Flipping positive thinking

Life in America wasn’t easy in the 18th century.

America was carving out its new identity. Science and medicine were floundering in guesswork. Religion was preaching fiery sermons on damnation and hell.

Thinkers mobilized in the 19th and 20th centuries to enforce more scientific, compassionate organization. Not that there is a perfect system today in the 21st century, but much of what these old-time thinkers did, brought us to where we are today.

Author, Mitch Horowitz’s book, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, tackles the history of a national movement that echoes in statements such as, “Hey, you need to change your attitude.”

Most of us know the “change” referred to is a more positive attitude.

Positive thinking has its benefits, but it also holds a strong suggestion that people can be responsible for their fortunes, or misfortunes. If the status-quo of positive thinking people isn’t challenged, broader social problems can be marginalized and blaming fingers get pointed where they shouldn’t. The privileged have better results with positive thinking.

I will admit, I like myself better when I have a positive outlook on life. However, in my study of Christian Science, I’ve learned the “positive thinking coin” must be flipped. I need to not just think positive, but I also need to “unsee” the problem.

I can’t just ignore problems. It’s foolish to deny problems as if they aren’t real. But, I can un-see them, just as humankind was able to un-see a flat earth.

The technique of un-seeing is mental.

For example, years ago I had Strep. It included a severe ear pain. There was no positive thinking on my Shepherd-and-sheep-2part. I begged God to take away the pain. I called a friend from church for help with prayer, but felt no relief, so called her back and told her I was going to call someone else. Within fifteen minutes it felt as though a pump went on in my ear and puss began flowing out, to my blessed relief.

My husband took me to the doctor who confirmed Strep and prescribed me antibiotics for 10-days. The doctor didn’t have much hope about my hearing returning to normal.

I only took a few of the pills because even the doctor admitted I was on the mend. And, by now, my life picture had broadened.

The bigger picture: At the time I got sick, our young family was moving to another job, home, and community. It was exhilarating yet scary and the stress got to me.

While resting and praying, I could see God in the popular Biblical depiction of a Shepherd. My trust in God as Love to guide me and my family with wisdom and safety solidified. The fear lessened.

What I’m about to write now, sounds totally contradictory, but I saw more clearly, that Strep wasn’t a part of God’s shepherding and this helped me un-see the disease.

I didn’t try to get rid of Strep. I didn’t try to create God. I saw life, and myself, as an image of divine Spirit, Mind.

I didn’t even have a positive human mind of my own. I was image of God. My ear healed quicker than predicted and my hearing returned to normal.

Although I try to have a positive attitude, I don’t rely on it as a source of guidance.

I often seriously scrutinize problems to unsnarl their purpose and makeup, but this mental work is grounded on the fact that the physical body and mind are temporal while I believe God’s mind is substance and eternal.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Walk with spiritual thoughts

For some reason, a walk in the woods clears my head. So, I try to walk each day.

Yesterday, snow was gently falling during my walk and I felt an idea gently fall into reason.

Thoughts come and go. Sometimes, I think the thoughts “are mine.” I think the thoughts are absolutes, true, unchangeable. But, time and experience show me otherwise.

Then it dawned on that some of the absolute aren’t even my own opinion. They are thoughts I picked up from other people or the world’s mass consciousness.

“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, It Seems to Me: Selected Letters

deer in snow fall

From snow to desert

The human mind gets stuck so easily. It can even require a shock to get un-stuck. But getting unstuck is possible. It actually happens more often than I realize.

I recently visited friends in Tucson, Arizona. The temperature here in upstate New York was minus twenty degrees when I boarded the airplane. I arrived in Tucson to a temperature of seventy degrees.

It was laughable. I wore short sleeve shirts the whole time. My friends and I had a grand time chatting, getting a few chores done, and touring Old Tucson, the Wildlife Museum, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Changes like these remind me of the plasticity of mind, or rather they remind me I have the one Mind, God, to image forth. Divine Mind is free, happy, and satisfied. I do not need to get stuck on anything other than God.

If my mind tries to get stuck in mortality, I can get my mind un-stuck with God’s help. God loves us and shines goodness through us. We have mobility and health because God does.

cactus_tucson_arizona

Not boring

Most of us have heard of the “comfort zone” we human beings like to stay in. Comfort zones make us feel secure, however, they also can make us apathetic and dull. So, we try new things to keep our minds active and alive. We may teach ourselves a new job or hobby or exercise program that gives us new perspectives. These new perspectives make us more interesting also.

I was talking with a computer programmer who said, “Programming requires the mind to perform mental gymnastics. For example, instead of coding a program in which a camera moves through a house, they need to code the program so the camera is stationary and the house moves.”

The program then can be used with an oculus. It took me a few seconds to understand this concept, a moving house and stationary camera, to give an appearance that you are walking through the house.

I grinned, because it seems as though spiritual ideas reverse much of my thinking in just the same way. For example, I don’t have a mind of my own, but I reflect the one infinite divine Mind. This new perspective allows me remember better.

Or, instead of moving my body through time or space, I move my mind through love and truth. This allows me not to get bored.

Moving-Home-Clean

Stand with divine authority

From 21st Century Science and Health:

We should remember that Life is God, and that God is omnipotent. To forget that God is our Life, is too unconsciously enable suffering instead of contradict it. Not understanding divine Science, the sick usually have little faith in it until they feel its altruistic influence. This shows that faith is not the healer in such cases. The sick admit the reality of affliction, whereas, they should defy it. We should stand up against the testimony of the deceitful senses, while maintaining our spirituality and ongoing likeness to God.

Divine authority

Christ Jesus was an excellent example. Like him, the healer should speak to disease as having authority over it, leaving Soul to prevail over the false evidences of the physical senses and to assert Spirit’s claims over mortality and disease. The same Principle cures both sin and sickness. When divine Science overcomes faith in a fleshly mind; and faith in God destroys all faith in temporal thinking and methods of healing, then sin, disease, and death will disappear.

authority

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Cover_final_Cheryl_Petersen

Restoration keeps on ticking

Restoration has a strong arm in the psyche of humanity. I attribute it to the hidden force of God, Love.

“I don’t go to church but I wanted to contribute to the community, so I asked the United Ministry church if they’d let me restore their tower clock,” said my neighbor.

???????????????????????????????After months of cleaning and refabricating some bearings, the clock began ticking forward and chiming hourly a few weeks ago. My neighbor said, “I hope people hear the bells and realize that sound shows they all are connected.”

My neighbor is a happy guy, spritely for his age of 70 years. He is an electrical engineer by trade and has multiple hobbies, one of which is repairing watches and clocks.

The hundred year old clock tower hasn’t kept time for a couple of decades. My neighbor asked to investigate and found an E. Howard clock with bells and chimes.

“It’s a well-made clock but between worn out parts, a fire and later a bolt of lightning it needed restoration in order to work again,” said neighbor.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

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