Don’t take it personally

Fiction: “If I’m having a problem, it’s my fault—the problem is me and my thinking.”

Fact: Once I was praying with a friend who was struggling with pain night after night. One night she said that she wondered what she must be thinking wrong to continue to be awakened by this problem. I affirmed, without a doubt, that man, as God’s child, is always innocent and that his purity protects him from evil in any form. What appeared to be so real in those wee hours was simply an impersonal claim that evil could be present. A phrase from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy came to mind: “… evil can have no place, where all space is filled with God” (p. 469). But I heard it this way: “Evil can have no hour where every hour is filled with God.” Understanding this fact proved to be the turning point and soon the problem ceased to occur.

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It can be very tempting to think of problems as personal—as our fault or our thinking. After all, they do masquerade as our own thoughts and sound like our own voice. I think of them as “I,” “me,” or “my” messages. They go something like this: “I’m sick.” Or, “I won’t have any friends at my new school.” Or, “Everyone else is smarter than I am.”

But think about this: If your best friend was afraid she couldn’t make new friends, or told you she could never measure up, you wouldn’t believe it. You’d set her straight immediately! It’s only when these negative messages make us feel that a problem is really true about us that we feel convinced and worried—even though they’re no truer about us than they are about someone we love.

We can totally reject any thoughts that don’t fit with the truth of one God, good, and man in His image and likeness.

Whether these “I” messages try to convince us that we’re sick, inadequate, lonely, whatever, these problems are not really “ours.” They’re only impersonal beliefs about what God isn’t and could never be—sick or inadequate. And therefore, what we are not and could never be as His likeness. The more we familiarize ourselves with our pure, completely spiritual, God-created nature, the easier it is not to be fooled by these messages. 

It’s true that healing comes as our thinking changes, sometimes dramatically. That happens as we move thought away from seeing ourselves as limited material beings with problems and fears, to yielding to the powerful fact that we are completely spiritual right here and now. Sometimes it takes persistence, but because discordant thoughts aren’t really part of us, they can be discarded immediately. We can totally reject any thoughts that don’t fit with the truth of one God, good, and man in His image and likeness.

Since there is only one God, and He is Mind, there can be only one source of thought. Recognizing the relationship we have to God as pure and loved ideas in Mind, rather than having our own little minds, cancels out the possibility that there could be a mind that can create, believe, or hold on to misconceptions, or make problems personal. It allows us to see ourselves as the innocent thought, or effect, of divine Mind, instead of the cause of a problematic, mistaken belief.

So the next time you’re wondering, “What am I thinking wrong?” you can see this question for what it is—an impersonal “I” message suggesting that you and God are working independently. What it says and what it implies are myths. So you can toss out those myths and the thoughts that come with them, and know your real goodness. You and God operate as one—one divine cause, and His loved and innocent spiritual effect. And that’s a fact!

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