A place to discuss how faith experiences have changed your life.
Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:29 am +0000
I'm a people watcher. I like to sit back on the edge and observe how people interact with each other. It can be a very rewarding and revealing exercise which can also help me to understand myself better. That being said, though I like people-watching, which obviously necessitates being around people, I really dislike crowds. The mob mentality along with the relative anonymity of being just another face among many tends to cause people to lose certain social inhibitions dealing with respect, civility and generally accepted social protocols. Having to navigate myself through crowds for any extended period tends to cause me a moderate to great amount of anxiety.
Last Thursday I found myself in just such a situation. I was visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago with my family. It was a free admission day, so as to be expected there were many people taking advantage of this offering and it was quite crowded. We had only been inside for a couple of minutes before the rudeness of the mob and the claustrophobic effect due to the close proximity of so many people began to generate significant anxiety in me. It was then I realized that an exercise I had been utilizing in other ways might help me with this immediate issue.
For about a year now I have been trying to focus myself on recognizing the presence of God in anyone I encounter in my daily routine in order to try to foster and nourish the feeling of the brotherhood of mankind and to more fully realize the spiritual link between us all. I feel that the more I can develop this recognition of everyone as fellow children of God, the more it will become second nature and lead to better and better relationships and understanding. I practice this everywhere -- driving in my car, at the grocery store, at work or any other place I meet people. So, finding myself at the museum with my emotions rapidly rising to the level of Mel Brooks in "High Anxiety", I decided to put my exercise to the test. I immediately forced myself to stop looking at everyone around me as faceless members of the crowd and focused on trying to recognize the presence of God in them instead. My anxiety which had been at the boiling point immediately vanished and did not reappear for the entire trip which lasted several hours. I have never before in such a situation had such an abrupt and profound relief. It was truly remarkable.
I realize that perhaps this could be considered just mental gymnastics which allowed me to cope with my anxiety, but moreso than any other time I had practiced this method, I felt spiritually connected to my Father's children and so I chose to share this with you as a spiritual experience. Perhaps, if you're not already doing something similar, this practice could be of benefit to you too.
Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:21 pm +0000
I feel exactly as you have discribed about crowds... what a truly wonderful response you had to your Thought Adjuster's prompting to discover the Father (other Thought Adjusters) in your surrounding botherhood. I believe this will cause you to make a real connection with that brotherhood in a more compassionate and loving way.
I think I will do the same. Surely it will only bring us to a richer and fuller relationship with our Father when we also relate to our brethren by "connecting" with their Thought Adjusters.
Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:31 pm +0000
I went to the Museum of Science and Industry on Friday last week and enjoyed watching the crowds, especially the school age ones. What helps me is remembering we are all children of various developmental ages, intellectually and spiritually. It was nice that the admission was FREE to those who would come (kind of like eternal survival)!
I met Tamara at the Urantia Foundation while in Chicago and got some Kansas City meeting information (24-27 July).
On the road (currently Pennsylvania),
Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:58 pm +0000
Hi...I have really been sensitive to the beauty and wonder of nature. the colors, shapes, movement, magic, harmony, sincracy, and that peaceful easy feeling giving me a sense of joy and all is right with the world. Earth abides...
Especially in these troubled times and rising prices...all that I see and enjoy is FREE!!! I am taking it all in...
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