When you’re looking for Truth, how do you know when you find it? How do you know you’ve found what you’re looking for when you don’t know what you’re looking for? How do you differentiate religious beliefs from spiritual Truths? How do you trust the journey you’re on when you don’t know where you’re going?

These were some of the questions going through my mind as I began a conscious journey of my spirituality. At the time, I was in my mid-thirties and there wasn’t really anything wrong with my life. This was challenging for me because I couldn’t voice what was missing. If I did try to explain my feeling of unfulfillment, people didn’t understand it because it looked like I had a great life (which I did). To be clear, it wasn’t that I was unhappy but more like a longing for a depth that I wasn’t able to describe. Little did I know that I was longing to know myself. And what I really didn’t understand was that I was longing to know myself- in the way that Spirit knows me. I wanted to know my Divinity.

Time for contemplation: Have you struggled with wanting more depth to your life? Are you currently struggling now? Can you be okay with not fully understanding and know what you are looking for and still go on the journey of exploration?

We don’t know what we don’t know, so I counted myself very lucky to find a counselor who was able to point out what I was looking for. Now I know that it wasn’t luck that found that counselor for me but a spirituality directed nudge that was powerful enough for me to follow. I don’t remember much about those sessions, only that they were what I needed to provide direction. I was thankful that my desire to discover something more was validated and not dismissed because of the “nice life” I already had. Equally thankful was I for my husband who also supported my need for spiritual exploration.

Time for contemplation: What times can you recall that you have heeded a “spiritually directed nudge” (intuition)?  For you, what is the difference between an intuitive choice and an intellectual choice? How do you know when to use what?

Growing up, I had pleasant experiences with the Lutheran church. We would often go to church with my Grandma and then have family dinners afterwards. I liked the Bible stories and the organ music but the sermons never made much sense to me. Later in life, I had no place for religion. I didn’t understand the outward directed focus of a God that controls people and decides who gets to go to heaven and who is going to hell. Religion didn’t do anything for me so when I started on my spiritual journey, the last place I was looking for was a church. I didn’t know how to bridge the gap between religion and spirituality. I was overwhelmed by the thought of exploring this without any structure and yet my definition of that structure felt too confining for me to think that church would do anything for me.

Until I found Unity.

Time for contemplation: How has religion either supported you or suppressed you in discovering who you truly are? What old beliefs about religion and/or spirituality are you ready to let go of as you explore?

By the time I was a teenager, we were no longer going to church regularly. My parents had divorced which left my mom “tainted” in the eyes of the church. The church she had grown up in was telling her she was wrong, she had failed and she could no longer rely upon them for support. She started going to a Unity church and spoke very highly of it. I didn’t go with her but when she talked about it, it was always in the sense of how uplifting and different it was from her rigid church upbringing. One morning, feeling particularly unsettled, I remembered the church called Unity. I got out the Yellow Pages (hard to believe, I know!) and looked up Unity Churches. I found one near me and was excited to read that they offered Sunday School during the Adult Service. I told my three young girls to get dressed, we were going to church. They asked, “what’s church”?

I arrived that morning, got my girls settled in Sunday School and settled myself in the very last row at the back of the church. I wanted to be able to make a quick exit if needed. I do not recall the message that was shared that day or any specific phrasing that the minister used. But I do know that he was speaking directly to me. I sat in the back and just cried. A floodgate had been opened up and something within me was touched so deeply, I couldn’t stop the tears. Could I really be hearing correctly?

  • I am already good.
  • I am a spiritual being having a human experience.
  • God is not something that can be defined in linear ways.
  • God wants to know SelfHimself through me, as me.
  • I don’t need to do anything to deserve goodness—my existence is enough.
  • I am more powerful than I know.

The physical surrender I felt was the sign of Truth I had been looking for, even though I was unable to define it as such in that moment. Truth does not need explaining. Truth is experienced. It is not justified through the use of the intellect but is felt in the body and the soul. It is the “Peace Be Still” within us despite whatever external circumstances we may be facing. Twenty years of Unity has allowed me to not only comprehend this but to communicate it here with you now.

Time to contemplate: What experiences of truth have you had? Did you recognize them as Truth? What space opens up in you, knowing that Truth is experienced and not thought of?

So what are the principles of Truth that Unity embodies?

  1. God is absolute Good and everywhere present.
  2. Human beings have a spark of Divinity within them, the Christ is within. Their essence is of God, and therefore they are inherently good.
  3. Human beings create their experience by the activity of their thinking. Everything in the manifest realm has its beginning in thought.
  4. Prayer is creative thinking that heightens the connection with God in Mind and therefore brings forth wisdom, healing, prosperity and everything good.
  5. Knowing and understanding the laws of life – also called Truth- is not enough. A person must also live the Truth he or she knows.

These are the spiritual Truths on which Charles and Myrtle Filmore based their initial prayer services back in the 1890s. These gatherings grew as people experienced miracles of healing and prosperity. The Unity Movement was born, grew and continued to evolve (and still does) because of these principles. They are considered statements of Truth because of their transcendent qualities–these principles are not for only the chosen few, they are inclusive of every human being without exception. This was the gospel that Jesus ushered in–the Truth that God is for everyone and is everyone. We are One.

Time for contemplation: What do these Truths evoke in you? On what level do they resonate? On what level do they cause resistance?

I will admit, I struggled with some of these (and still do occasionally). It’s okay to struggle with them. We’re supposed to struggle with big concepts like these. Struggling allows us to ask and explore which leads to discovery, insight and growth. We have to understand that as free-will beings, struggles are presented to have us make a choice. What will we choose to believe is the Truth about our existence? Taken together as a system, these Principles have become a guiding light for me to experience my day-to-day self with a depth that I had not known before. They are a compass that allows me to realign when I become aware of tension and rigidity in my thinking and in my body. These Truths are what melt away fear, for if God is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful) and omnipresent (everywhere present), what do I have to fear?

Most importantly, I have come to learn that working these principles is always internal, within myself. Even in conflict with other people or dealing with challenging circumstances, I have come to understand that I need to use these principles to bring me back to the work that is mine to do. I can drop into any one of them and elevate myself to a higher perspective and deeper understanding.

Time for contemplation: How can you use these principles as an internal compass? What work do you have to do to embody these truths in your own being and in your life? What insights have you gained because you allowed yourself the time and space to contemplate these things? What needs to happen for you to believe that you already are everything you need to be?

I offer you my interpretation of each of these in the hopes that you may see how you can begin to utilize them as a structure for contemplation and integration.

  1. God is absolute Good and everywhere present. My interpretation: There is only God. Reminding myself of this doesn’t mean that I don’t see suffering and challenging conditions of the world. It does mean that my understanding and perception is limited through my human experience. Accepting that God is all that is true, helps me elevate out of challenges and into compassion, acceptance and oneness.
  2. Human beings have a spark of Divinity within them, the Christ is within. Their essence is of God, and therefore they are inherently good. My interpretation: God desires to experience Itself through me, as me and in me. Christ is an energy that embodies the magnificence of all life intelligence. Within the Christ Divinity, there are no limitations. Jesus was the perfect embodiment of this and offered to us–“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works,” This invitation is meant for each of us to claim, utilize and grow into our Divinity just as Jesus did. He was a teacher. Teachers expect their students to ultimately surpass them for then they know they have done well. And we come fully resourced and equipped to be everything we can be on our life journey.
  3. Human beings create their experience by the activity of their thinking. Everything in the manifest realm has its beginning in thought. My interpretation: We are endowed with the gift of creation. Our ideas are our greatest currency. Anything we wish to create is possible and it all begins in Mind. This process is going on whether we are deliberate and conscious about it or completely unaware and powerless. Our minds create our reality through the information received and processed in the continuous moment of now.
  4. Prayer is creative thinking that heightens the connection with God in Mind and therefore brings forth wisdom, healing, prosperity and everything good. My interpretaion: Believing is seeing and we use creative thinking in the form of affirmative prayer to call in those things that we want while denying that conflict, challenges and suffering have power over us. Instead, these are the specific ways we learn to have a deeper connection to the Divine. Without struggle, there is no growth. Prayer allows me to access all of my resources and gifts to move through difficult circumstances and feel supported by the unknowable, undefineable, one Source.
  5. Knowing and understanding the laws of life – also called Truth- is not enough. A person must also live the Truth he or she knows.  My interpretation:  We are free-will beings. We have choice, We have options. We are able to learn and grow and evolve but we must be active participants in this. Thinking about these things is not enough–action is required. I am the vehicle God uses to navigate this world and so are you. Each of those experiences will vary depending on our level of awareness, the actions we choose to take and the level of thinking we cultivate.

As you contemplate your own interpretation of these Truth principles, may you begin to become aware of how life changing they can be as you continue on your spiritual path. Unity is a movement that does not attempt to define God for you but leaves you the space to discover the God of your own understanding. I hope that this guide has provided some spiritual nourishment and food for thought. May you be at peace.

Time for contemplation: What needs to happen for you to be at peace?