Let’s Get Real About Relationships

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Happy Post Halloween! With Halloween behind us it means we are now in November. Remember to turn your clocks back this Saturday night.

On Sunday we continued the new series “Getting Real”. We looked at getting real in our relationships. Everywhere we turn we are in relationship, whether in a romantic relationship or with family, friends, co-workers or the clerk in a store. If we are in this human form, we will always be in relationships. So, what does getting real in relationships mean?

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, said in his book Talks on Truth: “‘God is love, and to live in God-Mind, man (humankind) must cultivate love until it becomes the keynote of his life. We must love everybody and everything, ourselves included. Some people hate themselves. Self-hate is destructive. You must love yourself. Affirm the infinite love as your love, and you will find that there will be generated in your mind and body an entirely new element…

Love is the magnet. You must have love. You cannot live without it. Then begin to live in the thought of love. Personal love is part of the law, but divine love fulfills the law. Center your love thoughts upon God, and you will find love for your fellow man growing marvelously.”

I present you with three gestures of Love. If offered, these will move your relationships to a higher and more holy level, and they will be more real!

  1. Compassion
  2. Kindness
  3. Authenticity

Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind, wrote this about compassion:

“Compassion and caring are the ties that bind us together in mutual understanding and in the unified attempt to uncover the Divinity in each other. Compassion is the most gentle of all human virtues, for it is the outpouring of the Divine givingness through all.”

Mother Theresa said this about kindness:

“… Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”

And Brene Brown, my new favorite author, said this about being authentic:

“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.”

Brene touches on the most important point that needs to be made: when we don’t have these qualities for ourselves we can’t express them to others.

Next Sunday the message will be “Let’s Get Real About Life” — this human life with all its ups and downs.
You are a blessing in my life,

Rev. Patricia Bessey

The Mask We Wear

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

fall-back-200widgetI often say change is inevitable, and if we are evolving we are changing. So let me share with you some changes that are about to happen or have happened. This coming Saturday night, before going to bed, turn your clocks back. We are changing back to Eastern Standard Time.

One set of changes that has already happened is on our Board of Trustees. Nancy Callas and Yvette Nadeau have stepped off the board for personal reasons. We were blessed to have Nancy serve for nearly two years and Yvette for nearly a year.

Because of these vacancies we have appointed Barbara Kowalska, who has been an alternate, to fulfill Nancy’s term. Yvette was an alternate as well, so we will not be filling her position until our annual meeting. Our heartfelt thanks for both for serving Unity of Greater Portland.

Change has happened as well with our Prayer Chaplains. Our Prayer Chaplains are a vital part of this ministry. They make a one year commitment to serve this community and we are very grateful. Sue Vittner, coordinator of the Prayer Chaplains, held their dedication on Sunday. The Prayer Chaplains returning for another year are Carolyn Sanford, Barbara Kowalska, Jack Cole, Christine Wolf, Lorrie Marx-Adams, Mimo Otis, Bonnie Grover and new to the team Matt Purinton, Karen Bailey and Hilary Hayes.

A special thank you to Todd Glacy, Cynthia Froehlich, and Jaclyn Ashla for their past service as Prayer Chaplains. We love and appreciate you.

With Halloween happening on Monday, I chose to do a talk about the masks we wear. We all wear a mask sometimes. We don’t wear them all the time, but we keep them handy in case we need them. One of the masks we wear is “The Holy One,” who hides behind a mask of spirituality and uses it as a substitute for relationships. Under her mask is a fear of intimacy and a fear of being unlovable. Some other common masks we wear include: Broken Wing, Spit Fire, Merry Sunshine, Possum, and Pretty Bird.

Broken Wing wears a mask of helplessness and victimization. He or she is sad, sad, sad. They have a sad story that they tell over and over. It keeps them from having to assume responsibility for finding a solution for their problems. As a matter of fact, if you offer Broken Wing a suggestion, she will say “I’ve tried that” or “I couldn’t do that.”

Masks, such as those worn for Halloween, can be fun to wear for a short time. They help us pretend we are someone or something else for a while and it gives us an idea of what it would be like. The masks that are harmful are the ones we create that cause us to withhold love from ourselves or others. Behind every mask is one who wants the courage to love and be loved unconditionally.

I shared a poem called Please Hear What I Am Not Saying by Charles Finn at the 10 a.m.service, and I encourage you to listen to it.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

Thoughts… Friends or Enemies?

Martha Creek

Martha Creek

Sunday Message by Guest Speaker Martha Creek, Healthy Congregations Facilitator & Trainer, Ministry Consultant

portland-lightMessage from Rev. Pat:

My excitement is over the top! The light tower is under construction as I write. I didn’t realize how much seeing it go up was going to impact me. It is a completion of a vision that I was part of creating in 1991 when we purchased this building. Thank you to all who have contributed your time, talent, and money to make this a reality. Please look up when you drive in the parking lot. You do not want to miss it!

I am not even going to try and write about Martha Creek and the talk she gave on Sunday. She was great and shared lots of good information as well as showed us her light and witty side. Do yourself a favor and listen to the talk on our website (audio player above). A couple of things I will say, however, is that she gave a powerful workshop in the afternoon based on Bryon Katie’s work. Here is the website to learn more. You can also go to YouTube.com to see an array of short talks that Martha has done.

interfaith-portlandBeginning this Sunday is the kick-off for the Season for Interfaith and Intercultural Celebration. We are doing this in conjunction with the Association of Global New Thought. Our hope is to provide people with a deeper understanding of a diversity of various faith traditions. Too often, other faith traditions remain an unknown, a stranger to many of us.

Our faith invites us to welcome the teachings and wisdom of other faith traditions. This requires that we know about the other tradition to respect their understanding and foster relationship with them. In the past, the failure to do this has resulted in conflicts and mutual harm, violence of word, of intention, and the violence of war. This series is a first step toward building this awareness of each other. These demonstrations of Interfaith-Intercultural understandings are foundational to global peace building. Here is a list of the many events that we have planned from September 27 to December 13. We invite you to join us at these events so that together we can gain a greater understanding of our oneness with all and build a foundation for global peace.

You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Pat



Creating Functional Relationships – Getting Unstuck

Sunday Message by Rev. LeRoy Lowell

As I contemplate what to share with you this week, there are so many wonderful, positive things that are happening at Unity of Greater Portland from which to share.

Martha Creek

Martha Creek

This weekend we have Martha Creek with us. Martha is a consultant who has been serving in the Unity movement for over 15 years. Her work centers on bringing practices to ministries that support healthy communities. Martha is about self-realization and the subsequent peace that comes when one becomes awake. She is also a trained facilitator of Byron Katie’s “The Work.”

Martha will be presenting a workshop on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. titled “Self-Differentiated Leading and Living,” and then Sunday from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m., “Living Shame, Guilt and Blame Free – Loving What Is – Doing “The Work.” I encourage you to bring friends; they will be so grateful that you brought them.

We will begin the Season for Interfaith and Intercultural Celebration on September 27. Jacob Watson, founding Abbott of the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine, will be our guest speaker and will be presenting a workshop in the afternoon titled “Interfaith Spiritual Practices.” Jacob has just authored his first book, Essence: The Emotional Path to Spirit.

This past Sunday, Rev. LeRoy completed the series, Soul Relationships. The talk title was “Getting Unstuck.” He shared four points and they are:

• Admit we are stuck
• Make your relationship a priority
• We need to change our ways
• Don’t take hostages

He also shared “The Points of Power,” which comes from the work of Rev. Edwene Gaines. In 1992, we were introduced to the “Points of Power,” and they became a bedrock for our relationship. I will share them with you as well:

1. I always pay attention. So often, we go unconscious in our relationships and are not present to others or ourselves. When I pay attention, I am able to be present to my partner’s desires and goals. I can make a contribution in their lives.

2. I always tell the truth and tell it quickly. This was most difficult for me in the beginning. I was not used to telling my truth, because if I did then they may not like me. Does this sound familiar? When I committed to telling my truth, it often came out sounding angry. In reality, I was so afraid and as a result, it came out with a tone and an edge to it. The more I practiced it, the easier it became.

couple_communication3. I always ask for what I want when I want it. Here was another stopper for me in the beginning. So often, I didn’t know or couldn’t articulate what I wanted. It was usually after something happened that I knew what I didn’t want. This took a lot of practice for me to get clear and I also had to remember that asking for what I want didn’t necessarily mean I was going to get it. I can remember Edwene telling me, “When you don’t get it you need to work on your head for the rest.” Meaning that I might not always get from my partner what I want, and so what might I need to do to get what I want? This is where having good women friends (for women) or men friends (for men) is helpful.

4. I always take complete responsibility for my experience. Again, a big gulp here… when I agree to take complete responsibility for my experience, then I cannot get into the blame game. Nobody can make me feel bad, glad, sad… the more centered in Divine Love I am, the less reactive I will be. So prayer and meditation truly need to be a priority to my wellbeing.

5. I always keep my agreements. The most important agreements to keep is to myself. It is much easier for me to keep agreements with you than it is with myself. What that says is: I see you as more important than I see myself. Also, keeping agreements is honoring your commitments.

You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Pat

Creating Functional Relationships – Beneath The Surface

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

It is September 9, and I wonder how did we get to this date? I remember hearing as a young person that the older you get the faster time goes, and oh, my gosh! It is true! In reality we are one third of the way through the month. It is a very full month as well. Thursday (tomorrow) evening we will be celebrating Unity’s World Day of Prayer. The service will begin at 7 p.m. Please join us for an evening of prayer, music, and drumming. We begin live streaming from Unity Village’s service at 8 p.m.

Friday evening is the start of the Rhythm of Your Soul Women’s Retreat. We have a total of 32 participating in this weekend event. It will be educational as well as a time for creating community and deepening our own soul experience.

Martha Creek

Martha Creek

Please check out our website for additional activities this month. Martha Creek will be with us. If you know folks who are interested in Byron Katie’s “The Work,” Martha has studied with her and will be presenting that material in a workshop the afternoon of Sunday, September 20.

The talk series “Soul Relationships” continued this past Sunday. The title was “Beneath the Surface,” and we looked at the relationship of Samson and Delilah from the Old Testament.

The four key points from this talk were:

Point One: Selfishness can destroy a relationship.

“The purpose of a relationship is not for two incomplete people to become one, but rather for two complete people to join together for the greater glory of God.” – Marianne Williamson

Stephen Levine said, “In order for a relationship to be really successful in the widest sense of the term, you have to want God more than you want your partner.”

Four important ingredients for a successful relationship:
1.    You – what commitment do you bring to the relationship?
2.    Your partner – what commitment does he or she bring to the relationship?
3.    The relationship itself – what importance do you both place on the relationship?
4.    and, most importantly, GOD.

If you are in a relationship or want a relationship, it is best if you are willing to look and see if you have any unhealthy beliefs about relationships and change your perception about them.

couple at sunsetQuestions to ask yourself:

•    What can I become in this process?
•    As a committed partner in this relationship, what am I discovering about myself?
•    Where do I need to grow?
•    What biases, prejudices, or distortions do I have about myself, my partner, or this relationship?

Point Two:  Do not use your partner’s vulnerability to hurt them.

Samson’s hair was his weak spot and Delilah used it against him. All of us in close intimate relationships have learned our partner’s vulnerability. And if we haven’t, it is not a close relationship.

A ground rule for fair fighting: I do not use my partner’s vulnerability to hurt them.

Point 3. Congruency between our words and our actions.

The words “I love you” don’t mean much if they are not followed by loving action. The words “I love you” are very difficult for some people to say, especially if there is history of incongruence between the words and actions.

Point 4. Relationships are only as strong as the depth of what is shared in common.

What I have come to know is that it almost doesn’t matter how much you share in common. What really matters are that the deepest things that are important to you are equally important to your partner. For example, if family is deeply important to you, it needs to be shared by your partner. If your spirituality is really important to you, you won’t have the deepest, most close relationship if your partner does not share their own quest for a spiritual life. It’s more than your parter just being okay with it. He or she has to want it too.

Relations are deeply important and they can be challenging as well. What carries us through is our commitment to God and to the relationship. Today, make a commitment to experience your relationships beneath the surface. In loving partnerships, we can flourish and grow and be so much more than what we ever imagined. That kind of energy can change the world.