Yes, You Can

Ten years ago this month, I traveled to Unity Village for my first in-person Spiritual Education & Enrichment (SEE) classes. Several weeks before, I had discerned the call to ministry, an intuitive knowing so surprising my initial reaction was disbelief. Must be a cosmic wrong number, I thought. Surely, it can't be for me.

But the call didn’t go away. If anything, it got stronger. And before I knew it, I was on my way to Kansas City to take my first classes. I soaked it all up and had a great time meeting new friends and diving deep into Unity teachings.

In one class, the teacher gave us each a template onto which we could try our hands at writing a Daily Word message. We could even submit them to the editor for her feedback. Many of my classmates jumped at the chance and eagerly—even excitedly—composed their messages. Not me. I felt intimidated. There’s no way I can do that, I remember thinking. I didn’t even try.

I Think I Can’t, I Think I Can’t …

Revisiting those memories showed me something about myself. Looking back on those experiences and on others throughout my life, a theme emerged. Almost every time I wanted to do something, I rarely thought I had what it took. I was all too eager to psych myself out and back off from adventure, from growth, from life.

Their excitement and encouragement surprised me, but I trusted it. I leaned into their vision of my future until I was able to hold it for myself.

But the people in my life—my family and friends—knew better. Each time I thought I couldn’t, they thought I could. Every time I could come up with a list of reasons to not try, they had more reasons I should go for it.

In those weeks before I arrived for classes at Unity Village, I wrestled with my call to ministry. I found so many sensible, logical reasons to not pursue it. In fact, it felt like such a poor fit, I had trouble even speaking the words I want to be a minister aloud. But when I finally got to the point of where I could speak it and share it with others, no one shared my doubts. The opposite happened. Their excitement and encouragement surprised me, but I trusted it. I leaned into their vision of my future until I was able to hold it for myself.

Several years later when the Daily Word editorship became available, several friends and associates reached out to me, sharing that same encouragement as each one urged me to apply for the position.

They Know You Can

Over the years, I’ve learned to listen to the voices of those who believed things about me I didn’t and imagined things for me I couldn’t. People who weren’t subject to the persistent drumbeat of self-doubt and other disempowering thoughts that boxed me into a limited view of myself.

Maybe you have that same limited view. Maybe there’s a dream in your heart that feels beyond your reach. An adventure you’re afraid to try. A goal you’re shrinking from. What are the people in your life telling you? To go for it? They believe in you? You can do it?

It’s time to listen to those voices. Because those are the people who know you. Those are the people who see you. They are the ones who behold the Divine in you and know the depth and power of your gifts. Even if you can’t believe it, you can believe them.

When I attended my first SEE class that bright, crisp, fall day, I wouldn’t have believed it if I had been told then that in fewer than 10 years, I would be a Unity minister and the editor of the flagship publication at Unity. But I trusted those who saw it before I could. I thought I couldn’t. They knew I could. And I did.

About the Author

Rev. Teresa Burton is an ordained Unity minister and licensed Unity teacher. A dynamic speaker and creative instructor, Burton makes Unity teachings easy to understand and fun to learn. Before answering the call to ministry, she worked as an editor for more than 25 years in various capacities in print and digital publishing.

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