Love, Bless, Do Good, and Pray
Jennifer Shawker, Communications at Unity of SA
Last week I shared how the book I of the Storm by Gary Simmons helped shift my perceptions about what a family dinner “should” be like. A number of years later I studied the book again.
While rereading the book, I addressed some issues with my “enemy”. Rev. Simmons offers 4 steps in approaching the “enemy”. He explains in the book that Jesus defined the enemy as the belief that someone or something is against you. The steps are love, bless, do good, and pray.
When I lost my wallet a couple of months ago, I certainly felt as if I had an enemy, and maybe more than one! Did someone steal it? Why would such a mishap happen to me? Who had all my valuable things now? Or had I just misplaced it? As I searched high and low, I even began to give myself a hard time. Where had I left it? Oh, how could I do such a thing? How would I replace all the important documents? I was envisioning all sorts of enemies: was someone stealing my identity or running up my credit card? I was imagining long lines at the DMV, long phone calls to obtain documents and all sorts of hassles. My imagination was running amuck. I was thoroughly convinced plenty of things were against me, even myself.
Since I was reading the book, I wondered if a different approach might be useful. What if the situation was “for me”, not “against me”, and I wasn’t such an awful person to have misplaced my wallet? Could replacing everything be a simple, smooth matter? So, I took on, as much as possible, the loving view that losing my wallet was for me even if I did not understand how that could be. Every time I thought about the situation, I reminded myself of that. I did my best to know there was value in the situation. And to know that the consternation I felt about the situation was a reflection of the part of me that was not connected with my worth. In my times of prayer, I blessed the situation. The effect of this was positive and physical. Every time I blessed the situation, I felt less tense over it. Next, I “did good.” I simply took the steps needed to replace my driver license, credit cards, and the like without berating myself, without tears or drama of any sort. I cleanly apologized to the one other person it affected, my husband, because he had to take some time off from work to help me replace some of the items. Somehow, the lines did not seem very long or intolerable at the DMV, or the Social Security office. Lastly, I prayed for my enemies, (mostly myself) upholding our wholeness. I’ve had to replace my wallet a few times over the years, and I never recalled being able to do so more quickly, more quietly, or so painlessly. A different consciousness surrounding the situation made quite a difference.
Does it seem that something or someone is against you? I think just about everyone has probably known the enemy. The steps of love, bless, do good, and pray described in the book I of the Storm has helped me with the appearance of enemies that came along with losing my wallet and in other situations. Especially helpful to me has been the loving view that all situations are “for me” even if, at times, I do not understand how that could possibly be.
If you missed the first week of the book study, no problem, you can still join us. Click here to learn more and register. There are still a few copies of the book available in the bookstore. Stop by the CommUNITY Center and pick one up after church this Sunday. Contact us if you have questions about the study.