ANCHORING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
This month, we have taken a deep and beautiful look at being who our souls came here to be by exploring seven qualities of the Authentic Self that support us in arriving at our Center, the place where we began; the place where we remember who and whose we really are -- One with the One.
As a brief reminder and for those who are with us for the first time today, those qualities are:
1. Wholeness Remembering we are connected to the whole; connected to everyone and everything; remembering that we are whole and therefore complete, just the way we are -warts, wrinkles and all. And our affirmation is:
"I am whole. I am complete. I am One with the One."
2. Reverence Recognizing the presence of Life within all and honoring it as sacred.
"I revere all life because it is part of the whole, and it is holy."
3. Fearlessness Facing life fearlessly because I know that I know that I know I am one with God.
"I know who walks as me, so I am fearless!"
4. Integrity Leading our lives in such a way that we wouldn't be ashamed to sell our parrot to the town gossip.
"My outer actions reflect my inner wholeness."
5. Humility Being open to seeing different viewpoints, receptive to new understandings, not stuck in what our perceptions or interpretations of things are.
"In humility, I am open and receptive to Life."
6. Equanimity Having a balanced and even state of mind and not being whipped about by our human emotions (either negative or affirmative).
"I face all of life's conditions with ease and grace."
7. Love Finally love, remembering that your Authentic Self is the direct descendant of unconditional love and that makes you the perfect delivery system for it on this planet.
"I am the perfect delivery system for Love!"
Today, we want to anchor the emergence of our Authentic Self in a sacred and holy practice, the powerful practice of prayer.
The Bible tells us at Mark 11:22-24: " If you have faith in God, truly I say unto you, whoever should say to this mountain, be moved and fall into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will be done, it will be done to him. Therefore I say to you, anything you pray for and ask, believe that you will receive it, and it will be done for you."a
Have any more powerful words ever been spoken about how to navigate this earthy experience? I am sure you recognize them as words from the Master Teacher, the Wayshower, our Brother - Jesus the Christ.
Charles Fillmore wrote in Atom-Smashing Power of Mind: "There was no visible evidence of Jesus' unity with the Father when He affirmed, 'I and the Father are one.' His disciples said, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.' So we find that we must be true to our ideas, and clothe them with an assumption of their tangibility even before they have appeared. We must pray, believing that we have received and we shall receive."b
Our theme for this morning, then, is prayer - affirmative prayer, a prayer of believing, as applied to the emergence of our Authentic Selves. Anchoring our belief in our Authentic Selves in prayer.
We are told in the Scripture to pray without ceasing. What does this mean? It means to practice daily our Spiritual Principles of placing our undivided, without-a-doubt faith and trust in God, in our Authentic Self and in the power that stands behind our every word!
These are wonderful, lofty statements. They sound terrific, don't they? Yes, I will put my undivided, without-a-doubt faith and trust in God. Say "yes" with me. Yes!!
Yes, I will put my undivided faith and trust in my Authentic Self and in the power behind my own words. Say "yes" with me. Yes!
That is, until I get scared, or until I don't feel good about myself, or until something happens in my life that wasn't what I had planned, or until I show up less than my Authentic Self and then my faith and trust in God and my faith and trust in myself fly right out the window!
You've seen that happen - to your friends, family, neighbor, never you! -- haven't you? So we can say yes to the idea of praying without ceasing until . . . fill in the blank.
I want pose three questions this morning, the answers to which just may help us to pray without ceasing.
* They just might help us to put our undivided faith and trust in God each and every day;
* They just might help us to anchor more deeply into our Authentic Selves; and
* They just might move us to a greater recognition of the power of our word!
Those three questions are:
1. Who do you think you are?
2. What are you thinking?
3. What will you do next?
1. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE
Here's a wonderful concept to ponder: God is the Power that is greater than we are yet right where we are, and the doorway to God is found right within us. The doorway to God is found right within us. The doorway to God is found in here.
The doorway to God is found in me. Say that with me, will you? "The doorway to God is found in me."
In order for us to speak our word with faith and conviction as Jesus invites us to do, we need to know who we are! So I want to offer you a series of phrases that, standing alone, don't make much sense, but they will in a minute. Listen to them once and then I'll tell you what they are:
* But how could I not, I am the Divine made Manifest.
* But how could I not, I am God in form.
* But how could I not, I am heir to the Kingdom.
* But how could I not, I am Spirit's expression.
* But how could I not, I am the All Good.
* But how could I not, I am God's Power.
* But how could I not, I am the givingness of God expressing as me.
* But how could I not, I am the mode through which God enriches the universe.
* But how could I not, I am the Doorway through which God enters this world.
These are Truth statements to counteract all the negative self talk we can engage in.
You know that chatter about our worth, value, right to happiness, ability to succeed, etc. So, now listen to this:
I'm not good enough:
But how could I not, I am the Divine made Manifest.
I can't seem to succeed:
But how could I not, I am God in form.
I don't deserve abundance:
But how could I not, I am heir to the Kingdom.
I don't merit love:
But how could I not, I am Spirit's expression.
I can't have good things in my life:
But how could I not, I am the All Good.
I can't stand up for myself:
But how could I not, I am God's Power.
I don't have enough to give:
But how could I not, I am the givingness of God expressing as me.
I don't have any talents to share with the world:
But how could I not, I am the mode through which God enriches the universe.
And, I can't even seem to find my way:
But how could I not, I am the Doorway through which God enters this world.
Aren't those something? We pray without ceasing when we realize this. Always and in all ways!
2. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING
Well if you are the Doorway through which God enters this world, then What, my friends, Are You Thinking??
There's a beautiful NT song entitled "Our Thoughts Are Prayers." The lyrics go like this:
Our thoughts are prayers, and we are always praying
Our thoughts are prayers, be careful what you're saying
Seek a higher consciousness, a state of peacefulness and know that God is always there.c
Isn't that true? We really are already praying without ceasing, because with every thought we activate the law.
Of course, our intention with the question "What Are You Thinking" is to consciously elevate our thoughts so that our thoughts are in alignment with Spiritual Truth and Goodness, or, as Paul said in his writings to the people of Corinth: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, and pure and lovely and of good rapport, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."d
Those are the thoughts we want to be praying, aren't they? And why is it important to have those thoughts?
Ernest Holmes put it this way: "We are thinking, willing, knowing, conscious centers of Life. We are surrounded by, immersed in, and there is flowing through us, a creative Something … we call it the Law. The sum total of all our thoughts, will, purpose and belief creates a tendency in this Law that causes It to react to us. . . . This is why Jesus summed up his whole philosophy in this simple statement: 'It is done unto you as you believe.'"e
And in How to Use the Science of Mind: "The thought that reaches the highest level will have the greatest power. . . . Spiritual consciousness is power."f
WHAT WILL YOU DO NEXT
But what will you do when you forget who you are, when you forget that your thoughts really are prayers? What will you do next?!
I propose that you go to someone who can see who you are and who can speak your prayers for you. Who can know and believe for you until you can know and believe for yourself. This could be a friend, a family member, a spouse - or it could be someone who has spent time and energy in deliberate, conscious activity to remember who we all are and to embody the idea that when we pray, believing, it shall be done.
Of course, in Unity we call them Prayer Chaplains. And you can ask Maxine or Jarrett, our Prayer Chaplains, for prayer at any time. Or you can come to me for prayer. Or you can fill out a prayer request, from your program, and drop it in the prayer box. And you can come to our Truth About Prayer class today after the service.
So express the seven qualities of the Authentic Self in you life; Wholeness, Integrity, Compassion, Fearlessness, Humility, Equanimity, and Love.
bCharles Fillmore Atom-Smashing Power of Mind p. 104
cOur Thoughts Are Prayers
eEarnest Holmes second chapter of the Introduction of the Science Of Mind
fErnest Holmes How to Use the Science of Mind, p. 51