Posted by: tresha | June 12, 2007

The night I turned 10

White box, blue box, white box, blue box, blurry box, blurry box, blurry box.
“Oh, stupid tears! You’re getting in the way of my pattern finding!” I angrily pulled my eyes away from their gaze at the plaid canopy fabric arched overhead. I forced them instead to stare at the white wall next to my bed. At least there, the blurrs from my tears wouldn’t be so obvious.

But even that bothered me. I buried my head in my pillow and sobbed and sobbed loudly. “I hope she hears me and comes to my rescue.” The concept of turning ten years old still overwhelmed me and somehow, crying eased my panic.

I heard a door creak open and felt the presence of someone sitting on my bed.
“What’s wrong Tre?”
In a moment I knew it was my sister, Tanya proving to me yet again her mastery of ‘big sis’ role, especially when mom was out on stupid dates with stupid men like stupid Spud. (yes, that was his name).

“It’s not fair!’ I shrieked. “I am now a 1 and a 0. Two numbers Tan Tan. It’s going to take me that much longer to head all my papers. I don’t wanna be ten. I really loved being 9 and even 8. Why must I now be a 1 and a 0?”

I turned away and sobbed and sobbed. I avoided big time telling her what I really feared. Wearing bras and getting my period. That’s what happened to ‘Margaret’ when she was 10, my favorite character in a Judy Blume’s “Are you there God, it’s me Margaret.” And both things symbolized growing up. I didn’t want to grow up. I wanted to be a little girl forever. And a one digit one at that, preferably 8!

Tanya did what she does best. She let me cry. She stroked my bangs, my hair, and she even put Trina, my favorite ‘ugly’ doll, in my arms.

She was an expert at growing up, her 11 year old wisdom shockingly genius to me. And while her strokes comforted me temporarily, the fear of getting my period and real boobs just bothered me so much.

“Everyone’s gonna make fun of me even moreso Tan Tan. They already call me
Tresha tubbolard. Now it’s gonna be ‘torpedo titties’ and ‘on the rag’. I’ve heard them calling out to Michelle like that. I don’t ever wanna go to school again. And where’s mom? Why is she out on a date on my birthday?”

It was a downpour of emotions on this, the evening of my 10th birthday, the first one I could recall despising. No cake or song or party for me that night. My newly divorced mother was out on the town with a date, my birthday cake still frozen (she’d told me we had to wait) and now I had to swallow never being one digit again.

My sister must have felt the need for more than stroking hair comfort.

She said, “Tre, let’s see what God has to say about all this, okay? Go get your Science and Health.” Oh, she was so wise. I’d plum forgotten to pray! And here was my genius sister once again working her wise ways.

She turned on my bedside lamp and snuggled under the covers with me. And just as she was about to read, I gasped in fear “Tanya, what’s Betsy gonna say if she catches you in here?” The babysitter had been given strict instructions we were to sleep in our separate rooms.

“Tre, she’s probably watching TV or talking on the phone. She’s not gonna get mad. Besides, we’re talking to God.”

She held my hand. “Now hush and close your eyes and listen to God.”
And then she did that amazing thing she always does when she prayed with me.
She started to pray out loud the ‘Scientific Statement of Being’ that we’d learned from studying Mary Baker Eddy’s ideas in Science and Health. I tried really hard to focus my thoughts and listen, tough to do when you’re in absolute awe and wonder of your sister. She was nothing short of a goddess to me at that moment. And when she saw me staring at her lips mouthing the words, she squeezed my hands, told me to stop peaking, and started over. Here’s what she said:

“There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.
All is infinite Mind and it’s infinite manifestation. For God is All-in-all.
Spirit is immortal Truth;matter is mortal error.
Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal.
Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness.
Therefore, man is not material; He is spiritual.” (p. 468: 9)

I felt calm. I stopped crying. My sister reminded me that I was spiritual. I didn’t really know what that meant. But I knew it meant that I had to think about myself more than just a number. I had to think of myself as “the image and likeness of God.”

She continued to comfort and teach me.

“See Tre. God loves you. You are His image. So that means that you are everything good: you are happiness, and joy, and you are smart and pretty. Why? Because you reflect God. You are His image. And you are not just a number. You are an idea that is always good. God never wants you to feel bad, or sad, or scared—ever! So you have to throw away all the thoughts that are making you sad. God isn’t making you sad. And you don’t have to listen to anything unless it’s a God thought.”

“How will I know?” I pleaded.

“Oh, that’s a cinch!” she exclaimed. “Just see if it feels like love. If it doesn’t, it’s it’s not a God thought and you don’t have to believe it.”

“So let’s pray together” she encouraged.
And she squeezed my hands tighter and said “God loves us, right now, always. We are His image and likeness. We are spiritual and good, loving and honest. We are not listening to fear stuff. We can only hear God’s thoughts. We are not afraid.”

And then she added: “Tresha doesn’t have to be scared about being 10 or getting boobs or getting her period. She is just growing up. And she will feel God’s love and only ever that. She will know that she only ever has to listen to God’s thoughts, not fear. And she doesn’t have to expect people at school will be mean or call her names. And if they do, she can turn right to God and feel that Love she expresses. She can feel happy about being in 5th grade, changing classes, and making new friends. And she doesn’t have to be mad at mom because mom’s trying to be happy too. And tomorrow we will make sure to light 10 candles on her birthday cake and blow them out after she makes a wish. Amen.”

She squeezed my hands, kissed my cheek and asked, “Better now?”

“Yeah. Thanks a lot.” She crawled out of my bed and tip toed to the door. And as I heard her leaving, I already knew what I would wish for when I blew out my candles:
I closed my eyes tight, squeezed my hands together and with my 10 year old faith begged: “Dear God, Please make me as smart as my sister — but I still never wanna wear a bra.”

And I fell asleep staring at the crisscross pattern, blue box, white box, blue box, white box, this time, no blurrs.

Posted by: tresha | June 8, 2007

‘The time for thinkers has come”

“The time for thinkers has come.”

Mary Baker Eddy’s words in the preface to Science and Health, have always made me pause and ask: “Well, cool…okay….so this is a time for thinkers. Okay…but why? And who are they? And what do they think about? And am I one? Should I be?”

Later in the same paragraph she asserts:
“Ignorance of God is no longer the stepping stone to faith. The only guarantee of obedience is a right apprehension of Him, whom to know aright is life eternal.”

Okay.

Truth: the two words that used to echo most from those lines were “ignorance” which I never felt like I intentionally had. And ‘obedience’ which I felt I’d had enough of.
Another truth? I never liked these two lines when I was in highschool and college.

For one, ‘ignorance’ implied to me an intentional unwillingness to not find out stuff about something. And the word ‘obedience’ also felt really loaded. Made me think of teachers in school, my parents, their rules and how much my older sister followed them unquestionably. (love ya Tan Tan! :) )

And then associating God with these two words made it worse. God never felt like something I was choosing purposely not to know, I just didn’t really ‘get’ what God was for a long time. But even what little I did know, I didn’t feel obligated to ‘obey.’

To me, God was this friend, albeit one I really didn’t know too well, but not some judging big meanie guy out there who’d nod with approval or scold with disapproval if somehow I messed up with something.

So this paragraph, while opening with such a statement of hope, always felt unsettling.

Until one day I opened up the good ole dictionary and read what Webster had to say about ignorance and obedience.

Ignorance is defined as: lack of knowledge, education, or awareness.
Obedient is defined as: willing to obey…and ‘obey’ = ‘to follow the command or guidance of”

Wow…pause…gulp. Could it be that Eddy was implying that in fact God could be known and followed in a right way?

I began to think so.

And better still, to know and to follow God in a more comprehensible way resulted in that promise of ‘life eternal.’

And ‘eternal’ is defined this way: ‘everlasting; perpetual; characterized by having fellowship with God.’

Okay….so a knowable God…something that can be understood and followed….and that has the potential of yielding perpetual goodness.

Wow. Suddenly this preface page was becoming much more welcoming than I’d previously thought. What’s more, I was beginning to see that the text that follows might just be that very roadmap I was needing—how to know and follow God.

So give it some thought and take a look for yourself.
–A knowable God…something that’s known can be lived and proved.
–The ability to ‘follow’ or to me this means ‘be’ what God created me to be.
–The good that will result.

In fact, in these very same lines I used to resist, Mary Baker Eddy is offering a statement of hope and promise: yes, God is knowable (how many people don’t think so)? yes that knowledge is practical–can be lived and proved. and yes, goodness will result….

Whoa. Kinda makes ya wanna dive in and start figuring it out, huh?
Here’s to knowing and following a comprehensible, proveable sense of God and to the lasting good that results!

Stay tuned for more insights on this first part — the Preface — of Science and Health. (It’s turning out to be a wonderfully loaded couple of pages!) :)
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Feel welcome to offer any comments and if you want me to be in touch, email me at: tresha.cs@mac.com. Thanks much for reading and sharing! :)

“To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.” (Science and Health, preface, p. vii:1)

The first time I learned of this promise was on a morning drive to my school as a young girl. My grandfather belted this promise out loud. I looked at him. I think I was 5 or maybe 6 years old.

“Pop pop?”
“Yes honey?”
“What’s a sustaining infinite?”

I still hear him giggling.
“Honey, that’s a phrase Mary Baker Eddy uses meaning God. Today is big with blessings for anyone who is leaning on God.”

I already knew who he referred to. Mary Baker Eddy was an author my Pop pop read daily. I always thought it rather neat that my grandfather, a man who I trusted with my whole being, would read the words of a woman every single day. If he valued them, they were—to me—unquestionable.

“Why doesn’t she just say God?”

I’ll never forget what he said.

“Honey, not everyone believes in God. But most everyone believes in a ‘sustaining infinite’….a power that anyone at any time anywhere can turn to for comfort, for love, for healing. And don’t you ever forget that.”

I see myself still now mimicking those words. I loved learning big words while a small child. I probably loved too showing off the big words I knew in school. And I remember that day parading around my first grade class room asking every classmate if they’d ever heard of a ‘sustaining infinite.’

Little did I realize then the power of those words or my grandfather’s explanation. But in this, my first attempt to show how I’m unpacking the meaning of the ideas in this book, Science and Health, I turn to you and invite you to consider the depth and breadth of this statement:

“To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.’

Webster defines sustain as:
‘to give support or relief to; to supply with sustenance: nourish; to keep up, prolong; to support the weight of; to buoy up; to bear up; to support as true, legal, or just; to support by adequate proof.’

A power that supports, relieves, nourishes, prolongs, supplies….that’s surely worth believing in. Kinda makes God present, active, accessible and available. What do you think?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To share your ideas, your perspective, leave a comment below.
If you wanna chat further, email me at tresha.cs@mac.com and lemme know how to be in touch with you.

Be well, Tre :)

Posted by: tresha | June 5, 2007

Why a blog about this book?

First written in 1875, Science and Health is Mary Baker Eddy’s seminal work which defines her discovery of the system of healing she denominated Christian Science, as described by her “the term employed by me to express the divine, or spiritual, Science of Mind-healing (Unity of Good, p. 37:1).

The book available to readers today is the work of a life. Eddy edited Science and Health over 400 times for accuracy of delivery. She was, for a time, the book’s sole publisher, promoter, and eventually established a publishing society to ensure the book’s publication.

So, why a separate blog to discuss Science and Health, why not just reference it in my blog about my journey practicing the ideas in this book?

Well, I could simply say this book has changed my life and refer it to you as a must read.

But more than that, the message in Science and Health offers the only thorough statement known which not only defines the Science of God as Mind, but also which instructs the reader—any reader, regardless of background or professed creed—how to apply this Science day to day, how to know God and make practical your spirituality, and experience pertpetual inner peace, health, and harmony—for yourself and how to help others so the same. It’s message is for all thinkers, for all time.

And I’m becoming more and more certain that using these ideas ANY ONE can prove the divine Science explained therein resulting in complete freedom from discord of any kind. Think of it: relief from pain and suffering for yourself, your neighbor, our world. And it doesn’t matter if the issue is physical, emotional, financial, or the result of upbringing, cultural or economical, or ideological circumstance.

Truth? There’s nothing that can not be healed by applying the teachings in this Science. It’s that huge. And hence why the content of Science and Health is that important of a message.

And that’s what brings me to this blog. For it’s only recently that I began to weigh in with my understanding of the ideas and consider what the author’s overall goal might have been when she penned these chapters 130 years ago. Surely, she was a thinker who thought in terms of the next millenium. And I venture to say it was her intention that these ideas would evolve world peace and freedom from all pain and suffering. In short, I am convinced this volume of 700 pages holds the roadmap to universal harmony and individual/collective salvation.

Over 10 million copies sold. In print for over 130 years. Available in 17 languages including Braille.

The blurb on the back cover reads “Today it remains one of the most enduring books on spirituality and healing and was chosen as one of 75 books by women whose words have changed the world (Women’s National Book Association).”

This is more than ‘you’ve gotta read this book.’
This is more like an emphatic ‘don’t lose another moment.’

In its preface, Eddy affirms:

“The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away. Ignorance of God is no longer the stepping-stone to faith. The only guarantee of obedience is a right apprehension of Him whom to know aright is Life eternal. Though empires fall, ‘the Lord shall reign forever.’ “ (p. vii:13)

Get the book. Dive in and start reading. And check back frequently to this blog where I’ll share my findings and welcome you to offer yours.

Thanks so much for investing thought into this project. Reading this book will change your life. It’s that huge!

~~~~~~~~
For more information on anything you’ve read, post a comment or email me at: tresha.cs@mac.com and tell me how to be in touch with you.

Thanks for reading and be well, Tre :)

Posted by: tresha | June 5, 2007

Why a blog about this book?

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