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 “How To Get Out of the Dumps”
 Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
May 18. 2008
All Rights Reserved
 

 

Meditation

The Father & I are One. This is a truth for you. Looking at others in your life, you sense certain qualities you admire so much in them. Yet, the inward voice reminds you that to sense those qualities in others is to possess the potential for them within yourself. You honor the qualities of Spirit, wherever they may be sensed, when you attend to their potential within yourself. 

In your deepening sense of Unity with the one Presence in your world, you are willing to own those qualities that are yours. They live within your being like gold buried deep in the earth waiting to be brought into the open, refined & given expression. You are enriched by the new creation of your being as these qualities are made manifest through you.   

Where there has been a sense of alienation, there is a potential for love. As you attend to that sense of being connected to God in all life you feel a new sense of belonging to the family of God. Where you have closed yourself to receiving, there is a potential to be open to God’s gifts being drawn to & through you. As you attend to your capacity to receive good & only good & honor your God connection you respond to God & others with wisdom & loving appreciation.

Where there has been a sense of being deprived & having unmet needs, there is a potential to experience the fullness of being wonderfully human.  Do you know that you live in the midst of infinite love?  Do you know that it is not possible for you to stray outside the boundaries of love – for God’s love is boundless.  Let go of fear & confusion.  They are illusions & hinder love. Do not allow the pain of the past to mar the beauty in the present. Do not isolate yourself from the joy of living this day in total love. Faith & knowledge are supported by infinite love, so surrender your heart upward into the infinite love of God so that divine love may be complete in you in the silence. . .  

All creation is an expression of divine love & you are a part of that creation. God is the love that you now know as your own being. God is the love that you now let motivate you to create & express love intentionally with words & actions to yourself & the others in your life. Love is just a dream when it is a feeling, but love is real when it is lived. Take another moment in the silence to silently give life to divine love through the thoughts you think, the emotions you feel, the words you speak & the services your render today & everyday. Choose today to live the dream & love. “The light of god surrounds us, the love of god enfolds us, the power of god protects us, the presence of God watches over us. Wherever we are God is & all is forever illumined & bless. Amen.

How To Get Out of The Dumps

Sir Robert Watson Watt, the Scotsman who invented radar was awarded, $140,000; the highest award ever made for a wartime invention. But, while driving in Canada, years later, he was arrested for speeding, caught in a radar trap. He wrote a little poem about it.

Pity Sir Robert Watson Watt
Strange target of his radar plot.
And thus with others I could mention,
A victim of his own invention.

Each morning when you get up, you open your eyes, put your feet on the floor & begin to invent what the day is going to be.  No outer circumstance or person determines what it’s going to be. It is you creating it, inside yourself. Is today going to be heaven or hell?

As co-creators with God, every moment inside of ourselves, we are inventing our own lives. But like Sir Robert Watson, are we a victim of our own invention?

What are you going to invent in your life today, this week? Is your life going to be in a down period & are you going to be in a slump & depressed about it? Or is going to be the day when you decide to climb up & stay up & out of the dumps forever. 

Story: Many years ago, there was a man who was a baking powder salesman. No matter how hard he tried, the sales of baking powder were going down. Well, he had the same kind of responsibilities that we all have. He had a wife, a couple of kids, a mortgage & bills that needed to be paid.  But how could they be paid if baking powder wasn’t selling?

He prayed for ideas saying,“Dear God, what will make this baking powder sell?”& in prayer he got the idea to give chewing gum with the baking powder. He did this & everyone loved the chewing gum. Everybody wanted the chewing gum, but they didn’t like the baking powder. The man got more & more depressed.  He wondered, ‘What am I to do.” One day, he just hit bottom. He got down on his knees & prayed harder than he’d ever prayed before, asking God to give him some new ideas.  And the message came to him: “The new ideas are staring you right in the face.” And he got the idea to drop the baking powder & start selling the gum. & that’s exactly what he did & why you’re probably familiar with his name, William Wrigley.

Everybody gets into a slump at sometime in his or her life, even ministers. A fellow minister tells this story, “15 years ago, I was in a severe slump. I was a success at my career & had everything that I thought I wanted in my life only to discover it wasn’t what I really wanted. I didn’t like what I was doing. But I had it & wondered, “What in the world am I going to do with my life now?” I’ve been in that situation & can say it’s very distressing.

He said, “I began to realize that when I turned to God I would begin to feel good for a while & then I’d slip back into worrying & distress almost without realizing it. It’s almost as if a spring was on my back. I would walk towards God, & then without realizing it, the minute I let my defenses down I’d spring back into my worries & the mountain of problems I thought were in front of me. & I thought to myself. “How crazy.  Its almost as if the negativity had a magnetic pull on me.”& I wondered,“Why do I keep doing this?” So, I’d pray more & when I was praying I felt great, but then I’d slip back fast. Then, after worrying & having great anxiety for a while, I would wake up again & say, “What in the world am I doing to myself?”

Can you relate to his story? Maybe you’re like this right now in your life. 

He said, “Slowly, through prayer, I started to realize that I was king over my own mind. That my mind doesn’t rule over me, I rule over my own mind. I could make the choices of what I’m going to experience, of what I’m going to invent in my day.
I decided that if I’m going to have a magnetic pull sucking me back to something negative, why not reverse it & have the magnetic pull, pull me back to God consciousness so that I would automatically go into prayer & feel good again without even realizing it
” 

I was in a slump when I first started going to Unity & like many of you one of the first things I did was visit the Bookstore & Lending Library, picking up any book that looked like it might help me to get a grip on my life.  One of those books was “What Are You?” by Imelda Shanklin. These words helped me transform my life. She writes,“You will have the right kind of confidence in yourself when you have developed a consciousness of your identity with God & His identity with you. Encompass yourself with the certainty of God.” I thought about those words, “You are encompassed, not separated from God. God is not far off. You are encompassed in God. That means that you are completely sealed in God’s protection & God’s good & God’s love.” 

Unity’s co-founder, Charles Fillmore said,“We can’t help but think that a wise & loving Creator must have planned more permanent good for His offspring.” Well, in Truth, God has so planned, but this power lies in our ability to possess & mold our thoughts so that the good God has planned for us can come through & that means remembering that we live, move & have our being in God & living life to its fullest.

Sometimes even though we make every effort to be positive & stay on top of things, we still fall into a slump of discouragement, negativity, & depression, so let’s look at some of the causes for slumps & what we need to do to get out of one.

 
1.  At the top of the list is Fatigue, overload & burnout from pushing yourself & trying to do too much in too little time.  Take a good look at your work schedule & make a list of projects & prioritize them.  Start with the most important & when it’s completed move on to the next most important. What I’ve discovered by doing this is that every day I have a sense of completion.  I don’t complete everything on my list in one day, but I know just where to start the next.  I’ve also learned that there are some things that I put on my list that I never do. Sometimes they aren’t mine to do & sometimes they just don’t need doing. The bottom line is that you can’t function effectively, or have any joy in your life if you’re weighted down & worn out.

Jesus said, “The Father that dwells within me, does the works.” There will be no burnout in you if you remember that you aren’t really doing the work, you’re merely consenting to God’s work flowing through you. 

2.  Failure to do your Spiritual Work  The only thing that we ever suffer from as humans is a sense of separation from God caused by a conditioned belief that God is far off from us.  Jesus said, “The Father & I are one.” Our Source is always with us, but our union with the Source must be consciously made in our mind by speaking affirmations (short statement of truth), prayer & meditation, which open the windows of heaven from our side so that God energy can freely flow through. 

3.  Slumps are often caused by our reaction to what we label disappointment & bad news. It says in the Bible & it’s true,“into each life some rain must fall,” That’s why it’s so important to stay prayed up & to“Store up treasures in heaven”, as the Bible says. You’re like the battery in your car & you need to constantly plug into God to recharge.

4.  Slumps are often caused by a reaction to confusion & negative conditions. ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things that I can, the wisdom to know the difference.” Remember, all things are possible to him who can perfectly practice, non-reaction.

5.  Too much routine without a break Joan of Arc once said, “Man is not meant to die in small, sick ways daily.” We all have little details in our life & some of them are very, boring, but we can keep them from wearing us down by varying our activities or doing old tasks in a new way.  Learn the art of taking minute vacations.  Pause from time to time each day for a few moments of silent meditation & recharge again. Contact that divine Source that is inside of you.

6.  A Delay in your life, a delay in a plan or things not working out the way you wanted them to.   Remember that we’re living in God’s time, which keeps its own pace.  It doesn’t adjust itself to our human clocks.  & that means that we may need to adjust our time plans to God’s & in so doing, we usually find everything working out in perfect timing. Also, when some cherished plan fails to work out, it is often better that they didn’t.  & if they didn’t work out, it’s because something else, something better is coming along. Never, ever let yourself be disappointed, because it cuts off the flow of God’s good into your life.

7.  Resistance to what you are doing in your life.  If you don’t like what you are doing & going into that activity with resistance inside of you, you are laying a firm foundation for a slump; because the energy flow of Spirit will be cut off  & your resistance will wear you down fast. Look for things you like about your work. 

Look for new ways to perform your tasks or discharge your duties & reverse your negative or limiting thoughts & feelings with affirmations, constructive prayers & meditations.  Remember that you have been drawn to this situation with these tasks & these duties by your own consciousness. There are valuable lessons to be learned here. There is a way for personal growth in this situation that you are involved in, right now. 

And, also, you may be the only one that can do this situation. As a rule when you give your best & learn your lesson you will naturally move on. Now there may times when it’s the right choice to quit, the right choice to refuse to continue, but remember, you are never free from a situation until you are ‘free in it.’

8. Procrastination – Now that’s a big one.  & I’m sure that none of us here ever suffer from that.  The guidance of God is always 3 words:  Do it now!”  We don’t want to hear that guidance sometimes, but that’s the guidance of God, because God exists in the NOW moment.  Putting things off leads to overload in the human mind & body.  It leads to fatigue, which eventually causes a slump because it restricts the flow of God’s good in your life.

9. Negative thoughts, negative feelings & negative action patterns. In the final analysis, all of our experiences come from our own consciousness.  In the busyness of our worldly, human life we must keep our inner life pure & bright & filled with love & joy. 

10.  We experience slumps when there is a lack of balance in our lives.  Now there are in all of our lives, natural highs & natural lows.  & we need to remember; it’s all God & learn to flow with them.  When we’re going through a low period in our life, we’re not to be concerned with it, we just need to stay centered in God, do our spiritual work & those low periods will pass. As Psalms 23:4 says, ‘Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.  Thy rod & thy staff they comfort me.”

The cycles of ebb & flow are natural throughout nature.  Nature is always in balance.  Nature doesn’t push itself like we do.  Emerson observing this said, “The finite alone worries & suffers while the infinite lies stretched in smiling repose.

Every person here has the same week ahead of them & that week works out to 168 hours. To keep from getting in a slump or to get out of one, you need to lead a balanced life. Henry Thoreau wrote this formula for living a balanced life while at Walden Pond.

  • You need 56 hours of sleep.  Most people who are going through a slump just don’t take the time to sleep. That’s 8 hours a night.  You & I need that, as a minimum.
  • You need 40 hours of work, volunteering, or service.  Even if you’re retired, never allow yourself to get out of the workplace of service.  Do something.  Give something back to life.
  • You need 40 hours of play. That may be something that you’re forgetting about or putting on the back burner.  & if you are, beware; you are setting up conditions for sliding down into a slump.  An adult needs to play more than a child. What is play for you?  Play is something that creates great pleasure in your life, while you’re doing it that doesn’t necessarily produce a product.  Play is active while relaxation could be something like reading.  If you really have to think about it, you aren’t doing it enough!
  • You need to tithe time; give 10% of your time back to God.  Now that is 16.8 hours per week dedicated to praying, meditation, spiritual study, going to worship services.  That works out to 2 hours & 20 minutes a day of giving back to God, being an open channel for all of God’s good & recharging your battery. So it balances out:  56 hours of sleep, 40 hours of work, 40 hours of play & 16.8 hours of time tithed back to God. That equals out o 152.8 hours. 

There are 16 hours left.  That is for non-activity.  Non-activity is that time in your life where you process. That’s like when you get up in the morning & stare into your mirror & wonder, “Who am I?” or that time before going to be at night.  Everybody needs that time.  Time to just be. 

To summarize: 

  1. Don’t push yourself, allow God to push through you.
  2. Do your spiritual work & stay prayed up
  3. Do not react to negativity. Practice non-reaction to outer things & act from your spiritual center.
  4. Do not focus on negative persons & situations. See only God & good, the truth & not the negativity.
  5. Vary your habits & routines
  6. Realize that you are living in Gods time & make peace with God’s time.
  7. Cast out all resistance in your life & allow God’s energy to flow through you freely.
  8. Do it now!!  Get into movement & the Holy Spirit will get into movement through you.
  9. Actively use the power of choice to choose to see God & good.
  10. Live a balance life. The bottom line is that “Slumps don’t happen to us, they happen through us.” 

Luke 11:34 says, “When the eye is single, focused on the glory of God, the whole body is then full of light.”  So make your eye single upon God & you’ll constantly be pulled back to God’s good.

There’s a great story that you may not have heard about Thoreau that I’m going to close with.  As Thoreau lie dying in his home, a pious neighbor called on him & solemnly asked him, “Henry, have you made peace with your God?” Thoreau smiled up at him & replied, “Why?  We have never argued.”

God bless you & have a great day!



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