, or knowledge of Christ, Love is directing our prayers and revealing the newness and beauty and balance we need today. It’s our right to experience the new.

rhododendron_vulcan frost trees snow

Summer is not surprising us…

Poets have written for centuries about the effect of spring. In year 1922, T.S. Eliot penned:

-April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.

Summer surprised us…

The Wasteland

Thoughtful poetry aside, I’ve found no one here in upstate New York carrying an element of “surprise” in regard to upcoming warmer weather. More like, “We’re ready, get on with it Mother Nature.”

But people are keeping their spirits up.

We trust nature to turn the tide. Spring and summer can’t be stopped. Interestingly, with the added human inventions of heat and lighting, I also find many people have been very busy during the winter.

Inside projects and renovations are getting accomplished, baking, painting, scanning seed catalogs and ordering plants.

Activity is normal and we learn to balance our physical and spiritual activity, both in the winter and the summer. Although the seasons come and go, God loves us all and we can maintain a sense of purpose and hope.


Exfoliating my mind

While living and working in the desert my skin would get dry. I didn’t think about much other than I purchased jugs of skin lotion and applied the lotion all over my body, every night after a shower.

Somewhere along the line I heard an expert say that dry dead skin is constantly falling off our bodies. The dead skin, however can cling to the body and make it difficult for the skin lotion to be absorbed.

I looked at my skin and found flaky dead skin all over. The dry skin was an impediment. Basically, it blocked the lotion I applied from reaching the skin. I scrubbed harder in the shower to get rid of dead skin. I also applied less and less lotion until I got to the point of rarely needing it.

I think back on this experience from a metaphysical view and can glimpse how thoughts of fear, envy, and anger are dead thoughts. Negative thoughts do me no good. And if I let negativity cling to my mind, they can even stop me from absorbing good (moisturizing) thoughts that come my way.


%d bloggers like this: