Category Archives: Relationships

New Book

Thought provoking book for those interested: Click for link to Amazon

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Children’s book available now!

This is a true story of hope and assurance, by Cheryl Petersen.

12 black/white illustrations. 26 pages

Purchase at Amazon

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Bathrooms for transgender

NPR reported that the Supreme Court will hear a case regarding the rights of transgenders to use their preferred bathroom.

In my half-century plus human experience, I’ve internalized the feeling that when I have to go, I have to go. I don’t care what sex the toilet, hole, or rock has been designated as set for.

I understand the dangers involved in this issue, but we are surrounded by dangers. A court ruling or sign will not stop the immoral rapist from entering a bathroom.

I pray to take a stand for humanity to express our highest ideal, to do to others as we’d want to them to do to us.

Quoting from science & religion to God, “The imperative aim of spirituality is to understand Life’s ideal and let the divine understanding impel your thoughts and actions as a part of humanity. Our ideal directs our lifestyles, not vice versa.

“Jesus is not God. He was born of a woman. His humanness caused his struggles in Gethsemane and on Calvary, but gave us an example we could relate to. His humanity negotiated rituals, stressing that life should be used to the advantage of spiritual growth.

“Don’t be confused. It will seem as though right and wrong are ever at strife in the mind, but victory rests on the side of invincible truth. We uncover backward thinking, not to injure humanity, but to destroy destructive thoughts.”

The monks were nice guys

The value of interfaith is being recognized and many of us are developing relationships with people from other faiths. This is good.

We also know the value of inter-cultures. School aged teenagers from different countries become exchange students. It adds to the realization that in general, we people are the same, though we look and act different.

Last week I noticed a blend between interfaith and inter-cultures. It all started when I listened to the third Presidential Debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. I was reminded of my childhood days when America truly distrusted Russia, during the Cold War.

The debate carried that odor of distrust toward Russia. I pondered, just how much should we trust Russians?

I didn’t beat myself up trying to answer that question, mainly because I know not all Russians are the same, either trustworthy or untrustworthy.Same with Americans.

Therefore, I put my trust in God. I pray my spirituality is clear enough to trust the trustworthy, no matter what ethnicity.

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In Jordanville, NY

Anyway, a few days later, I noticed an Open House invitation from the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery, in Jordanville, New York. Jordanville is about an hour and half drive from my home.

I went to the Open House.

A little background from their website: “Holy Trinity Monastery was established in 1928 by Fr. Panteleimon, a Russian monk from St. Tikhon’s monastery in Pennsylvania.

“During World War II a group of a dozen monks came from Europe, bringing with them printing experience and a tradition which originated in the Pochaev Lavra in the Ukraine. Archbishop Vitaly was part of that group and became the head and Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, and construction of the Church and other buildings increased.

“Archimandrite Luke was elected the new Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery on May 19, 2008.”

I met Abbot Luke. I listened to him and others speak.

I learned that during the Cold War, the Holy Trinity published church materials and smuggled them into Russia for the few surviving Orthodox members.

Millions of Christians were killed and imprisoned by Stalin.

Now that the Cold War is over, their printed material has adapted. “In the past, Holy Trinity published in the Russian language. After the Cold War, the decision was made to print in the international language of English, and our material is now being sent around the world, especially Asia, North and South America,” said Abbot Luke.

Moreover, Abbot Luke had just returned from a trip to Russia and was thankful to report, “There were six hundred Orthodox members at the church meeting, whereas there might have been ten when communism fell.”

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Iconography inside Holy Trinity

I was impressed. Not only by the byzantine frescos and icons in the cathedral, and the sizeable bookstore, but also by the demeanor of these people. I may not agree with their theology entirely, but their desire to cultivate spirituality was not only agreeable, but also a powerful wall blaster.

The wall between American and Russian, was gone. I sensed a wholeness. I didn’t feel some irresistible emotional notion to embrace every Russian, or American, but I felt a relief. Borders or religions can’t separate us because spirituality unites.

Quoting from science & religion to God: . “We don’t invent spirituality, but find our spirituality is inseparable from God.

“It’s wise and healthy to give less intelligence to materiality and more to spirituality. Don’t interfere with God’s government by thrusting in your own views as if they are better than God’s.

“Through inspiration and understanding, God reveals the spiritual knowledge that unlocks the resources of truth. Spirituality allows us to read the human situation correctly, with healing intent and power.

“Spirituality isn’t in limited supply. It isn’t controlled by a person or organization. The spiritual idea and its healing power can’t be monopolized. The widespread belief that only specific people are entitled to spiritual authority implodes in light of the Biblical stand that all believers “will be called priests of the Lord.”[1]

“Unity with God isn’t popular with the world, but it is fair to our self and merciful to others.”

[1] Ex. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6

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Fresco inside Cathedral at Holy Trinity

Our divine relationship

Relationships can be loose or tight. What about our relationship with the divine?

Is it so loose we can’t feel a bond? Or is it so tight it might break?

Human relationships can be touched by suspicion or lead to dependency and I don’t think they have anything to do with the divine relationship with God.

And, our divine relationship is the connection worth deepening and expanding.

The definition of the Divine, or God, as found in Science and Health, reads:

God. The great “I AM;”[1] the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.

Bonding with intelligence and Spirit is possible. We can discover a rapport with the all-loving and honest Truth. This relationship with God can’t be broken, can’t get old.

God is never boring.

Our divine relationship comes with vision and interest. God is thought-provoking, more so than the latest app. God is attractive, more so than the latest outfit. God is motivating, more so than caffeine. God is remarkable, more so than the latest technology.

We can internalize the divine relationship with Spirit. It may take some meditation and thoughtful activity, but its worth the effort.

[1] Ex. 3:14

Brick walls

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel like I run up against brick walls. PHAP. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I can even do something, if I did know what to do.

It’s not a bad place to be when I realize it is the opportunity to return to the now, to know God NOW.

Brick walls seem to come about when my mind is in the future, when I’m really busy aiming for some future goal. Say a trip. A trip that will bring me closer to a job that will help me in my career.

Another “future” issue that can get stuck in the head is an avoidance of death. We do everything possible to keep our life pattern today the same. But, death isn’t what we make it out to be. Death isn’t the stoppage of life, but the end of false beliefs, fears, and desires.

The desire to push for advancement in my career is not that good. It can actually keep me from doing the job I need to do today. Advancement will come, it’s the law of God, but it comes by God, a good Spirit.

The brick walls fall when I, this is funny, when I go back into the past and recall truthful convictions, finished embraces. I remember a time when I was alone and couldn’t get up my driveway, after a long day of work, because of eight inches of new fallen snow. I have a long driveway. A truck pulled up behind me and it was our neighbor, who never comes home at that time. He said, “Cheryl, I felt like I needed to come home right now. I even drove my bosses truck. It has a lift in the back and I will go get our snowblower and come back and clear your driveway.”

I wonder, Are there really brick walls? Or, opportunities to see more of our infinite God, Love?

 

Thought Experimentaton

A professor, Sheldon Solomon, Ph.D., at Skidmore College in New York has been collecting evidence that thoughts affect behavior. For thirty years.

Solomon pointed out in a Soul Beliefs class that our thoughts are also influenced by the cultural milieu.

After World War II, the general population believed integrity and dignity defined a person. Solomon said that today, money and being skinny define men and women. “America has ten times more depressed people today than there was after World War II,” said Solomon.

He collected evidence by experimenting. Volunteers would be asked to think different thoughts, even of death, while their vitals were being measured.

The data shows that fear of death causes anxiety. And more anxiety is caused when your mind is believing that you need money and a certain body type to be happy. The anxiety leads to terrorists like thinking. “People get defensive,” said Solomon.

Solomon’s data is convincing the field of psychology. But what was really interesting about the whole thing was the experimentation.

The experiments occurred all around the nation and included many people. Solomon had volunteers come in and they were hooked up the machines that measured their inner reactions. Solomon would ask them to think a certain way and they would.

So, why don’t we experiment ourselves? On our own?

If our day is going badly, why can’t we sit down and change our thinking, just to experiment?

If our relationship is going sour, why not experiment? Why not look at good images, happy images? Why not surround ourselves with positive and courageous people? They’ve been shown to affect us positively.

We can change unsatisfied thoughts into satisfied thoughts. We can always find something to be satisfied about, even it if our pet’s love, or the sun shiny day.

Experimentation is valuable. We will find that good thoughts are related to good behaviors.

I’ve found though, that when I think I’m running out of good thoughts, I have to go further, to God, infinite Mind, having no lack of good thoughts.

Mind has a universal outlook, an inclusive spirit, and pure unselfish goals. We can take those thoughts and make them ours. They are ours.

 

Notes left behind

It’s cold outside but the sun is shining and my husband left a note for me on the counter, to wake up to.

It says:

note clam and pleasant dayC— Have a clam & pleasant Day, I love you

I can’t help but believe my husband flunked Spelling Class when in school, but I get the idea and am thankful.

From 21st Century Science and Health

“Having money and possessions may remove some barriers to a happy marriage, but nothing can replace the loving care in a union.

“Gentle words, and an unselfish attention to detail in what promotes the success of your spouse, will prove valuable in prolonging one another’s health and smiles. Don’t practice stolid indifference or resentment. Remember, a simple heartfelt word or deed is powerful enough to renew the romance.”

 

Our own answers

When I was a kid, I pretty much went to mom and dad for my answers. When I was at school, I listened for answers from my teachers.

Other times, I basically repeated behavior. Wore the same clothes, played the same games, did what I was told to do.

But when I was in the first grade, I made a decision on my own. I got an internal answer.

I was out on the playground with classmates. A new girl moved to town. She wore a lot of makeup on her face which caused a stirring conversation.

“I heard she burned her face and covers it with that powder,” said Teresa.

“She’s a little smelly,” said Anna.

I decided the conversation was getting us nowhere and walked away. I walked to the new girl and asked if she wanted to play four-square. She did.

Now, I’m not a saint. The other girls soon joined in. It just happened to be the first time, I found an answer within my own head, so to speak.

My parents and teachers didn’t tell me to play with the new girl. I realized to. And, I felt like it was the right answer.

Now, I’ve had answers come to my head that didn’t turn out so well. And, I pretty much chalk them up as wrong answers.

Like the time I needed an answer about my marriage. Being married wasn’t the fun I’d anticipated, so I read inspirational books, looking for answers. None had an answer for me. The authors told about the answers they received and acted on, but their answers weren’t my answers.

It was all getting rather tiring. I think I got tired of, not being married, but from trying to make my anticipation real. I quit, not the marriage, but quit trying to get answers elsewhere.

It freed up my mind. I heard answers about how to act each day within the marriage, according to my husband and me, not just me and some dreamed up anticipation.

It worked. We’re still married, more than thirty years later.

It taught me not to rely on others for answers, not even really great prophets, or their words, since most are dead now. I certainly look to them for guidance, however I must appreciate my own answers.

When I get answers, I test them. I compare and contrast them to proven answers from the past. It’s still a work in progress, but it also reminds me that I don’t know all the answers, especially to other people’s questions and that I can trust a higher power to deliver those answers when needed.

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Different approaches to cleaning

Is love blind, or does love see what the human eye can’t see?
This weekend was a typical weekend. I am patient with Doug as it literally takes him 33 hours to clean the bathroom. Yes, I love him, even though he puts the cleaning tools in the bathroom and goes off to do something else.
The cleaning tools continue to rest on the counter. I don’t know if he forgets or what, but he will eventually get the bathroom cleaned, though I might have to remind him again.
Love sees that this marriage is not one sided.We may have different approaches to cleaning, but the love is the same; patient and mindful.
Last night, I woke Doug up from a sound sleep because I was taking 33 hours to go to sleep. I do not like those nights— loud with insomnia. And Doug will get up and read out loud to me from scripture of other inspired books.
Last night Doug read from Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy and I heard the idea that I don’t have to be affected by the loud human mind.
Jesus was temporarily perceptible to the human senses on this world, but he showed me that his thought continued to ascend, become more and more spiritual. Or, rather less and less affected by the material world. I can practice this.
I went to sleep, thankful to Doug for loving me.
“God calls us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (I Cor 7:15-16, NIV)
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