Lack, Gratitude & Prosperity
Unity teaches Affirmative Prayer, where we affirm health, prosperity, and well being as already being present. This is quite different than prayer as an appeal to some external higher power to save us. It is based on identifying with Spirit, the Christ Spirit, the Universe or God within more than any external manifestation of the Divine. That which is God within each of us is whole, omnipotent, omnipresent, all-powerful and all good.
When feeling lack, we re-align our beliefs and attitudes toward being whole, prosperous and positive. We identify with that aspect of us which is God. Affirmative Prayer is constructive and life affirming. Yet sometimes prayer can be used in foolish and even harmful ways. Constructively, we choose not to give energy to or feed fear, negative thoughts and feelings. Unity teaches us to shift consciousness beyond any immediate, temporary lack to re-center by recognizing our fundamental wholeness.
Recently I read a tragic story where asserting belief in prayer was quite destructive. Two parents in Pennsylvania were convicted after the second of their children died of curable pneumonia because their religion considers it a sin to get medical treatment.* They were asserting their belief that through prayer God would heal their children. The article reported that the couple’s minister said that while they were right to refuse medical treatment, it was their “spiritual lack” that resulted in their children’s deaths! How horribly misguided and arrogant to presume that medical treatment could not be God’s answer to their prayers. “No God, you can’t do it that way. Only the way I want you to do it.” Prayer and poorly directed faith perhaps, but certainly not Affirmative Prayer.
I have been trying to incorporate Affirmative Prayer in my life. It has been helpful in several ways allowing me to recognize and appreciate what goes right in my life. A larger issue for me has been my psychotherapy practice has shrunk significantly over the last few years. My work lends meaning to my life as well as income. Both have significantly diminished leading to anxiety and a loss of direction. Having tried a variety of ways to bring in more clients without much success, my natural reaction has been to feel fear, lack, and frustration. Feeling stuck can be quite depressing.
Yet there is another truth here. I still do have people with whom I am working. I feel much gratitude for the opportunities they offer me in sharing their lives, suffering and growth. I still have more to give and need more money to pay bills. However, through appreciating what I do have with those whom I work, as well as the support of family and friends, I recognize the prosperity that is in my life right here and now. It eases the fear and gives me faith to believe that more will come. Of course I need to be open enough to notice the opportunities, particularly if as I suspect, they come in different forms than in the past.
I am feeling vulnerable expressing this publicly. What if my practice and money do not improve? Doubt and faith are entwined. Through feeling gratitude for what and whom I do have in my life, right now I am encouraged rather than depressed. So for now at least, I trust that staying open, will be enough for me.