When I found Unity in 1980, I had just finished work on my master’s degree in psychology. I had been on a path of self-actualization ever since my first psychology class in high school and was eager to help others self-actualize too.
While trying to discern my next step, a friend invited me to go to his Unity church in Denver, Colorado. It took him six months to talk me into going, but when I finally went, it was a true homecoming. When I heard that the very presence of God is within, I started crying. I had never heard that before. Knowing the very presence of the Divine is within was the missing piece for my journey to self-actualization.
I applied to Unity ministerial school and graduated in 1986. While there, I realized there was another step to wholeness. Under the guidance of Rev. Marvin Anderson, I understood I needed to do some additional inner work. Anderson told us that our job was not to be ministers but to never stop working on healing our own consciousness.
I have now been an ordained Unity minister for 36 years. I have learned that the first step in a spiritual journey is to connect with God within and also with our authentic self. This is the place within us that has never been harmed.
I believe that deep within the heart of all human souls is a desire to help others. Once we know the truth about who we are, we need to heal what stands in the way of expressing our divinity.
Reconnecting to Our Authentic Selves
When Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” I believe he was speaking about reconnecting to our authentic selves, both our own and those of others. When Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them,” he was telling us to gather in a consciousness of the higher self within. When we do that, we are connected deeply to one another, and there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
Another essential step on the spiritual journey is healing what stands in the way of expressing our true spiritual nature. To do this, I’ve had to keep looking deeply within. Eleven years ago, my life took a deep dive into loss. Most of the things I counted on were gone or threatened, including my job and an important relationship. At the time, I knew I needed to either grow and heal from the loss or I would not make it. Though the journey was painful, I found and created many ways to connect with myself, others, and God. Here are the steps I took myself and that I now teach others in my counseling, therapy, and coaching business:
1. Connect with my truth, including my authentic or divine self. Everyone has their own truth, including perceptions, history, feelings, thoughts, desires, passions, dreams, and more.
2. Heal what stands in the way of expressing the person I have come here to be. I found I had to do some grief work, which society has erroneously taught us is unnecessary since all we need to do is “release the past.”
3. Take at least the tiniest steps to fulfill my purpose now. When I started connecting to my truth, I automatically began to discover my deepest passions, desires, and purpose, as well as my authentic gifts or inner strengths.
4. Express my truth to others and be my truth. This involves speaking truth in love without attack and using advanced communication techniques.
Unity teaches that the very presence of God is within, but I learned that just knowing this is not enough. I believe that deep within the heart of all human souls is a desire to help others. Once we know the truth about who we are, we need to heal what stands in the way of expressing our divinity. The world needs all of us who are willing to know the truth about our divinity and heal now.
This article appeared in Unity Magazine®.