This page is for you, cherished members of our Unity Spiritual Community, to share your insights, inspirations and short stories of your spiritual journey in Unity.
(Please make your submission by email, in a word document to [email protected] and we will post them here.)
My Spiritual Journey
I was raised in a German bilingual household as a Lutheran. (Germans were either Lutheran or Catholic at the time). My mother was Lutheran, and my father was Catholic in name only. As a young adult I became heavily involved in the Church where I was “raised.” Along the way, I formed opinions about other religions based on what I encountered in the “marketplace of life.” It was not until I was in graduate school and studying other religions that I began to question everything. As a teen, I wound up studying the accordion from a teacher who was a Christian Scientist. As a “Father Figure” he had a great influence on me. So later on when I entered adulthood, I left the church of my heritage and got involved in the Christian Science movement. Yet I still felt as if I was “missing something”. Christian Science teaches that all is Spirit, therefore, I could not be sick or have any ailments and that the human part does not exist. I appreciated knowing that I was Spirit, but not to the extent of rejecting my humanity and medical science. Then along came Unity which teaches, among many other amazing things, that I was a Spiritual being having a human experience. That did it for me. So not long after my spiritual breakthrough, one Sunday morning, while driving past the Yarmouth Senior Center, which just happens to be a mile from my home, I noticed a sign which read, “Unity Service…” And suddenly the “Lights began flashing” in my head. I immediately turned around and entered the hall where services were being held. I have been attending Unity services ever since that Sunday approximately 16 years ago. As the saying goes, “The rest is history.“ Unity on Cape Cod is my family, and I am eternally grateful that I feel Spiritually fed every day of my life studying and applying Unity principles.
Would You Rather Be Right Or Happy?
Recently my partner was diagnosed with cancer. We were faced with many challenges but also presented with a lot of beneficial shifts in perspective. One of which was being made vulnerable enough to willingly accept love and help from our amazing circle of friends. We have been living on the generosity of their time, prayers and compassion and I will be forever grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people. But I want to focus on one particular experience where I used my faith to change my experience. Towards the beginning of my partners treatments we weren’t sure what to expect. He was definitely out of work for the foreseeable future while undergoing intensive chemo and radiation. He had asked me to pick up some extra financial responsibilities so that he could focus on healing, and I of course readily agreed.
Then one day I was offered a gig on Nantucket the day before thanksgiving which would pay me $500.00. That is quite a bit of money for us, and I was excited about playing on the island and some extra income. My partner however was not seeing it this way. He was afraid that he would not be feeling well and that I was abandoning him in his time of need. I understood that he wanted me home to care for him but was also thinking it was unfair of him to prevent me from picking up work when he was asking me to increase my financial burden. I’ll spare you all the details, but we argued… in anger I said fine! I won’t take the gig, but it was not with love and compassion that I did so- it was an angry and resentful promise. My partner then said that I should do the gig but continued to needle and guilt me for leaving him. He told me I valued money and work over him, which I resented because I consider myself a very loving generous and compassionate person… surely he was wrong.
I remember thinking I can’t win. If I take the gig I make money but disrupt peace in my house and show my partner that I value cash over love, if I don’t take the gig I will resent him for losing a fun experience and money that could help pay our bills. I prayed to my inner spirit to guide me. I took the night to sleep on it. I awoke the next day clear headed. I know my Star Trek and like Captain Kirk I refused to believe in a no win situation. I heard Reverend Tony in my head saying “do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy?” With all the turmoil that cancer in general was already causing in our lives I desperately wanted to be happy. So I shifted my thinking from fear to love. Instead of being fearful that we might not have enough, I realized that the universe has always 100% provided for my needs. That I could truly be the person who valued my partner above anything else, the person I knew I truly was. I canceled the gig with a happy heart and told my partner I loved him and would be there for him. It felt great. I was happy with the decision and my partner was grateful that I was showing up to love him when he really needed it. You can absolutely choose love over fear and know that the universe will support you. I did and it has not only made me a better person but strengthened my faith that no matter what, when you choose love- it’s the right decision.
Be Not Afraid
I grew up with a strong Christian foundation of spiritual practices, surrounded by a family and community of like-minded church members. Several times it was necessary to challenge the status quo and to stand up against attitudes or beliefs that were in conflict with my understanding of living my Christian life. During the Vietnam conflict I served as a Food Inspector Specialist in the Army, but declared myself a Conscientious Objector and was Honorably Discharged. Today I work with Veterans for Peace and for the end of wars. I left my main line Christian Church because; among other concerns, they did not accept our gay child.
There was never a time that I put aside a sincere effort to be a Spiritual Seeker and to nurture my understanding and appreciation of the personal and communal life of faith in Jesus and in the Light of Christ. When the demands and views of my traditional church became unacceptable when viewed through the Christ Light I felt orphaned. Unity became a safe harbor of Practical Christianity and Spirituality.
For three decades we worked to support, shelter, and feed our Sisters and Brothers at Champ Homes. The Five Principles of Unity continue to call us to be faith in action. In the Light of the teachings of Jesus we continue to be called to respond to a world in turmoil. Our world is so fearful of each other that world leaders openly express the possibility of a nuclear Armageddon. I pray that we can save our world and each other as Spiritual Sisters and Brothers and ONE Human Family.
At Unity we believe that God is all powerful, all good and all loving. Christ Light invites us into partnership with God so that we may be ONE. God calls us through the Holy Spirit to renew the earth and to live forever in the New Jerusalem. The challenges of environmental crises, climate change, famine, natural and manmade disasters, epidemics, wars are calling us back to our radical relationship of love of God and one another.
Blessings, Paul Hebert
Finding My Spiritual Home
When I lived for eight years in a Catholic Monastery, I experienced an eye opening thought. What if Jesus’ message centered on his being followed rather than worshiped? Wow! That would change everything for me.
Thus began a years long search for like-minded spiritual seekers. About twenty years ago, Martha Powers introduced me to Unity. I found my spiritual home! Jesus is our Way shower. What a refreshing concept! The benefits increased from there. As a welcoming community, we would regularly proclaim: We love you, we bless you , we behold the Christ in you and love you just the way you are! Another Wow!
As the parent of a gay child, I found such comfort for myself and our family. The reminder at every service that God is Love and that we are one with that Love, inspires me over and over.
Thank you, Unity, Rev. Tony and all Unity members for providing a lifeline for me!
Submitted with Love,
Adventures Of The First Children – The Breath Of The World
Once upon a time, the First Children who ever lived, a girl and a boy, were playing together outside. They were having so much fun and were experiencing so much happiness and joy. Then their mother and father called to tell them that it was time to come in. They felt sad that they had to stop playing. But they came in anyway because they were obedient children. Their parents asked them to sit quietly at the table until dinner was served. Again the children were sad. They weren’t feeling that happy joyful feeling that was there while they were playing. It seemed to the children that it wasn’t fair that the happy joyful feeling wasn’t there anymore. They began to wonder about having to be still and quiet, something that grownups often told them to do. So they made a plan. The next day they went to visit their friend, Mother Nature. She was in her Garden planting seeds and pulling weeds and doing Garden type chores. The children told Mother Nature about their problem… they hoped that Mother Nature could do something about quiet time. “It isn’t full of happiness and joy like playing is.” they told her, “It’s empty and sad and lonely.” Mother Nature listened to their problem closely. She sat and thought for a minute with her left hand on her chin. Then she jumped up and said, “Children! Let’s Go. I want to show you something.” They all jumped on to her giant flying goose (a gift from her sister, Mother Goose) and flew off into the sky toward the mountains in the west. It wasn’t long before the goose began to go down toward the ground again and soon it landed softly on a hill near the base of a big mountain. “Look over there, children.” said Mother Nature pointing to a large hole in the mountain. “Listen!” she said. The children heard a whooshing sound like the sound of the wind. Then it stopped. And then they heard it again. And then it stopped again. It continued starting and stopping over and over again. It sounded something like this… (In breath) (Out breathe) “It’s the Mouth of the World.” Mother Nature said. “The sound you hear is the earth breathing. I’ve got an idea! Children, I want you to play right here, with all of your might; play as hard as you can and get as happy as you possibly can; play like crazy and raise up your joy. Let it be the most fun you ever had!” The children were thrilled. This was something they knew how to do. So they played and frolicked and laughed and giggled and slid and wrestled and jumped and whooped; just doing anything and everything they could imagine, getting as happy as they could. They played so much that a big cloud of happiness and joy formed right over them. It grew and grew into the happiest joyous cloud there ever was. It sparkled and gleamed and was full of colors. Suddenly Mother Nature took out a big bag from under her dress and gather up the happy cloud into the bag. She motioned for the children to follow her as she walked toward the cave. When she got there she opened up the bag and brought out the happy joyful cloud and placed it right in the center of their cave opening. She sat down in the middle of the opening and motioned for the children to sit beside her. Now the children and Mother Nature were sitting in the Mouth of the Earth and the breath of the earth was passing in and out like a rushing wind. “Watch!” she said. The children were in awe as the cloud of happy joy became like streamers moving into the cave as the earth breathed in and then outwards as the earth breathed out. And they felt this wonderful happy joy washing over them as they sat quietly. They felt wonderful. The happiness and the joy was everywhere. And Mother Nature told them that from now on, just like the earth, that joy and happiness would be available for anyone who sat quietly with their own breath and that kids no longer had to give up their fun and wonderful feelings just because it was time to be still and be quiet. Mother Nature had placed a little bit of the magic happy joyful cloud in everybody’s breath and now there’s no reason to be sad or feel empty or lonely ever again because now quiet time has the same happiness and joy as playing does, built right in for those who listen and pay attention to their breath.
Let’s try it!
Rev. Michael McCluskey
From Competition to Community
That’s how it started. We noticed…
something was changing. You couldn’t tell what it was.
But the glint in almost every eye, reflected
a new intoxicating light and then,
before anyone could say, “Hey! What’s that?”
The color changed again…
a new hue. Feelings changed.
Everyone got lifted. Everybody was affected.
Now everyone is changing. No one is excluded.
Continuing with no end in sight
Even stragglers getting caught up
in this new way of being…
to this new way of responding.
And as the unstoppable flow spreads into our fields,
everyone makes way and morphs, just in the nick of time
to beyond the shallows of winning and losing
into deep, deep caring for our neighbors.