A Day Worth Living

A brief audio inspirational message to carry through the day

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Enjoy this brief inspirational Daily Lift:

Note:  This lift was recorded before I recently moved. I now live in Boise, Idaho!

 

The Christian Science Daily Lift is produced Monday-Friday by The First Church of Christ, Scientist.

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How can I experience a satisfying life?

“I can’t get no, satisfaction!” the Rolling Stones famously sung. They were articulating a feeling we have probably all felt at some time. So how do we find true, lasting satisfaction in our constantly changing world? In this audio program I respond to a variety of questions from listeners about how to experience a satisfying life.

The post How can I experience a satisfying life? appeared first on Mark Unger C.S..

“I can’t get no, satisfaction!” the Rolling Stones famously sung. They were articulating a feeling we have probably all felt at some time. So how do we find true, lasting satisfaction in our constantly changing world? In this audio program I respond to a variety of questions from listeners about how to experience a satisfying life.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

 

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Sexual Abuse – reclaim a pure and blameless identity

The accusing headlines of sexual abuse leave no one out – celebrity, clergy, government official and student. The accusers range from anonymous to outspoken. Is it possible to not only forgive the perpetrator but also find healing from life-crippling feelings of violation? Rape and sexual assault are traumatic experiences that interrupt lives at home, at […]

Reclaim your identity after a traumatic event - hope and healing

Reclaim your identity after a traumatic event – hope and healing

The accusing headlines of sexual abuse leave no one out – celebrity, clergy, government official and student. The accusers range from anonymous to outspoken. Is it possible to not only forgive the perpetrator but also find healing from life-crippling feelings of violation?

Rape and sexual assault are traumatic experiences that interrupt lives at home, at work, and at school, and affect relationships with friends, family, and co- workers. It requires alertness and compassion from those in authority when such situations occur.

But zero tolerance for such heinous acts does not exclude forgiveness and healing.

A progressive step is to recognize sexual abuse as not only a crime to be punished, but also as a sin to be overcome by one and forgiven by another.

We have both modern and ancient examples of forgiveness for terrible acts against humanity – from the inspiration of young Malala to the courage of Jesus. Both knew and employed the power of forgiveness in the healing process.

These stories of personal triumph show that forgiveness begins within; so, ultimately forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves. Many profound spiritual thinkers through the ages have known this. Christian healer and author Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

‘One’s first lesson is to learn one’s self; having done this, one will naturally, through grace from God, forgive his brother and love his enemies.’ (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 129)

One of the two great Christian commandments asks that we love our fellow man no matter what he has done to us. And, experts in the field of sexual assault are increasingly exploring with their patients the power for healing behind forgiveness.

But after forgiveness, how does the victim find wholeness? By this I mean, how does one replace the part of one’s identity that says ‘this happened to me’, with a purity that washes away such a history? This is found in ‘learning one’s self’ as Eddy states – and for some this is a new, spiritual journey.

Over the years, I have learned that a loving God cares for all His creation. Individually, we all express the qualities of His nature that include purity, wholeness, innocence, compassion, love, and forgiveness. And, God’s nature never changes – no matter what human event occurs. So, our identity is forever safe, untouched and secure.©GlowImages - breaking free

I was touched by a story I read of a young woman who found her freedom from the trauma of sexual abuse when she realized that her purity was a spiritual, not a physical, quality. Her last sentence said it all:

I felt washed clean. The feeling of contamination fell away as a great weight. I understood then that the spiritual identity that was me and always will be me—and there is no other—had never been touched.

Research indicates that spirituality is increasingly recognized as an important resource for coping with the trauma of personal violation. Here in Ontario, Sharon Ramsay, a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, who works with victims of sexual assault, has consistently found this to be true.

In addition to her RMFT certification, Ramsay holds a Masters in Divinity, which enables her, when appropriate, to counsel the vulnerable with spiritually inspired compassion.

She wants to be the one who offers the side of hope, the side of change, the side of better. She believes this is the place where spirituality comes into play. It is faith that allows a client to persevere, to navigate turning the corner away from fear to finding safety, from isolation to support.

Ramsey counsels: “In a Christian tradition, you are loved,” she said; “The divine is actually looking for you with all that has happened in your life….it is a sense of God seeing in us all of who we really are.”

And she encourages clients to not let the traumatic events define them as a person. They have a worthy individuality regardless of how someone else has treated them.

The prophet, Isaiah, no stranger to conflict and crisis, offers this promise:

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa. 41:10)

Whether you are the accused or the accuser, there is hope for forgiveness, reassurance and restitution.

 

This article was published in several news site editions of  Metroland papers, such as The Mississauga News.

An amazing benefit of knowing about Christian Science

I have a feeling that most of us who have been practicing Christian Science (the teachings and viewpoint of Jesus) for awhile, take for granted the freedom we have to think of ourselves as pure and holy and good and lovely, absolutely beautiful and ama…

I have a feeling that most of us who have been practicing Christian Science (the teachings and viewpoint of Jesus) for awhile, take for granted the freedom we have to think of ourselves as pure and holy and good and lovely, absolutely beautiful and amazing, talented and creative.  In truth we are all these things.  We can take a virtual shower in all Godlike qualities such as patience and perseverance, inspiration and intuition, harmony, peace, bliss, happiness and satisfaction.  In truth we express all these things, possessing and expressing all these qualities naturally as the outcome and essence of God who is Life and Mind and Love and Soul.  The world — that which we perceive with the five physical senses —would convince us of just the opposite if we allow it.

Jesus proved, and many of us are proving daily that we have the right to know ourselves this way and stick to it and live it the very best we can and let this transform us to be it.   It has made a huge difference in my life and it can in yours too.

Mother’s Day – women find self-worth within

The life of a 21st century mother is not quite like her ancestors. She has become a master of multi-tasking – juggling children, parents, job and home. A life on overdrive. Many women face stress and strain from all the responsibilities and expectations. It seems women are losing a sense of themselves – their identity […]

©Glowimages (Models for illustrative purposes only) Happy Mother's Day!

©Glowimages (Models for illustrative purposes only) Happy Mother’s Day!

The life of a 21st century mother is not quite like her ancestors. She has become a master of multi-tasking – juggling children, parents, job and home. A life on overdrive.

Many women face stress and strain from all the responsibilities and expectations. It seems women are losing a sense of themselves – their identity – in all the hype of the perfect Mother/CEO/Employee/Wife.

Even über-successful women like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, and Arianna Huffington, Editor in Chief Huffington Post Media Group, question what it means to be successful in both business and personal lives.

Research shows that people are feeling disillusioned and worse off about their health and well-being when either some material object they thought worth acquiring, or the next benchmark of success, did not equate to a greater feeling of happiness or satisfaction. Somewhat like the hamster on the wheel.

There is a need to change the foundation on which we base our success – emotional, physical and spiritual – in this environment.

Women are quickly finding out that you can’t do it all by yourself.   Having help along the way in the form of a spouse, family member or mentor is one step. But is there an even more important, individual element that can consistently fuel the whole of your being?

There is.

Finding an innate sense of self-worth that can inspire, restore and sustain all activities is crucial to improving your health and well-being in a demanding world. Scientific findings, and the personal experience of many women, increasingly validate the ancient counsel to pray and connect to divine wisdom and vitality – as the foundation on which to build better-balanced lives and healthier bodies.

The Master Christian promised this inner wisdom to us: ‘Do not fear…it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ An article I once read expounded on this promise. It said:

©Glowimages Restore and Flourish

©Glowimages Restore and Flourish

“Your Father’s good pleasure is:

Meeting your need

Ordering your steps

Treasuring your worth

Healing your hurt

Exalting your purpose

Redeeming your soul

Inspiring your trust

Nurturing your growth; in short

Giving you the Kingdom.”

In short, mothering you!

If that’s what drawing on this innate wisdom can do, it counters all the stressful “strive and thrive” memos mothers get these days. It ushers in a welcome “restore and flourish” message.

 

 

You’re not invisible!

Dear Mark, There you are sitting in her bean bag chair in the corner of her living room. She couldn’t tell by looking at you but you feel like you’re coming out of your skin because you’re in such anguish. I remember how you mentally kicked yourself, “Why did I invite my roommate

Dear Mark,

There you are sitting in her bean bag chair in the corner of her living room. She couldn’t tell by looking at you but you feel like you’re coming out of your skin because you’re in such anguish.

I remember how you mentally kicked yourself, “Why did I invite my roommate to join us?” You thought the new volunteer at the youth group was interesting. You set this visit up.

You’d been unselfish and inclusive when you invited your roommate along to meet her. You wanted to be open and free about this rather than keeping her to yourself. This was a new shift. You’ve got a new sense of spiritual strength and you’re done with looking for acceptance and affection to fill a void you thought was there.

But are you? Right now you feel completely left out–invisible.

“I would like some attention please, if you don’t mind,” I remember shouting to them in my head. What a fool I was.

You want her attention. You want to share all the spiritual inspiration you’ve gained in your walk with God. You have so much to contribute to the conversation, so much to share!

There they are, talking away about transcendental meditation. They’re really communicating with each other–and leaving me out completely. It’s obvious that she is clearly into eastern religions and they are clicking the way I wanted to click with her.

You feel awful. You don’t like feeling so needy again. You start to pray.

I’ll never forget those prayers. You start to tell yourself that you have God. That you know that His love is all you need. There’s no void that needs filling. You are adamant that you are humble. You are patient. You are loving.

I remember how you really turned to God and said from a deep place in your heart, “Oh God, make me so. Help me feel my true worth, my completeness, my holiness, my goodness right now. Take away this pain of wanting — of wanting attention, of wanting affection, of needing anything but you and your satisfying love.”

Moments later, you’ll say silently, “Ahhhh, I’m beginning to feel you now God. Thank you. Thank you.”

A shift is taking place in thought. You begin to feel a divine sense of completeness. You begin to be glad that your two friends are enjoying their conversation. You begin to be happy you had this opportunity to learn more about who you are as a spiritual idea of God.

And by then you won’t don’t want to talk. You won’t don’t want anything to take away the this feeling you have.

She’s about to turn to you and ask the question about spirituality you longed for her to ask 30 or 40 minutes ago, You feel so different now. You feel happy and satisfied. Not wanting to break the peace you feel, you’ll respond with just two words: “I pray.” End of conversation.

What you don’t know now, but you will soon is that this new friend was awestruck by your answer. She’ll tell you more than once when you’re married that those two short words felt dynamic while at the same time being simple and pure, especially after all the talk with your roommate. The power, the simplicity, the spirituality she felt when you responded made her want to know more — much more.

Best,

Mark

Originally published on www.timeforthinkers.com, February 21, 2012. (click to see published comments)