Every morning I read the Daily Guides in Science of Mind Magazine, not because I am in complete agreement with what Science of Mind teaches, but because I find ideas that make me think, especialy when I disagree with them. Then I have to ask myself, "if that isn't true, what is?" And I have the fun of thinking about it and writing down what I think.
One recent morning, the subject was "spiritual liberation." The affirmation at the end was, "In this moment, I know I am free. I set the course of my life. I choose my thoughts and concentrate on what I wish to experience."
My reaction was, that if I choose my thoughts from what I already know, I will be imposing limitations on myself.
I would prefer to be open to possibilities I haven't yet thought of. I know there is always more in the "big picture" than I can even imagine, so I want to find new ideas that might be able to change my way of processing the habitual substance of my life.
I have been functioning in, living in, and experiencing the same situation for several years, and am constantly learning new ways of understanding and interchanging with the two sons that are sharing this experience with me. I and they have learned to cooperate with and be kind to each other as we interact every day in all our different moods and states of health.
Earlier in my life, when things were difficult, I used to try to change the outer things--people, jobs, my location, or whatever. Now, instead, I try to look at myself with more honesty, and see what I can change there.
I know that my thoughts create the kind of life I get to live, but I have to do more than keep picking my thoughts out of the same old familiar barrel. Just choosing the best out of the worst is not enough. That's why I don't focus on "getting what I wish to experience."
I've discovered over time, after many decisions that made things worse instead of better, that there are principles involved in choosing thoughts--principles that can keep me from allowing self-will be the sole arbiter of what I do.
The one that has changed me the most is the principle of treating other people the way I would like to be treated. That doesn't mean, "I'll be nice to you if you'll be nice to me;" it means "no matter what you do, I will still treat you the way I would like to be treated in the same circumstance."
Actually, this concept is the reason we believe in the right to a fair trial. It's why civilized people have learned to be polite to each other. It's why we believe stealing is wrong. It's why I greet people with a smile even when I feel down.
It is vitally important to me to give what I'm hoping to get. Otherwise, I don't feel right with the world.