“Get your house in Order,” can mean to get things arranged before you die. But it can also mean being able to relax and enjoy life without old habits of thought that aren’t conducive to being peaceful.

One of the most important habits or thoughts in “getting your house in order” is forgiveness. Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. … Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. But it means to release the angry and hurt feelings as being destructive because they really are destructive to your peace of mind. Holding onto the pain doesn’t heal it or make the original hurt better. It just keeps it alive to continue hurting you. The best way I know of to heal is to share your feelings with a counselor or friend so you can get a deeper understanding of the circumstances that hurt you in the first place. So a big part of getting your house in order is to understand, forgive and release. This sets you free of the emotional prison.

Another aspect of letting go of things is that it frees us to quit living in the past and be able to more fully experience the present. To many of us, one of the greatest challenges of life is being able to live in the present. It is amazing how much we miss of the beauty and richness of this life by holding onto our anger and hurts.

I’ve mentioned Ram Dass” book Be Here Now before, but it is still an important guidepost for me. “Being here now” means that instead of being focused on what happened yesterday or what could happen tomorrow, you are simply here, now. It’s about getting off autopilot and becoming aware of the automatic actions and reactions you are used to, and finding a place of clarity and calm. The present moment offers peace.

The word “peace” has many meanings. It can mean a ceasefire, an armistice, a suspension of hostilities. And those are certainly aspects of Order.

Sent with best wishes for a GREAT birthday to precious Jane. Thanks for agreeing to come this time, Dearest Jane!


Rev. Pat

The simplicity of the yin-yang symbol is very interesting. The swirling black and white forms each contain a dot of their opposite, and all is contained within the circle of wholeness that represents both the Universe and our own being. These include opposition, interdependence, relative waxing and waning, and transformation. The concept of yin and yang applies to all things in the universe. There needs to be an outside for there to be an inside. There needs to be day for there to be night and so forth.

When these aspects are in balance, we say there is order. And order is a power we each have within our consciousness. We can call on it at any time through prayer, meditation, and/or simply stopping and standing still. Yin-yang forces work in opposition to each other and can thereby work to create balance.

Some things to do to help yourself bring order into your life.

  1. Social – surround yourself with positive influences.
  2. Physical – enjoy nature; get outside every day.
  3. Emotional – simply observe negative thoughts and let them pass without judging them or yourself.

The above listed things are easy to suggest, but they have to be practiced just like anything we want to master. Just like going to the gym, we have to practice on a regular basis to get strong and stand in balance in the world and in our inner lives.

This concept of the Power of Will is interesting and challenging to me. One aspect of it is the willingness to release our will and turn things over to Divine Will. We have within us the power to do this, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes we think we know what’s best or possible based on our fears or or on what someone else tells us. We often think we know best how things should work out because of past experiences because of past teaching.

It’s often hard to change our thinking from the hell fire and damnation ideas of God that we may have been taught. In ancient times, the idea of God descended from even earlier concepts of the gods, beings that lived in the thunder and lightening and in the spring and winter. We may have been given images of a terrible, ultimate fate if we disobeyed the teachings of religious teachers of ancient times.

So to me, one of the hardest parts of using my inner Power of Will is releasing my will and letting myself trust the goodness of Spirit. One of the greatest challenges of using our will power is to let go of what we think should happen and trust that all things work together for good, even if we don’t see it at the time.

Another part of the problem is that we get used to things the way they’ve always been, even if they haven’t been very great. We fall into the trap of thinking that this is how it’s always been and always will be, and nothing is going to change it. It’s hard to believe that just because it’s always been that way it will always be that way. It’s like we’re taught how to do something by practicing. So the more things stay the same the more we think it’s the right way.

Our friend Geneva Collins, Science of Mind Practioner at CSL, offers a different idea. Her motto is, “Consider the possibilities.” What if things could be different? What if…?

So to me, part of using our Power of Will is to consider that things could be different. They could be better. They could be just what we dreamed of.

Wow! Now that’s power!

Christ in you, the hope of glory, is a key idea in using your will to achieve your goals. You are a spiritual being living a physical existence. And you have within you the power to make things happen the way you want them to. This power is exercised through your personal will. So whatever you think about yourself and the world is expressed in your personal experiences and your relationships with outer events, things, and people.

What is the definition you give yourself? Do you sabotage yourself with old habits of thinking such as doubt, fear, cynicism, martyrdom? Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” The key here is to trust yourself- that higher, Christ-self in you. This is really hard if you’ve been treated like you don’t matter or you’re not worthy of love and respect.

But, my friends, it doesn’t matter how badly you have been treated or doubted, there is a power inside you that is stronger than anything anyone has ever thrown at you. You are stronger than anyone who has ever hurt you or dismissed you. And that’s not because you are a superior human being but because inside of you is your real self – your Christ. And that Christ is a miracle worker whom you can call on at any moment to help you.

The hard part of this is learning to trust that inner Christ because, if you’re like many of us, you’ve learned not to trust anybody, especially yourself. So how to we learn to trust our inner Christ? It can be summed up in two words: practice and determination. No matter how things look on the outside, the secret to having a happy life is first, being determined not to let anything or anyone stop you and second, to keep practicing. It’s an old cliche, but it holds true: practice makes perfect.

The most important thing to hold onto in all this is to remember that inside of you is a perfect and powerful being who can achieve miracles.

It’s interesting to look at the different definitions of will. For example, there’s willful as in deliberate, intentional, planned, conscious. And then there’s willful as in headstrong, obstinate, uncooperative, pigheaded. Individualism can be defined as the habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant. But the flip side of that is a self-centered feeling or conduct, egoism.

Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m going to get my way because I know what’s best for me”? The problem with this is that we can be very incorrect about what is best for us. Sometimes we get so full of ourselves we think no one else can know what’s best for us. It doesn’t matter what their experiences have been that have shown them a better way.

So that brings us to the spiritual concept of not our human will but God’s will. For example, in Luke 22:42 we read of how Jesus endured such pain at the crucifixion that he said, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

So what does Charles Fillmore say about the Power of Will? “The spiritual life in the subconscious (Children of Israel in Egypt) is often prevented from expressing itself by the opposition of the will.” Sometimes it’s really hard to do the right thing because we want revenge or validation or vindication or adoration for something we did. And that something might not have been our highest self-expression. I’m reminded of Michelle Obama’s remark, “When they go low, we go high.” But we don’t always follow that advice.

So how can we better manage our human will? Practice, practice, practice. The more often we respond to things with patience and compassion, the more likely we are to “go high” instead of low.

Remember that song by Otis Redding? –

“I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m just sittin ’on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time”

It makes me think of last month’s Power of Understanding in terms of what the world is going through these days. We seem to have more time on our hands as we try to avoid going out and about too much. So are we wasting our time wishing things were different or wishing we could change things? Do we keep wishing we could understand instead of really seeing the blessings we have?

It occurs to me that our Power of Will can be brought into play here. Will I just keep wishing things were like they used to be, or can I use my personal will power to see things differently? We get so caught up in doing life that we don’t stop long enough to appreciate it.

Learning to notice and appreciate more deeply the things and people around us might not be a waste of time at all. When was the last time you simply sat outside and noticed, really noticed, the world of nature? Whatever it’s fate, our world has endless wonders for us to appreciate.

Even if it’s just remembering watching the tide roll away at the beach or watching the sunset or listening to the cooing of doves, it’s not wasting time. Regardless of what happens to the world and all the people in it, do you want to look back and realize that you missed so much of its beauty and its blessings, the gifts that it gives us because you were wishing things were different?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t care what happens to our word. I’m just hoping to learn to use my will power to add to its goodness, even if it’s just to appreciate its wonders more deeply. I want to really look into the eyes of a friend and see the amazing being there or watch the leaves of a tree flutter in the breeze and feel the wonder of the air and the seed from which that tree grew.

And I know in your heart that you do too.

One of the reasons I appreciate Unity teachings is how it has given me a deeper understanding of Bible stories. A great website I just discovered is “Bible Interpretation” on www.unity.org/resources/bibleinterpretation. Metaphysical interpretation is, of course, just one approach, but it brings these stories alive and into the modern world.

For example, in Matthew 16:18-19, it says, “and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” In other words, whatever we believe is happening in our lives is true, then that is what we will carry with us throughout our lives. So if we think someone is a terrible person and we ought to shun them, then that’s what our interactions with others will be like. Or if we believe we are a less than good person, then that’s how we’ll experience our lives – perhaps lonely and unhappy or angry and always lashing out at people. If we believe in a dangerous world, we will experience a dangerous world. If we believe in an enemy trying to do us harm, that will be our experience.

If, on the other hand, we let go of those negative beliefs and hold to the truth that there is One Presence and One Power, seeking always to express in and through us as our highest, greatest Good, that will be the life we experience. God—the Father in heaven, the Source of all that is – will express in our lives according to the beliefs we hold.

The story of the Good Samaritan in the Book of Luke exemplifies this, in my opinion, better than any other story. Two good Jews on the road to Jericho passed the badly wounded man and kept going. They could justify those decisions according to the Law, because to touch blood would require a considerable process of purification that would delay their work. A Samaritan is one of the people who were scorned by Jews because they were descended from Jews who had remained in the land during the Babylonian Exile and intermarried with other tribes. And it is the Samaritan who tends to the man with loving-kindness.

So again we have this idea of understanding our fellow humans, of looking past race and creed to the common humanity we all share.

understanding people

Understanding our common humanity is an important aspect of the Power of Understanding as suggested by Charles Fillmore. And it seems that one of the hardest lessons we have to learn is understanding our fellow humans.

We all can do something that other life forms can’t do: we can think about what we think about. So the right question we must ask ourselves is, what do I think about other people? What do I have in common with everybody else?

Regardless of our ethnicity, gender, political affiliation, religion, we all want the same things: clean air, clean water, enough food, a safe place, and to be loved. And I think the desire for love is the main thing we all have in common.

So why should someone’s color or politics or religion separate me from the family? It has been said that seldom do members of the same family grow up under the same roof. There’s truth to that, but we also can remember that we all grow up on the same earth under the same sun. So in the most profound way, we are all relatives.

At the CSL Service last Sunday Mary Ann and Randy sang that great song by Jesse Colin Young first sung by the Kingston Trio:

Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now

Will our efforts make a difference? Why do we have the ability to even ask the question if we’re doomed to failure? I don’t want to be, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “one of those timid souls who knows neither victory nor defeat.” And I know you don’t either.

According to the dictionary, understanding is “a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to use concepts to model that object. It is the ability to make sense of, fathom, unravel, decipher, interpret, figure out, work out, make head(s) or tail(s) of, get one’s head around.” I venture to guess if you’re like me, the thing you’d like to figure out is the meaning of life. Where are we? And why are we here, anyway? The awakening of our own faculty of understanding starts with questioning—questioning the old ways of thinking that may have been taken for granted.

In my experience, the world is full of hints all around us all the time. To be honest with you, it’s still a tremendous mystery. But occasionally, we get a sense of what it’s all about. For example, a small, unexpected thing might whisper a hint, like in this haiku I wrote.

A spark of sunlight
on a drop of morning dew –
the universe there
like the poet’s grain of sand –
seen but for a short second.

I may catch a glimpse
of eternity in it
if I can but see
beyond the world’s disguise
to the spirit living there.

So our curiosity is one of our strongest tools to gain spiritual understanding. As we become more and more willing to understand the world and ourselves, we begin to realize that it’s all working out for the good.