Expecting and accepting dire prophecies about our health bogs us down, while reversing them in our prayers brings healing.

Originally published in December 27, 2010, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

AS A TEENAGER, I'd often look at patterns of dresses I wanted to make, and then cut out the pieces of the one I'd chosen. The expectation was that, hopefully, I would create the exact likeness of the dress I was admiring in the illustration. If I followed the pattern, I thought, Voila! The end result would be a dress made in its image.

In my healing work, I've needed to stay alert to the mortal patterns of thinking that determine our way of life, and how predictable, and sometimes unsettling, these patterns can be. One definition for the word pattern is "prescribed route." Thankfully, Christian Science teaches how to find a higher sense of things through prayer, so the "route" involves expectancy of good.

The material senses foretell that heredity is a kind of pattern that we just can't get away from, and includes susceptibility to diseases and family traits. That if we eat or do certain things, there is a material consequence, a cause-and-effect relationship. And so on. Prior to studying Christian Science, I took medicine for a wide range of allergies to food, dust, pollen, animals.

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