“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
In its Greek original, “sound mind” means a state of firm self-discipline or mental dominion.
(II Tim. 1:7)
I am sharing a difficult, childhood experience which has followed me into most of my adult life in hopes of helping others and myself to find healing and be free.
I faced family and religious rejection for being gay during my high school and college years. This led me into years of addiction and heart breaking experiences from feeling unloved and unwanted by the person whom I loved the most who was my own mother. She ridiculed gay people or those she perceived to be gay as I had to suffer in silence. I regret not standing up to her.
After losing her love I went on to attempt suicide in college but failed. I also turned to alcohol to ease the pain.
A couple years later during class instruction on Christian Science my teacher (…CSB) stated: “We don’t want gays and lesbians in our church.” I had no further contact with her after that and made a decision not to return to her associations. She is no longer alive to the human sense. Again, I regret not standing up for myself as I was not strong enough at that time and feared losing God too.
There is nothing in Mrs. Eddy’s writings condemning LGBT people. To those of you, including my mother, sharing anti-gay prejudice, hate and discrimination in Eddy’s name perhaps her response to you all would be: Not in my name!
These combined experiences led me into self rejection which resulted in self-harm behavior. I write this so that even one life may breath easier and for all our youth and adults who didn’t make it.
I cheated death with my failed suicide attempt while others were not so lucky. Perhaps I now have a responsibility to speak up for some of them who never had a voice or suffered in silence like I did.
I posted the following excerpt below from a recent article from JSH Online because it offers a spiritual solution from a woman who suffered from a belief of bulimia because of an error which was uncovered by Christian Science treatment.
She was craving her mother’s love which caused her to suffer from a persistent and dominating demon, which only worsened in her teen years. She states that it was a shameful and humiliating pattern over which she felt she didn’t have control.
I “get it” and appreciated her example of healing rather than reading about another “back ache” or “excessive sleepiness”. Thus she wasn’t speaking beyond her ability and demonstration.
As a result, I went for a walk down a cobble stoned street here in Oaxaca, Mexico at night and stopped in a beautiful, old church with lots of candles lit up and flowers everywhere. I then knelt down in prayer and asked God to give me the strength to forgive my mother to set myself free.
If Christ Jesus could forgive then so could I.
But then the question that came to me is how do I forgive? Then the Oprah clip came into my mind with her definition: “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different”.
I thought God that sounds hopeless. But then a feeling came over me like a warm blanket as I understood why I wasn’t able forgive. I needed to give up the hope that the past could be any different. I was holding on to the if only, it should have been, why didn’t my mom love me unconditionally or ever just pick up the phone.
For the record, I tried to reach out to her over the years which only left me worse off as her last comments to me were that she didn’t want any children in her next life. She also stated she regretted paying for my college education. So I interpreted that as I was unworthy and perhaps started punishing myself because of it.
I also felt Oprah needed a spiritual component to her definition of forgiveness. I found one that moved me to the core from a CS practitioner and listed it after the evidence which demonstrates the importance of a mother’s love in the health and well being of children and adults.
Key Findings and Recommendations:
Although multiple studies point to elevated rates of depression, anxiety and substance abuse among sexual minority people, the panel found that these problems, by themselves, do not account for the higher rates of suicide attempts that have been reported by LGBT people.
THUS, the consensus report identified Stigma and Discrimination as playing a key role, especially acts such as Rejection or Abuse by Family Members or Peers, Bullying and Harassment, Denunciation from Religious Communities and Individual Discrimination.
The Journal of Homosexuality
Next, the interview below is an except from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday regarding Dr. Eben Alexander’s book, “Proof of Heaven”. This example shows how important a mother’s love can be for the health and well-being of a child and adult.
Though Dr. Alexander had built a successful career and had a loving family, he still had questions about his biological parents. Prior to 2008, he tracked down his birth mother… only to learn that she did not want to meet him. After that, says Dr. Alexander, he experienced a deep sadness that threatened to derail everything in his life.
Oprah: You grew up feeling loved and appreciated, but when your biological mother… said she didn’t want to see you, you went into a sinkhole.
Dr. Alexander: It was absolutely devastating, because of the memory of feeling as if I was being thrown away. My adoptive father — a renowned neurosurgeon — would tell me, “You can’t possibly remember anything that happened when you were weeks old.” But he was wrong. Because I later came to realize it was such a deep and powerful memory, it shaped everything about my knowing of this world and how I related to this world.
Oprah: I just got that in a way like never before. And that is why this is a good thing we’re sharing here right now. That is why every mother or father who has to give up a child for adoption should explain to the child why. Even though it’s a baby. So they know the difference between being wanted and not wanted.
Dr. Alexander: Right.
Finally, the quote and excerpt from the article below offers a solution from a Christian Science perspective. Perhaps it will help others heal who feel unloved and unwanted by their human mothers or were labeled “less than” or “unequal”. Some believed this lie and didn’t make it or looked to the false landmarks to kill the pain and emptiness.
The video below brought me further peace and healing when I was at a low ebb during the past holidays in 2015 and didn’t have the strength to study the Bible lesson at times.
Music with the right message can be so healing.
We’re not all great at recognizing when AM is handling us, and at the end of the day that is the underlying culprit we need to overcome… it can be very liberating…because we are not so much trying to forgive a person as give up the personal view of them that is claiming to linger in our thoughts and hearts, when that’s the very thing that we have the divine right to be free of.
Journal Listed, CS
Casting out ‘demons’
From the February 2016 issue of The Christian Science Journal
Sometimes difficult childhood experiences leave an imprint that is hard to shake. When I was in grade school, before I knew about Christian Science, I began to suffer from a persistent and dominating demon, which worsened in my teen years. I had bulimia, an eating disorder, which was characterized by an uncontrollable appetite for food. After eating, the desire was to somehow rid myself of the food I had just eaten. This was a shameful and humiliating pattern over which I felt I didn’t have control.
After embracing Christian Science in my early 20s, I knew I’d find healing. I worked hard for quite a while, praying in every way I knew how, but got no lasting relief. Finally, in utter humility I asked God what I needed to know. I experienced the activity of the Christ just as Mrs. Eddy writes: “Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God’s own way …” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 542). The answer came quickly. Through Truth’s uncovering, it became clear to me that the belief was that I was craving to feel a mother’s love. My parents had divorced when I was five, and I had been raised by my dad, who was a single parent. I was trying to fill a yearning emptiness—but looking in the wrong direction.
With a sweeping sense of relief and gratitude, I felt the touch of the Christ. I joyously began to claim what was true about me: that my Mother, in reality, is God, my divine and only Parent. God is omnipresent. That means present throughout all time as well as all space. I had always been mothered by my divine Mother, even though I had not been aware of it. The spiritual fact was the reality, and I clung to that truth. Within a couple of weeks my understanding of that fact replaced the belief that I had been without mothering. The eating problem was healed completely and permanently. The “demon” was cast out by spiritual truth understood.
It’s important to understand that this prayerful work is not a form of psychology or manipulating the human mind to “think differently” about a painful event. It expunges whatever would leave a kind of hypnotic imprint on thought. It is a recognition that we are not mortals—never have been, never will be. Casting out demons through Christianly scientific prayer is Christ-healing. This occurs in the sanctuary of prayer, where the conscious understanding of God’s power simply obliterates any claim of evil. This is not willpower, but a willingness to yield obedience to God, good, and to Him alone.
Truth does make us free, all of us, everywhere.
Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.