JUST SAY YES!
Our theme for this month is inspired by a statement the Master Teacher Jesus made more than 2,000 years ago.
"I have come so that you might have life, and have it more abundantly."a
What does it mean to live the abundant life? - It means having enough; enough love, enough to eat, enough money, enough health, enough peace, enough joy, enough serenity, enough of everything. It means not having to worry about lack of any kind.
What are all of those things saying? The abundant life is the life in which we allow God to express Itself through us!
Most likely influenced by this idea, Ernest Holmes wrote in the Science Of Mind text: "God is more fully expressed by the person who lives largely than by the person who lives meagerly."b So that is our exploration this month, and today we are going to look at it from the perspective of Saying Yes!! to Life.
At the end of their first date, a young couple arrives at her home. With bravery and courage, he decides to try for that important first kiss. So he places his hand against the doorjamb, leans in and whispers, "I really had a great time tonight; may I kiss you goodnight?"
Horrified, she replies, "Are you mad? My parents will see us!"
"Oh come on! Who's gonna see us at this hour?"
"No, please. Can you imagine if we get caught?"
"Oh come on, there's nobody around, they're all sleeping!"
"No way. It's just too risky!"
"Oh please, please, I really had a great time and I like you a lot!"
"I like you too, but I just can't!"
"Oh yes you can. Please, please, just say yes!"
With that, the porch light goes on, the front door flies open and the girl's younger sister, standing there in her pajamas, hair a mess in a sleepy voice says: "Dad says to go ahead and just say yes and kiss him! Or I can kiss him. Or if need be, Dad will come down himself and do it. But for crying out loud somebody kiss him so he'll take his hand off the doorbell!"
***** JUST SAY YES TO LIFE! *****
JUST SAY YES
So what does that really mean anyway? What does it mean, in a practical sense to say "yes" to life?
It's been said that there are really only two emotions -- only two emotional forces that drive us; that propel us; that motivate and move us. They are love and fear. When we are being driven/propelled/motivated/moved by fear, we are in essence saying "no" to life.
In the words of Ernest Holmes in the Science Of Mind text: "Fear destroys the possibility of a greater degree of livingness to those who suffer from it."c
But, when we are driven/propelled/motivated/moved by love, we are saying "yes" to life.
Ernest Holmes Science Of Mind: "Love is the grandest healing and drawing power on earth. Love is the sole impulse for creation."d
Ernest Holmes Science Of Mind: "Love is a cosmic force whose sweep is irresistible."e
Now, I acknowledge that we live in challenging times - the world around us can seem pretty scary, pretty off course. There seems to be a lot to fear. It may seem trivial or unrealistic to be talking about living the abundant life, saying yes, living in love, when we're blowing each other up, etc.
Wayne Dyer's interview in the September 2004 SOM Magazine: "How strange it is that people want to blow themselves up to make a point, or blow up other people. I always say to myself, it's not about me. And if there's nothing I can do about the way people conduct themselves, I'm not going to feel bad, no matter what. I know I can't feel bad enough to make anyone who is feeling bad feel good. Just like I can't get sick enough to make one person who is ill get well. So, I think that it's really incumbent upon us, even if we do see these events around us in the world, to feel good in those moments. [In other words - saying yes to life.] Because then you can do something about it. It's in feeling good [saying yes to life] that you've joined God consciousness, and you start to radiate that out. But by feeling bad [or saying no to life] you become what you're opposed to. Other people are blowing up trains because they feel bad and now you feel bad, so you want to retaliate against them, and before you know it, we've created this force-counterforce that goes on and on and on."f
And that's exactly what we have going on in the world around us today. I believe each one of us has a responsibility to shift the force-counterforce (to use Dyer's term) balance. And we can do that BY SAYING YES - by being driven/propelled moved/motivated by Love!
Are you?? Maybe before you answer that question we ought to look at what living from love looks like and what living from fear looks like.
I'm going to give you a list of differences. As I read these differences, take a personal assessment -- not to get into self-judgment; but to just be more self-aware. Where are you in these? Do you fall on the side of love or the side of fear?
Love believes that success is possible;
Fear needs proof that failure can be avoided.
Love reaches forward;
Fear holds on to the past.
Love relishes in even the smallest victory;
Fear judges even the smallest failure.
Love looks for the best;
Fear assumes the worst.
Love values the return on an investment;
Fear counts the cost of everything.
Love embraces the potential;
Fear clings to what's "realistic."
Love explores the path ahead;
Fear analyzes the road just taken.
Love celebrates diversity;
Fear condemns that which is different or unfamiliar.
Love rejoices in another's success;
Fear is envious of it;
Love pilots while being guided by the stars;
Fear steers while looking in the rear-view mirror.
I ask you again - not so you can get into self-judgment, but for self-assessment and to perhaps this morning create a shift and change -- are you living from love or from fear? Are you saying yes or no to life?
Whether we are saying yes or no to life is dependent upon our personal belief system -- our internal programming. Personal belief systems in us are like Software programs in computers. When you use a particular software program, say Excel, a spreadsheet program, you don't expect it to operate like say Photoshop, a graphics program. They do different things.
If you want to create graphics, you will use your graphics program and not your spreadsheet program. If you want to do bookkeeping, you will use your Spreadsheet program. Right?
The same principle applies to you and your internal programming. If we want to have the . . .
that we have used to describe the abundant life which Jesus promised us . . . then we need a belief system that supports that kind of output. We need a love-based belief system! Because our input determines our output.
So, here is another opportunity for self-assessment (NOT self-judgment!). The person who is living from a fear-based belief system believes that:
The world is unsafe.
People and events can take away my good.
My security and safety are in someone else's hands.
I can't trust life.
I can't trust others.
I can't trust myself.
If someone disagrees with me, it means I could lose something.
I'm not good enough, worthy enough, etc.
The person living from a love-based belief system believes that:
I am created in love, by love and love supports me.
All that I need is provided.
The universe is safe.
I am supported and protected, no matter what is going on around me.
My good cannot be separated from me.
I trust the goodness of life.
I am secure.
I am here for a reason.
I deserve an abundant life.
If we want to have Love Point the Way in our lives we must build a belief system that supports that perception. This is where choice plays a part.
Marianne Williamson: "Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn here. The spiritual journey is the relinquishment - or unlearning - of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts."g That's our spiritual journey -- returning to a love-based belief system. The good news is IT CAN BE DONE!
The person who lives in love - who says yes to life - is the person who has immersed him/herself in activities that will support a love-based belief system.
Are the activities that you engaged in loved-based or fear based?
How are you being influenced?
Who or what is having the most influence on you? The TV? Your negative friends? The news and race consciousness? Probably.
It's time to be "In this world, but not of this world."
When you are living in love, who or what is impacting your belief systems more of the time?
Spiritual experiences (e.g., nature)
Church and classes,
reading positive books,
listening to positive material,
time spent in doing affirmations of greater good,
time spent in visioning your dreams,
time spent in spiritual mind treatment (affirmative prayer),
watching models of forgiveness and loving acceptance around you?
I've heard it said that we learn through Impact and Repetition. Something impacts us so seriously that we "get it", OR we hear it over and over again and then we "get it." I suggest you go for the repetition. It's within your power of choice. Sometimes those impactful moments can be pretty painful.
Repetition. If you want to let love point the way, then choose over and over again to build a belief system that support you. Listen to tapes. Affirm daily. Visualize daily. Pray daily.
So fill your life with love and acceptance that your world cannot help but point the way to greater love and acceptance.
Choose Life. Choose to live it abundantly. Choose to be the Love you are in all your brilliance and choose never to believe again, anything that would deny who you are. Magnificence, purely and completely - fully and completely deserving of the abundant life contained within Jesus' promise!
I want to conclude by sharing with you a poem about a woman who was saying no to life and a little boy who, from a place of pure love, taught her to yes. It's entitled The Flower:
Disillusioned by life . . . with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent . . . on dragging me down.
And if that weren't enough . . . to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath . . . approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me . . . with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, . . . "Look what I found!"
In his hand was a flower . . . what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn . . . - not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead . . . flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and . . . then shifted away.
But instead of retreating . . .he sat next to my side
And placed the flower . . . to his nose and declared with surprise,
"It sure smells pretty . . . and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; . . . here, it's for you."
The weed before me was . . . dying......or dead.
Not vibrant of colors, . . . orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, . . . or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, . . .and replied, "Just what I need."
But instead of him placing . . . the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air . . . without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed . . . for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver, . . .tears shone like the sun
As I thanked him for . . .picking the very best one.
"You're welcome," . . . he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact . . . he'd had on my day.
I sat there and wondered . . .how he managed to see
A fearful, sad woman . . . beneath that old tree.
How did he know of . . .my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, . . .he'd been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind . . .child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world . . .the problem was me.
And for all of those times . . .I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life, . . .and appreciate the wonder of love that is mine.
And then I held that wilted flower . . .up to my nose
and breathed in the fragrance . . . of a most beautiful Rose.
And smiled as I watched . . . that young boy, another weed in his hand
About to change the life . . .of an unsuspecting old man.
Saying yes to LIFE, saying yes to LOVE, is really saying yes to God. Yes, God, I know that I am here to express life and express it more abundantly. Yes, God, I know that the more abundantly I express life the more fully I express You!
This morning, I want us to say YES together by proclaiming:
Today, I say "yes" to life.
Because today, I choose love.
I see love, I reveal love, I am love.
My life is filled with abundance . . . and I live the life I love.
And so it is!
bErnest Holmes Science Of Mind
cErnest Holmes Science Of Mind text p. 404
dErnest Holmes Science Of Mind p 298
eErnest Holmes Science Of Mind p 608
fWayne Dyer's interview September 2004 SOM Magazine