There was a time in my life when a missed train, an impudent remark, or a flat bicycle tire made me fly into a fury. Sometimes the situations that triggered in me strong feelings of anger, disappointment, desperation, and fear seemed to be substantial and sometimes they were insignificant. I felt tossed about by outside circumstances as well as by my own emotions. When I was in a rage, my thoughts were racing; sometimes I even had to cry or kick an object. I felt very much in distress.
Since I was also experiencing other times in my life when, through spiritual practice, I was calm, felt an inner peace, and had a conciliatory effect on others, I decided to focus my attention more on spiritual things and consistently devote an hour of my morning to the study of Christian Science.
This brought a change to the situation. Week after week I experienced more and more confidence and assurance growing in me. I learned not to take things personally anymore. What helped me a lot, among others, was the following passage from Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896: “It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion” (p. 224).
I stopped blaming my fellow men and women when things didn’t happen the way I wanted them to. Instead, I turned to God in prayer. Doing so helped me discover a lot of good unfolding in my life. However, I also noticed that God did not reveal change in all aspects of my life at the same time. To me it seems that God reveals what I need to know at the pace that I can manage well. When I kept my focus on the good that continued to unfold more and more, I no longer had the impression that I was lacking anything. Rather, I gained the conviction that I was continuously and lovingly embraced and cared for by God, divine Love.
In the past, in that difficult phase of my life, I used to stare, as if spellbound, at the darkness in my life or at those areas where no visible progress was happening. Unfortunately, by doing this, I completely missed the beautiful things God was developing in and around me and didn’t seize the opportunities that this brought.
Now, however, I counted on the good, and I realized and took the opportunities that were offered to me. For example, a friend had mentioned to me at least three times within a year that on her work team there was an opening for a job for which I had the proper qualifications. Because of pride or disbelief in my ability to do the work, I didn’t respond the first two times, doubting that I had any chance to work there. Meanwhile, my own business was not experiencing the demand that was necessary for providing enough income, and this had been going on for some time. But then I saw that God was giving me a hint, and I applied for the job. So now I have a part-time job that secures my livelihood, gives my clients and me much joy, and at the same time leaves open the possibility to continue developing my own business.
There are more examples in other areas of my life. With my new perspective of trusting in God’s care, I saw and continue to see these gifts and opportunities, and I accept them. The following passage from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, illustrates the principle behind this: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (p. 261).
I am very happy that I have learned to regain and maintain my emotional stability. And I am eager to find out what other treasures the study of Christian Science can provide me.
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