“Thank God for Challenges!”
With Julian Harvey LUTC
The following article is a transcript of a Sunday Service talk by Julian in September 2018
If we take in the teaching through Unity that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, we need to see that God is in everything including our challenges in that human experience. Secondly there are many examples where going through challenges has proven to be a necessary pathway to better outcomes. I am grateful for the opportunity to be Sam’s father but the mind chatter, feelings, arguments and fear that bounced around not only in my head but in my outer circumstances when I found out I was to be a Dad could have moved in several directions. I chose to stay in the challenges and have been blessed on so many more levels than had I chosen not too. In my human concept I often used to say being a parent is the most pain you can get from Love. In that same moment I would also say I am grateful for Sam being on the planet because I had to grow up and start looking internally at who I was and make some decisions about the sort of father and person I wanted to be. I had to look at each individual aspect of the chaos going on from both positions. What was my human self saying and thinking and what was my spiritual guidance which at the time I called a gut instinct. Trust me the conversations were very different. All of this was done with limited tools and knowledge that I have learnt through my studies at Unity. The challenges were about staying the course and navigating through the human experience whilst trusting that divine guidance had a plan and the plan was ever unfolding.
The Daily Word for the 5th of September 2018 was about progress. The affirmation was – “Each day is an opportunity to make progress in my life.” The discussion is about the fact that we are always making progress even when at times we feel we are going backwards. It states we cannot unlearn anything and we cannot un-experience what we have been through. It goes on to suggest that even in the midst of chaos there is order. Failure or challenges shows me what I don’t want or what not to do in the situation. And Unity shows me ways to work with and through those challenges. We have spiritual tools to help us but we have to be willing to look at the issues and then use the tools to find the spiritual solution to the issues. The bible quote was from 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 15. “Put these things into practice, so that all may see your progress.”
Grace talks about how she deals with challenges by declaring the process of gratitude, introspection and expectation of results in her mantra – Thank You God, where is the lesson, where are the gifts. This mantra is a great tool for acknowledging that God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. This process reminds me that I have the ability to look at any situation and make choices about how I react. I have the freedom of choice. However, I only have freedom of choice in one area of my human condition and that is the choice of what thoughts I have which then determine what happens next. Depending on whether I consciously observe my thoughts or operate automatically will provide me with several outcomes – positive or negative.
As many of you know I have a background in the 12 step program and the first concept for recovery is the understanding of Surrender. Many people outside the recovery process may not understand the concept or think it is a sign of weakness however the concept is one of the most freeing ones I have experienced. In a very basic way, in my circumstances, I surrendered to the fact that if I have a drink I have no idea what that will lead too or what the outcome from that would be. I am powerless to what happens next. So, I either listen to those thoughts that make me want to take a drink and play roulette with the outcome or exercise my freedom of choice and create thoughts that connect me with spirit and then my highest good is guaranteed. Lucky for me and also Sam and others in my life I haven’t had a drink nearly 25 years and the bonus is that no matter what challenges I face in the present creates the thoughts that would lead me to take that first drink because I have instilled the process – Thank you God, where is the lesson, where are the gifts. I had to learn to let go of holding on.
With affirmative prayer the use of denials and affirmations helps clarify positive thoughts and feeling that I would rather focus on instead of listening to the monkey mind of negative chatter of doom and gloom. This I have been practicing in an accelerated form over the last few weeks. As many of you know I have secured a new job at the NDIA however the Friday before I was due to start I called to confirm my starting and my security clearance from the DHS had not come through and therefore they said they could not commence me till this was received in a positive manner. Now, I know it will all be ok as I needed to do the same check for my current role however the monkey mind really want to run the show upstairs. I initially dealt with the issues by choosing to know that the checks only take 2 weeks however I was supposed to start on the 3rd of September and one week went past, then the second and when I called they said they still hadn’t received the report. Add to this that I had resigned from my previous position and that the avenue for income had ceased. So trust me monkey boy upstairs was having a field day. I realised that I need to build a process of defence similar to the martial art of Aikido. Aikido is the only genuine self-defence as it has no attacking moves. It uses the momentum of the attacker and uses the kinetic energy to deflect and redistribute the attack away. With this concept I first developed denials but to be honest I settled on – I deny the power to the sense of separation – because as Charles Fillmore said the denial needs to be brushed away like a cobweb with a feather. So I didn’t want to get too focused on the denial. I then concentrated on that feeling knowing that I am the IAM and then spoke an affirmation along the lines of “I am a divine expression of the IAM and that all is in divine order and timing”. I also used the affirmation that “IAM is the source of my supply and all is well.”
Finally the other tools Unity gives me to deal with issues is the twelve powers Depending on what I am dealing with I can take a moment and concentrate on which power spirit is guiding me to invoke to help me through any circumstance. The trick is to ask and listen then activate the required power. The hard part is taking those moments to listen. Unity attributes the 12 powers to various parts of the body not because they are physically placed in them but so we can focus on those points and feel the presence of the divine energy that is the spiritual aspect of humanness. In the process of dealing with any challenges I tend to focus on the back of my heart which is Love and then infuse Love in the pit of my stomach which is Judgement also known as wisdom or discernment and ask for divine guidance for a solution. I then focus my thoughts with denials and affirmations to quiet the monkey boy in my head. I am no expert at this, but I believe we are here to learn lessons and also how to further develop the conscious contact with the spiritual self. And as the songs stated earlier Practice make Progress and All is Well.