|UNITY OF VANCOUVER
3814 FRANKLIN ST. VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON 98660 360-696-0996
What's Pushed Down, Pushes Up
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
August 28, 2022
All Rights Reserved
PRAYER / MEDITATION
I invite you to close your eyes and know that God is your help in every need. In this time of prayer, realize that no problem or concern is too big or too small to merit God's help. Every problem you are currently having is an area of life in which a greater awareness of God’s presence as the Source of all is needed. Your every need is an invitation from God and an opportunity given to you by God to express more of the light, life, wisdom, and power of God through your own radiant Christ self.
Feel the Presence of God in and around you. Calm your emotions with the blessed assurance that ‘It is not I but God as the living Christ within that is working in and through me and that is living as me.” With your thoughts and feelings focused on God as the only Presence and Power all of your actions and reactions reflect the calm, peace of your Soul that nothing can disturb because there is nothing but God and Good.
Everything begins with and in God. As you establish this in your consciousness, Divine order expresses in your thinking, feeling, and acting and your environment takes on a harmonious rhythm, transforming every day into a happy day of continuous miracles.
Through the power of the spoken word, affirm for yourself: “I am one with God. Nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul. Divine order is manifested in my life and in all that concerns me. God is my help in every need.” Accept this Truth now in the silence of prayer.
Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways, acknowledge God and God will make straight your paths.” No matter what need appears to confront you, recognize that it is always a need for a greater awareness and expression of God’s presence. Then, close your eyes to the discords and accept that God’s help is already there by silently affirming, “God is my help in every need.” Accept God’s help in silence of prayer.
As you accept God's help in every aspect of your life, your life becomes orderly, joyous, and productive. Once again decree for yourself: “I am one with God. Nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul. Divine order is manifested in my life and in all that concerns me. God is my help in every need.” Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, accept this as your truth right now. For the Spiritual Law is: “As in mind so in manifestation.” Amen.
WHAT’S PUSHED DOWN, PUSHES UP
This morning, I want to begin with a story. A long time ago in a Kingdom far away, there lived a Prince who had just turned 21 years of age. His name was Prince Peter and he longed for a bride. His Mother, the Queen, was a very kind and wise Queen and his Father, the King, was a very wise King and they both agreed with him and said, “We agree but we must be sure that the girl you choose is a real Princess." And so, the search began for a bride for their only son. Someone who was not only worthy of him but someone who was also worthy to share the throne and rule the Kingdom wisely with him in the future.
They sent messengers to every corner of the world, inviting all true Princesses to visit the castle to meet the Prince, the King, and the Queen. And many young women did come but the Queen wasn’t interested in talking to any of them or introducing any of them to the King or to her son the Prince because none of them could pass the test she invented to prove that she was in fact a real Princess.
So, let me take a minute to explain to you how the Queen’s test worked. The Queen would tell the Head Chambermaid, “Please put a small, dried pea right in the middle of the bed being prepared for the visiting Princess to sleep in, and then, on top of that small, dried pea, please stack 20 feather mattresses."
Thus, when a Princess arrived at the Castle exhausted from her long journey, the Queen would warmly greet her saying, "Welcome my dear and come in. Just for tonight, you are our honored guest and so we won't worry about whether or not you are a real Princess. You have traveled far, and so you must be exhausted and want a warm bath, a hot meal and a good night's rest. We will talk in the morning after breakfast and then we will decide if you are a real Princess or not and fit to marry our only son and rule our Kingdom with him."
In the morning, after breakfast, the young woman was brought to the Queen’s chambers and the Queen would ask each visiting Princess, exactly the same question, “How did you sleep?” If she said, “Great,” then obviously she wasn’t a true Princess because a true Princess is so delicate that she would feel the pea and it would keep her awake all night. So many Princesses came and went that the Prince was doubtful that anyone would ever pass his mother’s test. But then one day, a huge rainstorm covered the Kingdom. It was the type of storm where the rain came down in buckets and the lightning flashed across the sky. In the midst, of this terrible rainstorm the King and Queen heard a tiny tapping at the castle door. The King looked at the Queen and said, "Did you just hear something?" The Queen shook her head and said “No!” But Prince Peter was seated closer to the door, and he said, "I think somebody is knocking on the door."
Before they could stop him or send him from the room which they usually did when a woman spent the night claiming to be a real Princess, (so that he would only meet the woman who passed the Queen’s test) he jumped up and answered the door. When he opened the door, the Prince saw a small, soaking wet young woman standing there. Even the Prince would have to agree with his parents that she didn't look much like a real Princess. She was soaking wet. Her clothes were just hanging on her and her wet hair was just hanging down in her face. But the always gracious Queen said, "Come in, my dear. Tonight, we won't worry about whether you are a real Princess or not. We are going to get you dried off, warmed up and fed a hot meal and after you've had a good night's sleep, we'll talk in the morning and decide if you're a real princess or not." Once again, a small, dried pea was placed right in the middle of the bed and then, 20 soft, feather mattresses were placed on top of that small, dried pea.
When the young woman went into the room after her bath, she had to look up at the bed because the pile of 20 mattresses practically went all the way up to the ceiling. She had to climb up a step ladder to get into bed! While she was sleeping, the servants were busy drying and ironing her clothes. The next morning, she got up, put on her clean clothes, and came down to breakfast. In the mornings’ light, the King and Queen had to admit that she looked more like a Princess than anyone else that they had seen, and she was very beautiful. After breakfast she was taken to the Queen’s chambers where the Queen asked, "My dear, how did you sleep last night?" “Oh, very badly!” she said. "I do not mean to be impolite or ungrateful, but I scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in that bed, but I was lying on something so hard, that I am black and blue all over my body this morning!”
They immediately knew that she was a real Princess because she had felt the pea right through the 20 mattresses, for no one, but a real Princess could be that sensitive. The Queen immediately summoned the King and Prince Peter and told them that at long last a true Princess had been found. The King and Queen smiled happily at each other, but Prince Peter and the Princess only had eyes for each other. They were soon married. They lived happily ever after. The pea was put in the Royal Museum, where it may still be seen to this very day, that is if no one has stolen or eaten it. The End.
Now this isn’t just a story about sleeping with a vegetable, which I personally think is more than just a little bit kinky. When you understand this story metaphysically, you know that this is a story about how irritating something you think is hidden deep inside of you can be. It can keep you awake at night and even make your body very sick. Early in life, many of us were taught, “If someone says something that hurts you, push those thoughts down. In fact, repress any thought that hurts you. Don't face them now. Don’t be impolite, cause trouble or let someone know how badly they have hurt you. Suppress any unkind thoughts. Push them down and they will hurt less.” For example: If someone calls you a name, labels you fat, ugly, messy, or whatever, until you awake to your spiritual nature, you don’t know how to handle being called that limited label or thought. Inside yourself, you may instinctually know that you are supposed to do something with that erroneous thought to cancel out its emotional impact on you. Instinctually, you may try to push away what hurts you, but you are unskilled in handling negativity and destructive thoughts, so you may just push it down, down, down into your Subconscious Mind where it gets stored under layers and layers and years and years of error thoughts as well as a plethora of good and bad memories until you learn how to handle it. It is just like putting that hard-little pea under the 20 mattresses. Rather than saying in the moment that it happens, “No!” to that dried up pea thought, “That is not true about me as a child of God. I reject that thought and affirm the truth about myself: “I am a beautiful, radiant child of God.” We hold onto it.
When we push a thought down rather than handling it, what happens is that thought bubbles up and tries to push out all the time so that it hurts us constantly. It’s like a septic system that has gone bad and bubbles up in your yard. That thought bubbles up as disharmony and lack in your body and affairs. Many times, you don't even remember what that thought is anymore because it has been pushed so far down and for such a long time. In our story, the Princess couldn't rest because she felt so much discomfort. The Princess was royalty and royalty is all about the comfort of having all your desires and needs instantly met. Well, we too, are royalty. You may not feel like royalty because you have lots of small, dried-up pea error thoughts inside of you that tell you otherwise, but you are royalty. On what authority do I say that? On the authority of the Jesus Christ teachings. Jesus said, "You are a child of God and heir to the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven.” The only thing that keeps you from accepting that idea fully into your awareness is your awareness of the dried-up pea thoughts stored inside of you. Here is an illustration of how this works. Imagine standing on a mountain-top and shouting “How are you?” into a canyon and hearing your echo come back again and again. The echo is “How are you?” It doesn’t come back as “Fine.” Or if you yell “I’m so stupid”, you don’t hear, “No you’re not.” Likewise, everything you see out in your life is an echo of what’s inside of you. Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.
Emmett Fox tells a story that illustrates this. “An old hungry bear goes into a campground and sees a cast iron pot on the fire with its lid dancing and smells the food. He licks his chops, stands on his hind legs and puts his front paws around the kettle and is immediately scalded and badly burned. The normal thing to do would be to scream and drop the kettle. But a bear's only defense is hugging. So, instead of dropping the hot kettle he hugs it tighter, to the undoing of the bear.” When something hurts us and we push it down rather than saying “That is not true of me as a child of God,” we do the same thing as the bear, we’re pulling it closer to us & in doing that, it can live inside of us to come up another day & hurt us again & again.
Have you ever tried to hold a beach ball down under the water? It takes a lot of effort & the instant you let go of the ball, it pops way up above the water. So, do our small, dried-up thoughts that we continually push down; that’s God’s Grace working through human consciousness. Error thoughts bubble up as lack in our lives so that we can see them & ‘handle’ them appropriately by saying “No that’s not true of me as a child of God.” Until we do, they will continue to come up & give us the opportunity to eliminate them. In Matthew 23:25-27, Jesus talks about this, “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees (people who are hardheaded & fixed on a literal interpretation & focused only on what they can see & experience with the 5 common senses.) for you cleanse the outside of the cup & the plate, but the inside is full of extortion, envy & you covet what is not yours. You blind Pharisee. First cleanse the inside of the cup & plate, that the outside also may be clean. For you are like white washed tombs which outwardly appear beautiful but within they are full of dead men's bones & uncleanliness." He’s not teaching humanity how to do dishes. He’s teaching that we are 3-fold beings, 3 dimensional beings, Spirit, mind & body but until we awake to our relationship of oneness with God, we give the majority of our time & energy to our body & to the visible world of form to the exclusion of our mind & Spirit. The same teaching is recorded in Luke 11:39-40 but with an important final thought. “& the Lord said to him, now you Pharisees, cleanse the outside of the cup & the dish, but inside you are full of extortion & wickedness. You fools. Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?” “Do you not know that you are the temple of the living God?”
Here Jesus goes on & tells how to do it saying, "Give for alms those things which are within & behold everything is clean for you." 'Giving alms’ means to give freely. When an old thought comes up in your mind. 1st Examine that thought because you have a choice to make. Your choice is either to cleanse that thought from your consciousness or to push it down again & re-pollute your mind. Old thoughts will continue to rise up & irritate you, to get your attention & give you the opportunity to eliminate them until you do. Every night before going to bed, handle the thoughts that have not been up to the Christ standard about you that day. Simply say, "NO!" As it says in Romans 12:2: "Do not be conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is good & acceptable & perfect of God.”
There were lots of other princesses that slept on that bed. They probably didn't have a good night's sleep either. But for whatever reason, they didn't want to admit it. Therefore, they didn't get to marry the prince & live happily ever after. Don ‘t you make the same mistake.
I’m going to close with a story Dawn Redman emailed to me. Once upon a time there was a rich King who had 4 wives. He loved his 4th wife the most, adorned her with rich robes & treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best. He also loved his 3rd wife very much & was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another. He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confident & was always kind, considerate & patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her & she would help him get through the difficult times. The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner & had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth & kingdom. However, he didn’t love his 1st wife. Even though she loved him deeply, he hardly noticed her!
One day, the King fell ill & he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life & wondered, "I now have 4 wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone." Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing & showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me & keep me company?" "No way!", she replied & walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart. The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me & keep me company?" "No!", said the 3rd wife. "Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to remarry!" His heart sank & turned cold. He then asked the 2nd wife, "I have always turned to you for help & you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me & keep me company?" The 2nd wife said, "I'm sorry, but I can't help you out this time. At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave." Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning & the King was devastated. Then a voice called out: "I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go." The King looked up & there was his 1st wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition & neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, "I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!"
In truth, we all have the 4 wives in our lives: Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time & effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die. Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status & wealth. When we die, it will all go to others. Our 2nd wife is our family & friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave. Our 1st wife is our Soul, often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power & pleasures of the physical world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. Cultivate, strengthen & cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that travels from the invisible presence of God to the visible individual manifestations of God & from the visible individual manifestations of God back into the invisible wholeness of God. It is the essence of us that is on an eternal immortal journey. Truth can be painful. And yet, attempting to avoid the truth will always, ultimately, be much more painful as Jesus said, “You shall know the truth & the truth shall set you free.’
What do you think?
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