Connect with God to Lift Depression

Connect with God to Lift Depression

© GLOW IMAGES

A guest post written by Marsha Cunningham from Ontario, California

Recently I started feeling very depressed and lonely and I just couldn’t seem to shake the horrible feeling. I didn’t feel like doing anything and I’ve always been a very active, happy person. I wondered if this was what depression felt like, and suddenly understood what I’d heard much talk about.Continue Reading

Innocent Eyes

Innocent Eyes

© GLOW IMAGES
model used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Will Heining

I was recently asked if I would rent to a small dog with a $500 pet deposit. I replied, “Yes, if only to meet a small dog who has $500!”

Then I started to think about dogs and sums of cash – where would he carry it – and why? Would a dog have any use for a nest egg? It seemed absurd and it occurred to me that I have never known a dog who was the least bit concerned about where he would sleep or where his next meal would come from. Interested – definitely! But never worried.

Children are great that way also. They are completely oblivious to money troubles or similar claims of lack. When I would answer a request for something with, “I don’t have enough money for that,” I can remember being met with a quizzical look. “Just go to the money store (ATM)!”

Once, decades ago, when I only had one two-year-old daughter, it was my task – on my way to work – to deliver her to the caregiver’s home where she would spend a carefree day with her every request met.

The car that we rode in had been slowly developing a problem, and once or twice before this particular day, it had stalled and refused to re-start until it had a sufficient cooling-off period. On this day, it suddenly stalled and was requiring a much longer time to re-start. (Maybe it wouldn’t start ever again!)

As I fiddled with the key, I caught sight of my daughter in the rearview mirror. When she saw that I noticed her, she started an impromptu game of Peek-A-Boo. “Oh sure,” I said, not playing along, “You want to play because you don’t know how bad the situation is.”

As I said that, I suddenly realized what those words meant. Becoming caught up in the false claims of lack, I was saying that there was a situation where praying couldn’t help, that it was possible, in a universe where God created everything good, that we could be kept from our good day by this lack.

I immediately declared that I didn’t know how bad the situation was either, I refused to acknowledge any power which would interrupt the harmony of God’s universe, and I began to play Peek-A-Boo! We soon found ourselves underway without undue disruption of our plans.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need…divine Love supplies all good.” This statement echoes Paul’s words in II Corinthians, “and God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”

Both of these powerful statements illustrate what it is that dogs and small children sometimes seem to know better than us (so-called) grownups – and our experience is richer for listening to them.

Trigger Warning

Trigger Warning

Photo illustrated by Paul Joseph

A guest post by Tracy Clifton

A few months ago I read an article about domestic violence that began with the phrase “Trigger Warning!” It warned readers that the article might bring up emotions that were unresolved – that there was the potential for someone’s innate “trigger” to go off.

While I respected the warning’s intent, I also found myself saddened. How often do we have those internal “triggers” go off, sometimes at the most inconvenient and uncomfortable of times? And more importantly, do we have a choice whether or not the “trigger” goes off at all?

The answer came to me in a quiet, firm “Yes! We always have a choice!” I realized I needed to adjust my view of humanity as reactionary and subject to the past, and instead focus on what I know to be a more clear idea of who we are: that God maintains our innocence and gives us the capacity to grow. I thought of the Bible story in Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who, even as they were rescued from a fiery fate, didn’t even have the “smell of fire” on them. They saw that they could never be victimized. For me, it was a wonderful illustration of how we remain free and untouched from the past – no lingering effects, just pure joy and gratitude that we are completely delivered from times of trouble by God.

A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to apply this radical adjustment of thought in my own life. Someone from my past, with whom I’d parted ways in less than perfect terms, popped back into my life. All the mental work I thought I’d done to be free from the past seemed to fly out the window, and I was definitely having triggered emotions of grief and resentment.

This issue felt a little out of my depth, so I turned to prayer. I was able to silence the reactive thoughts and get to the root of the problem, which was, of course, fear. Fear that what I’d gone through in my life could happen again; fear that this person hadn’t changed. As with all trigger warnings, this fear spoke to me of my own supposed powerlessness and inability to control my reaction to how people treat me.

I had to break free from those thoughts that suggested that I was a victim my whole life, using a mental sword to swing at each one as it came to me. I countered with the idea that not only had my innocence remained untouched, but also that the person I viewed as able to wound me was also innocent! As Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, states in her book, Science and Health, “Innocence and Truth overcome guilt and error.” Because we were both innocent, we were both free from harming one another, and could co-exist harmoniously. Just as I was free from my past, this person was also free. And I most certainly had a choice – I wasn’t on autopilot or unable to control my emotions. I felt calm and loving towards this person, and matters were resolved that encouraged growth in both of us. We truly became a blessing to each other as we strove to reflect only God in our lives.

I’m so grateful that Christian Science offers us choices in how we react and deal with issues on a daily basis. Knowing that we are never powerless over our emotions and reactions brings a sense of peace and innocence to all our lives.