How Much for a Miracle?

We received this from a friend and wanted to share our slightly modified version with you…


How Much for a [tag-tec]Miracle[/tag-tec]?

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even… The total had to be exactly perfect… No chance here for mistakes.

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to the drug store. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment.

Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

“And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,” he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. “He’s really, really sick….and I want to buy a miracle.”

“I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?”

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little.

“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your brother need?”

“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.”

“How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago.

“One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audible.

“And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.”

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents is the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.”

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the miracle you need.”

That well-dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neurosurgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

“That surgery,” her Mom whispered. “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost….one dollar and eleven cents…plus the faith of a little child.


[tag-tec]Miracles[/tag-tec] and the [tag-tec]Circle of Life[/tag-tec]

A miracle is not the [tag-tec]suspension of natural law[/tag-tec], but the operation of a [tag-tec]higher law[/tag-tec]. So by acting in harmony with these higher laws it’s possible to keep miracles moving through our [tag-tec]circle of friends[/tag-tec]!

A circle has no beginning and no end. It is connected like we are to each other. How many more miracles would we see if we all acted like we really are connected in the [tag-tec]circle of life[/tag-tec]?

We never know how many miracles we may need in our lives, so today we share our commitment to support you in these (and other :~) ways through the work we do.

When you are feeling sad …we will help dry your tears.

When you are feeling scared …we will help comfort your fears.

When you are worried …we will help give you hope.

When you are feeling confused …we will help you cope.

When things seem darkest …we will help make them bright.

And when you are lost …we’ll help you see the light.

This is our commitment …our pledge till the end.

Why you may ask? Because you’re our friend.

Today we pass along our commitment through our [tag-tec]circle of friendship[/tag-tec] to you.

You can pass it along to your [tag-tec]circle of friends[/tag-tec] by your commitment to see every person you meet as a friend and every need as an [tag-tec]opportunity for a miracle[/tag-tec].

Then the next time you see, speak to, or e-mail someone you know you can tell them of this story about Tess, and share with them your commitment to [tag-tec]creating miracles[/tag-tec] in the world.

Donations for the Cosmic Drop-Box

Mixing Traditions: [tag-tec]New Year’s Resolutions[/tag-tec], Spring Cleaning, and Boxing Day

happy-new-yearsNew Year’s is traditionally a time to dispense with our old habits and welcome the new. Spring Cleaning is the exercise of a very similar principle, but applied to the physical things in our life. The tradition of Boxing Day is new to us. We initially heard that it was similar to Spring Cleaning, but done at New Year’s.

Turns out, this wasn’t quite accurate. There seem to be two theories about Boxing Day. The more common one is that hundreds of years ago, on the day after Christmas, members of the merchant class gave boxes of food, clothing, and/or money to those they employed, such as trades people and servants.

These gifts were given as an [tag-tec]expression of gratitude[/tag-tec] for service rendered in the same way people today get bonuses from their employer. These boxed gifts gave the holiday its name, Boxing Day. The other theory is that Boxing Day had its origins in that same era from a church practice of putting out collection boxes to receive donations for the poor on this day.

New Year’s Spring Boxing Day

This year, one of the [tag-tec]resolutions[/tag-tec] Beth and I made was to only keep things in our lives that still “fit” in every sense of that word. We want to eliminate the distraction of having things clutter our space that are no longer relevant, appropriate, meaningful, or pleasing.

Those of you who know us will remember that we moved about a year and half ago, and we did a major purging during that move. So this New Year’s day we found that most of what needed to go was clothing from our closets.

Few of these were actually worn out and that, combined with the ruthless pruning of our wardrobe, generated four large bags of serviceable clothes to be donated to a local charity that maintains a drop-box at the community center near our house. So in this way it seemed that we were also expressing some of the tradition of Boxing Day by giving charitably to those in need.

Out With the Old to Make Room for the New

Reflecting on this process brought my awareness to some similarities between our physical and mental wardrobes. My musing stimulated this question: If I can clean out my physical wardrobe of those items that no longer fit, feel right, or express who I have become and am becoming, why not do the same with my mental wardrobe of beliefs, concepts, self-image, etc.?

I many ways these internal and external wardrobes serve similar functions. One function they both serve is to protect us from the elements. My physical wardrobe living in Southern California may be quite different from someone who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, but the clothes we buy protect us from the weather and help us do what we want in both places.

The mental wardrobe of beliefs, concepts, and self-image that I bought into growing up in my family, community, and social environment may be very different than the mental wardrobe you acquired during your infancy, adolescence, and beyond. But, in a similar way, they have served to protect us from emotional and psychological danger and help us do as we want as well.

Another function performed by both our physical and mental wardrobes is to convey how we see ourselves, influence how we are seen, and to create a sense of social identity so that we can fit into the communities we want to be part of.

The Clothes Make the Man, and Woman.

Mark Twain said: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

Well, Lady Godiva may disagree, but wouldn’t it be great if we could just as easily bag up the emotional and psychological outfits in our mental closet that no longer fit or serve us well? And what if all we had to do to get rid of them was to simply drop them into a universal energy recycling bin somewhere? Just send them back to the great vibrating pool of energy where they’d dissolve back into that raw material that all concepts and stuff comes from in the first place.

CrabNebulaDepositWhere might we find such a drop-box? I imagine one a place in space like the Crab Nebula I’ve seen in pictures from the Hubble space telescope, but somehow in the middle there’s a deposit shoot with a big metal handle you can pull down. And when I do it opens into the all-thing-ness of subspace.

Then I imagine standing in front of this cosmic drop-box, and being able to gather up the fabric of all of those ill fitting beliefs and self-images that are woven throughout the synapses of my mind, being able to push them into the open shoot, and then letting go of the handle.

I could even picture myself floating there for a while, enjoying a space of gratitude for being able to clear room in my mental closet. Room that will allow me to attract the beliefs and wisdom that will better help me express who I’ve become, and am becoming at this point in my life. And grateful for having created the freedom and flexibility that allows for creativity in choosing how I might express my true self in the coming year.

Change is for the Good

In thinking about this I realize that life is an ongoing process of outgrowing, shedding, discovering and adopting. I’ve shed many of the mental patterns I once had. They come and go as the scenery of my [tag-tec]life’s journey[/tag-tec]. And, as with my physical wardrobe, sometimes I seem to cling to old mental clothing far longer than it serves me.

So, if life is a process of becoming, then I guess one kind of death is when we no longer shed our outmoded ways of thinking to make way for new ones. It’s when we stop refreshing our mental wardrobe.

For these reasons I enjoyed our New Year’s Spring Boxing Day. Now if I can just keep this awareness in mind for the rest of the year…

Can You Regain Trust in Your Relationship with a Lying Spouse? Part 2

Re-Establishing Trust in Your Relationship

Lost Relationship Trust

(The following is Part 2 of our response to a question we received. To the best of our ability we removed all personally identifying information and have made the situation as generic as possible.)

We assume you have read part one of this response in the previous blog post. We also hope you have taken the opportunity to read the article we suggested near the end of that post. Part one concluded with the importance of [tag-tec]establishing trust[/tag-tec] in your ability to take care yourself in this kind of situation, whether or not you choose to stay with your spouse.

If you choose to move forward in the relationship, then it will be important to establish more openness and honesty with your spouse. It can be quite challenging to [tag-tec]reestablish trust[/tag-tec] with the spouse who has lied about something as important as drug use, and overcoming these issues can take quite a while. So we recommend you only undertake this journey if you trust your ability to take care of yourself along the way.

But, no matter how much you trust yourself, you cannot [tag-tec]reestablish trust with your spouse[/tag-tec] on your own. Your spouse has to want this too. As the saying goes: It takes two to tango. It will take cooperation from both of you to get your relationship back on track.

We have an article that offers advice about how to establish this kind of [tag-tec]cooperation[tag-tec]. And most importantly, it does it in a way that can free you from judgment, blame, fear, and shame that you and your spouse may feel toward each other in this situation.

Following the steps in this article can help you start to reestablish the trust has been lost. It will help you figure out what each of you wants from your relationship and what each of you are willing to do to resolve your current [tag-tec]relationship troubles[/tag-tec]. The title of the article is: 5 Keys for Creating Genuine Cooperation in All Your Relationships

You can the process described in this article to come to agreement about what you want to create in your relationship together, and then make specific agreements to work together to create it. Practicing genuine cooperation is the best way we know to build trust in relationship.

Getting Help for the Journey Ahead

If you both agree that you want to work together to resolve these trust issues and [tag-tec]improve your relationship[/tag-tec], then we suggest you seek the support of someone with [tag-tec]relationship counseling skills[/tag-tec] that you trust. This help can be very important in keeping you on track as make progress [tag-tec]regaining the trust you’ve lost in your relationship[/tag-tec].

You may be able to find someone with these skills by asking your friends, coworkers, or your spiritual counselors to suggest someone they trust. You may already know someone who is fair, impartial, and has the wisdom to provide the guidance you need. But regardless of how you choose to find them, we strongly suggest that you get this support.

Whatever you choose to do next, we hope you are able to do it with compassion for yourself and for your spouse.

We hope this has helped in some small way. We would enjoy hearing from you if it has.

Committed to supporting your happiness,

Beth and Neill

Can You Regain Trust in Your Relationship with a Lying Spouse? Part 1

My [tag-tec]Spouse Lied[/tag-tec] to Me About Using Drugs – Now What?

Lost Relationship Trust

(The following is Part 1 of our response to a question we received. To the best of our ability we removed all personally identifying information and have made the situation as generic as possible.)

We understand that it has been quite a shock for you to discover your spouse had lied to you about being in recovery. We hope the following suggestions may help you get “unstuck” from the confusion you are experiencing and help you choose what would be best for you to do next.

The first thing we suggest you do in this situation is to practice the following two understandings. But by “understanding” we don’t mean that you will agree with the behavior, give up on what is important to you, or resign yourself to the situation.

We simply hope you will experience some relief by practicing these two understandings. This relief will come partly from an increase in your ability to be compassionate with yourself and your spouse, partly from the clarity you’ll gain from knowing which actions you may want to take next, and partly by helping you [tag-tec]restore trust in your relationship[/tag-tec].

Understanding Number One – We Do the Best We Can

The first understand we find important to practice in situations like this is: People are always doing the best they can to have what is important to them. Always!

Before you were married, when you asked if your spouse had a drug problem, they gave you an answer they believed would meet most of their needs in the best way possible. There must have been something that was so important to them that they were willing to lie to you to protect it.

We guess they were protecting their relationship with you. They must have been painfully aware that any other answer than “Yes, I am drug free and in recovery”, would probably have resulted in losing their relationship with you. So in their mind they were faced with losing you or lying. And [tag-tec]saving the relationship[/tag-tec] with you was more important than telling the truth.

Unfortunately, it seems that their lie was not very effective in the long run. Now that you’ve discovered it, they seem in danger of [tag-tec]losing the relationship[/tag-tec] anyway. But, again, it was the best your spouse could do to protect what was important to them in that moment.

This same understanding is also true about their use of drugs.

There is some need your spouse is meeting by using drugs that they have not been able to meet in any other way. We predict that they will be unable to stop using drugs until they discover the need that using drugs satisfies, and then figure out another way to satisfy that need without it costing them so much–such as [tag-tec]losing relationships[/tag-tec] with people they love.

From your message it’s obvious you love your spouse. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be in such pain about this discovery. Helping them discover a less costly way to meet ALL their needs may be the most loving thing you could possibly do for them. But your willingness to help your spouse at this point in the relationship relies on the next understanding.

Understanding Number Two – Trust is “In Here”, Not “Out There”

One thing we’ve learned on our journey of [tag-tec]personal growth[/tag-tec] and [tag-tec]spiritual development[/tag-tec] is that how we are moment by moment is governed by what’s going on inside of us, not what’s going on outside of us.

We could feel joyful as we walk on a beautiful beach, during a gorgeous sunset, hand in hand with the one we love. But our joy is not caused by the beach or by the sunset. And it is not caused by the person holding our hand.

Our joy is springs from the fact that each of these things deeply satisfies something that we cherish. If we did not care about the aesthetics of our surroundings or about being in a relationship, this situation would not produce joy in us.

In the same way, the trust we feel is not created by what is going on “out there.” We believe trust actually comes from knowing we have the ability to take care of ourselves: to feel safe and in control of our well-being no matter what is going on in our surroundings. It’s hard to feel trusting if we don’t think we can take care of ourselves.

In this sense, the trust you think you lost in your spouse was actually your loss of trust that you can take care of yourself in your relationship with them. After all, how can you really take care of yourself when you cannot rely on the information they give you?

But I’ve never met a person who claimed that they had never lied. So it’s a safe bet that people have lied to you your whole life, and probably will continue to do so. You probably already know this. And in spite of this, you have done a pretty good job taking care of yourself, even though people sometimes lie to you.

Trust Yourself

In your situation, whether you choose to leave your spouse or not, we suggest that trusting yourself is the first kind of trust you need to establish.

Are you able to take care of yourself? Can you do what it takes to [tag-tec]live a happy life[/tag-tec] even though your spouse has lied to you?

Establishing trust in your ability to take care of yourself is important whether or not you choose to stay with your spouse.

But what if you still want to stay in the relationship and you find that you don’t really have that kind of trust in yourself? ┬áThen you can use this situation as an opportunity to learn better ways of taking care of yourself as you work through these problems.

For support in this process you may find value in our article titled: Lying – Why It Happens and How You Can Regain Trust as you Rebuild Your Relationships

As you improve your ability to trust yourself, you can begin to focus all of your attention on resolving these issues and moving forward in your relationship. Trusting yourself gives you confidence that you will be okay in the process.

In our next blog post we will discuss ways to [tag-tec]reestablish trust in your relationship[/tag-tec], and how to use a very specific process for creating genuine cooperation as a way to do this.

Until then, we hope this has helped in some small way. Please let us know if it has. And feel free to post a comment below if you would like us to clarify anything we have offered here.

Committed to supporting your happiness,

Beth and Neill

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