Love Yourself Into Wholeness
By Frank Giudici
Healing the Body By Healing the Soul
Many persons are not able to love themselves because of concern about their physical body, perhaps because of legitimate concern about disease or illness, but also because of inordinate concern about worldly standards of beauty. In this, the second lesson for this workshop, Frank explains how the work of healing the body and healing the body image is really done by healing the soul. Only when these "body issues" are resolved will we be free to love ourselves unconditionally.
15 Spiritual healing is healing of the soul
In opening this portion of our workshop on loving ourselves to wholeness, I would like to say that this whole workshop is dealing with spiritual healing, and that means healing of the soul.
In any situation or condition, the final healing is always that of the soul. People may be in conditions or circumstances, but this is not where the ultimate healing is to be realized. Conditions and circumstances are simply an out picturing of the soul, and the soul is comprised of our thoughts and feelings. To be really healed means to be healed of our thoughts and feelings which have brought about the conditions and circumstances we are experiencing. This is what we are about in this workshop. Specifically, healing our thoughts and feelings about ourselves which are responsible for the conditions and circumstances that we find ourselves in.
16 The first prerequisite is a willingness to be healed
The first prerequisite for healing is a willingness to be healed. At this point, we can all take a moment to respond to the question that Jesus directed to the man at the Pool of Bethesda, “Do you want to be healed?” Friends, let’s our answer be yes. Affirm with me now. I am willing to be healed. Together,
I am willing to be healed.
Now rest in the assurance that healing is forthcoming. As we move ahead in our workshop, we’ll see that finally we’re going to be using the only tools that ultimately bring about healing, the tools of prayer and meditation. While much prayer that is prayed is nothing more than wishful thinking and much meditation that is entered into is mere mental meandering, we’ll see that ours will be simple, direct and practical.
17 Gather pen and paper for proceeding
For this next segment of our workshop, you're going to need a piece of paper and a pen or a pencil to write with. I might say here that the amount of writing you’ll be doing will be very little, perhaps only a word or two or possibly a brief sentence. This will be at three different points in our workshop. Let’s pause here and take just a moment to gather these writing materials together.
18 Three areas of consciousness that prevent loving ourselves
Now what we’re going to do from this point on is deal with three basic areas of our consciousness that are preventing us from loving ourselves totally and unconditionally. I say only three because thank God that in order to be healed, we really don’t have to deal with all areas of consciousness that are preventing us from living a full and a happy life. If we did, it would be a never-ending process and it would look like such a tremendous undertaking that we’d probably feel defeated at the outset.
It’s been said that once you tackle some of the major problems in life and work them out satisfactorily that many of the minor ones seem to dissipate on their own. In other words, take care of the big ones and a lot of the little ones will be taken care of in the process.
This also applies to dealing with certain areas of consciousness. Take care of the major areas and the minor ones will take care of themselves. In doing this, we’re going to deal directly with three major areas.
19 First area - our physical self - safety
The first of which concerns our thoughts about our physical self. Why deal with the physical self first? Well, primarily, because even though as truth students we know that in order to live a happy, successful life, we must be inner rather than outer-directed, we are all still very much outer-directed because of our conditioning in life. In a sense then, we’re all still dealing with the outer which includes the physical self first. Let’s do it in our workshop as well.
Let me give you an example of this. It’s been said that the first contact we make with anyone is on a physical level. That is, when we first meet, we sort of size each other up physically. True, most of this sizing up is carried on unconsciously. Nevertheless, it is carried on. A lot of this has to do with some very primitive responses that are still a part of our total consciousness. In other words, when man first began to emerge from his cave, he began to build into himself certain feelings or emotional responses to whatever it was he encountered outside of his protective, secure cave dwelling.
Since this coming forth from the cave was pretty much always a step into the unknown, man couldn’t be sure of what he might encounter, it was natural for him to be on the defensive and corresponding feelings of defensiveness were formed within him. He sized up what he saw coming to meet him. According to whether or not it constituted a danger, he built into himself certain feelings appropriate to the situation.
These feelings are still with us as a part of our legacy from the past. Today the cave we walk out of is not a hole on the side of a mountain but it’s our house or our office building. Yet, our response is the same. We are prepared to respond first to whatever comes to meet us in the outer. In this way, we are still outer-directed and are giving our attention first to the physical aspect of life.
20 First area - our physical self - getting our needs met
Another example of our outer-directedness concerns our infancy. Picture if you will the little baby in its crib, looking up at what must seem to be a world of giants. When the baby wants something, what does it do? Since it can’t fend for itself, it cries out for physical nourishment, for food or warmth or whatever, and then what happens? Hopefully along comes one of those giants, mother, father or someone and provides the child with what it desperately needs. What’s the result of all this? The child soon begins to develop the belief that the source of all the good it seeks lies outside of itself. In this respect, the child becomes outer-directed.
As we know, this belief that the source of our good lies outside of ourselves later on causes us trouble. It’s only when we get hold of the idea that the true source of our good lies within us as our innate divinity that we begin to get the positive results from life that we all seek.
What we’re saying is that at a very early age, we begin to give much importance to the outer or physical side of life, and this over-emphasizing of the physical carries over into adulthood in the sense that as adults, we still are attracted first and foremost to the physical side of life. With this in mind, let’s continue to deal with the physical side first in our workshop.
21 Our physical appearance and the tyranny of comparison
There are many ways in which we can deal with the physical side, but I would like us to concentrate on one way in particular. This involves one aspect of our physical body in which we are investing a great deal of energy, not all of which is being done constructively. The aspect I have in mind is our physical appearance, the way we look or at least the way we think we look to ourselves and to others. Many people suffer from what is called the tyranny of comparison. We are always comparing ourselves to others to see how we stack up. Certainly this is done in the realm of physical appearance.
We’ve already touched briefly on this in the first portion of our workshop, but let’s go a bit further with it now. Can you recall as a youngster what popularity meant? In part, it meant having good looks. The good-looking boys or girls were the popular ones, weren’t they? At least in many instances, they were, and so what happened? Well, one thing that happened is that some of us feeling that we weren’t as good-looking as others allowed ourselves to suffer from the tyranny of comparison. We began to reject this part of our physical self, and as a result, we didn’t love and appreciate this particular aspect of our physical being. It’s a common story and one that everyone has lived in one way or another.
I’ll tell you something about myself in this regard. If you were to see me face to face, you might notice that there’s quite a wide space between my two front teeth. As a youngster, I received so much teasing about this and became so sensitive to it that I challenged anyone to find a picture of me up until about my 20s that shows me smiling with my mouth open. I was so sensitive to that gap that I just couldn’t do it. Thankfully, things have changed. The gap is still there, but the sensitivity to it has gone and now I can smile with my lips parted.
What I’m proposing is that we all have a part of our physical body that we’re still sensitive about that we are not accepting and loving as we should. You’ll notice that I said a part, not a bunch of parts. We may be unhappy about more than one part of our body, but let’s not try to deal with all of them. As I said earlier, all we need to do to experience a healing is deal with the significant areas that are preventing us from loving ourselves totally and unconditionally. Deal with a major one and the rest will take care of themselves.
22 Example of two sisters
Let me give you another example of what we’re discussing here. I know of an instance of two sisters growing up together in a family that was for all practical purposes a loving family. The two sisters got along well together and there were no real problems between them. Yet, when certain members of the family would refer to the sisters in conversations with other people, it was not uncommon for the family member to speak of one sister as the pretty one and the other sister as the smart one. Even though these references to the two sisters may not have been spoken with malice, they still did their damage and were responsible for emotional scars that the sisters had to deal with later on in life.
The one sister grew up feeling that she was not very bright, even dumb if you will. It was of no solace to her that she was considered pretty. All she heard was that she was not intelligent. The other sister, the intelligent one really heard only one thing on a deep, emotional level, and that was that she wasn’t pretty. To hear that she was intelligent didn’t help her self-esteem all that much. For she as many others have done, allowed herself to suffer from the tyranny of comparison.
23 Physical appearance and worldly standards
The point once again is that we all have an aspect of our physical appearance that we’re probably still not happy about and that is contributing to our not being able to love ourselves totally and unconditionally. It’s important that we come to terms with this aspect of our being, for if we don’t, we’ll never be able to experience the fullness of life. We’ll always keep feeling that there’s something wrong with me. I’m not good enough because I’m not pretty or good-looking enough or whatever. We have to begin knowing that we are good enough no matter how our physical appearance stacks up as far as so-called worldly standards are concerned.
It’s true that it might be easier for a person to accept a certain part of his or her physical self if that part were more acceptable as far as worldly standards are concerned. It doesn’t guarantee that a person would be able to totally accept his or her physical appearance but it could help along that line. To this end, many people have undergone plastic surgery, and certainly this is acceptable since the plastic surgeon is also an instrument or a channel through which God can work to bless an individual. Even though the physical has been altered to something supposedly more acceptable, the person still has to change his or her thoughts about that physical part and about himself in general if he expects to be healed of any lack of self-love that he has subjected himself to.
You can change the outer, but, again, it doesn’t always guarantee a change in the inner in the consciousness of the individual. Two, plastic surgery even if it was a fool-proof answer is not available to everyone for various reasons. What can be and has to be done in those instances? As previously stated, the final solution lies in changing one’s thought about his physical appearance.
24 The first effect of changing our thoughts is peace of mind
Through that changing of thought, a lot of wonderful things can happen. First of all, these is great peace of mind that comes with an act of self-acceptance such as this would be.
Maybe this is the most important of all possible results that could occur since peace of mind is an essential to happy, constructive living. When you’ve got peace of mind, then you’ve got a fighting chance, so to speak, of accomplishing things in life. It’s probably safe to say that nothing of any real value was ever accomplished without some degree of peace of mind. We can be thankful for the peace of mind that comes through acceptance of one’s physical appearance as well as acceptance of other areas of our being. We can use that peace of mind as a springboard to accomplishing much in life and thereby bringing abundant blessings into our life and into the lives of all persons with whom we are concerned.
25 The second effect is the possiblity of actually changing the body itself
Beyond peace of mind then other benefits that would result from our accepting our physical appearance totally and unconditionally, there is another effect that is possible. Through the changing of our thoughts about our physical body, we can also change the actual shape or appearance of the body. To be honest, while it’s always possible to do this, it may not be probable in certain instances. In other words, the possibility always exists, but the probability may not be very high. The reason as to why the probability may not be very high is that the thought patterns within our consciousness that are responsible for the formation of certain parts of our physical body are often deeply embedded and not that easy to change.
For instance, a large nose is in some way the result of certain thought patterns we have been holding about our physical body and about the nose in particular. These thoughts are probably very deep within us and we’re not even aware of them consciously. It’s true that if we could go to work on these particular thought patterns that we could directly, and this means without the use of surgical or any other outer means, change the shape of the nose. In other words, it’s possible, but because of the strength and intensity of the longstanding thought patterns involved, it really wouldn’t be probable that a change could be made in this way.
Nevertheless, a change could be made in this way. One of the cofounders of Unity, Charles Fillmore, took a long step in this direction. Through the use of affirmative prayer and an awareness that in his spiritual self, he was created whole and free from limitation of any sort, he was able over a period of years to extend what was once a badly withered leg into one that caused him to walk with a still noticeable but comparatively slight limp. It’s been said that in order to accomplish this change, he spent as much as three or four hours a day actively blessing the cells of his body. In other words, changing his thought about this particular aspect of his physical appearance and thereby taking a very significant step in loving himself to wholeness.
The point we’re attempting to make here is that while we may not always be able to completely change our physical appearance through the changing of our thought about it, it is still possible to experience at least some degree of physical change or at least a healing of our thoughts about it.
26 Most important is the effect on our consciousness of wholeness
Beyond the bringing about of an actual change in our physical appearance, the important thing is that in changing our thoughts about our physical appearance, we actually achieve a greater consciousness of wholeness in relation to our physical appearance. When this has been done, that large nose, that gap between your two front teeth or whatever it is that has been bothering you about your physical appearance will no longer bother you for you will have loved your thoughts about it into a state of wholeness.
Let me give you an illustration of a friend who was able to love her thoughts about her bodily condition into wholeness through prayer and self-acceptance. A childhood ailment had caused an imbalance in her physical growth and as a result, there were various parts of her body that were malformed. As she began to love and accept herself as she was, something wonderful began to happen. Although her physical appearance was not measurably altered, her attitude toward it was radically changed for the better and she was soon able to function freely without being hampered by negative thoughts about her physical condition. She experienced a freedom she had never known before and which was obvious to those who had known her over a long period of time.
27 What part of your body have you not accepted?
Now as we hold these thoughts in mind concerning the importance of loving and accepting our physical self, let’s take a step toward doing that very thing. What I’d like you to do in just a moment is write down on the piece of paper you have before you the name of that part of your physical appearance which you have never been able to fully accept about yourself. It may have to do with some facial feature such as your nose, mouth, ears and so forth, or it may have to do with your hair or your lack of it. It could concern the shape of your body or any condition of it, including a diseased or otherwise injured area.
I might say here that it’s sometimes easier if that’s the proper word to use to actually change a diseased or injured part of the body through the changing of one’s thought about it than it is to change a more established part such as the shape of the nose or the height of the body. This is because the thoughts about a diseased or injured part may not be as firmly rooted in consciousness as those concerning the shape of the body. As I mentioned just a few moments ago, while it’s always possible to change the shape of the body or some part of it, it may not always be probable because the thought patterns responsible for that condition are firmly established ones and not that easy to change. However, there is a good possibility that the thought patterns relating to a diseased or injured part may not be as firmly established and are therefore more susceptible to change through the use of affirmative prayer.
In any case, be prepared to write down in just a moment the name of that physical part of yourself which needs to be loved into wholeness. Before you actually do that, let me mention one more thing that might be involved here. If a certain part of your body has come to mind and you’re thinking, “Well, I’ve already taken care of that. It used to bother me but it doesn’t anymore,” and no other part comes strongly to mind, then write the name of that first part, the one you’re wondering about down. It may be that you really have taken care of it, so to speak, and it may be that you only think you have but in actuality, you haven’t. In any case, if you write it down, at least you’ll be giving yourself a chance to check out whether or not you really have healed yourself of any limiting thoughts about it.
28 Assignment - write down what part of your body you have not accepted
Now take just a moment to write down the name of that part of your body that needs to be loved into wholeness by you. Remember, be very specific in naming it, but don’t try to write out a whole paragraph or a terribly long sentence concerning it. Simply indicate in a word or two that one thing about yourself physically that you have been not loving totally and unconditionally. Let’s take a moment to do that now.
Incidentally, there will be several other things to write down as our workshop progresses. Let me indicate now that after we have dealt with these written items in our workshop, it would be wise to destroy the paper on which they’ve been written. You might want to burn it, and in this way, symbolically know that your old thoughts about these areas of yourself have now been purified and are no longer a part of you. They have become as dust which has blown away, never again to return.