Monday, April 7, 2008

Affirm and Deny



Anyone who has looked at my blog over time understands how much I appreciate the sermon titles that appear every week, like clockwork, on the marquee outside the Unity Church at Seventh and A Streets NE. I know a lot of people who attend the church regularly. All of them rave about Sylvia Sumter, the minister with the mostess. Even guest speakers create excellent sermon titles at Unity Church. It's part of the culture, obviously.

When I saw "Four Great Denials" last week, it didn't take me five minutes to come up with ten denials that I fall into with regularity. I'm sure I could come up with ten more if I wanted, but who wants to admit to so many denials? Not I! Talk about denial! Whew!!

I wonder what Sylvia thinks the four "great" denials are? I'll never know since I have never attended one of her services. I'm afraid seeing her speak would ruin the magic of her sermon titles. It's a dumb excuse. I should go sometime, particularly because I've heard that the congregation has outgrown the church space and will move to Arlington next year.



Yesterday Sylvia talked about the "Four Great Affirmations." I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with four affirmations that truly speak to me. The way it works is, you're supposed to say out loud, in a declarative way, something you want to become. OK. Why not? But - when I say, "I am an excellent manager of money," the only thing that happens is I immediately feel like a pathological liar. I am not encouraged or affirmed. Perhaps I've been too ambitious in the creation of affirmations, who knows.

There are only two affirmations I say to myself on a regular basis. I believe both of these statements, and too, they help draw me up out of my spirals of drama, always a good thing. One of them is: I'm as close to God as I want to be, an idea I borrowed from the great Rabbi Manewith at Temple Micah. I also frequently say (and believe), Life is good and I am grateful.

Wonder what Sylvia Sumter thinks of as the four "great" affirmations? I'm so curious, but I can't imagine. Can you? Any ideas?

15 comments:

IntangibleArts said...

Great affirmations? In my case, they change by the minute. Can't decide. I'll take one of each, please. To go. Can't stay here. Keep moving. Keep moving. What? Attention deficit what?

oh yeh....

As for "great denials" -- why settle for that when you can have AWESOME denials?

I'm just sayin'...

mouse (aka kimy) said...

have always wondered about sister sylvia - I mean rev sylvia. thanks for providing the puppy's back story.

I'm afraid to say my brain is the repository of scores of affirmations that seem to pop up in times of need.... many are quotes that are particularly powerful (e.g. "life is a lament in one ear and a song in the other") some are bits from some sampler that hung on the wall of my parent's house ("inch by inch life's a cinch, yard by yard life is hard") and some are just little statements like "this too will pass".... I'd love to find out what ss's four GREAT affirmations (and denials) are.... and why four? why not three or seven? well guess there is the four gospels, the and the four cardinal directions.

if you find out what they are please let us know!

wow irises blooming!

Reya Mellicker said...

The irises are early. Lots of southern exposure in this yard. I love them.

Also love, "inch by inch, life's a cinch, yard by yard, life is hard."

VERY cool!!

deborah said...

The Irises are all the affirmation I need today and the Lillies and the Crocus and the photos of the Cherry Blossom Snow.

I'm thinking about these ideas and appreciate the way you weave all of thought, intention, emotion and nature together in great beauty.

Love You!

d. chedwick bryant said...

The wonderfully vibrant Iris -- ! -- what a beautiful sight!

Reya Mellicker said...

Iris: one of my favorites. It's magical talent is that it brings hope.

I think they're sexy.

Washington Cube said...

It's funny. I read "color" blogs and websites, and Pantone (who makes these global decisions) has decreed that blue iris is "the" color for this year.

Four affirmations of faith:

THE GOODNESS OF GOD’S WORLD
THE WHOLENESS OF HUMAN LIFE
THE UNITY OF GOD’S PEOPLE
THE CENTRALITY OF GOD’S KINGDOM

Whenever I see any list: affirmation, denial, vegetable, music, I can always come up with more than I need.

It's funny what I won't blog about. I could list ten denials. I read another blog, about "what if I had married..and then listed all her ex boyfriends." Could have done that too, but some of these lists? I leave the door shut, Reya. I'm learning to leave a lot of doors shut; i.e. don't go there and just shoulder my little bag of sorrows like a grown-up. Life keeps adding to my bag. The optimist in me keeps looking for the blue iris.

Barbara said...

What a lovely first Iris! I miss the beautiful flowers of home in this cold land that's about a month behind.

How about People are by their nature really good?

Affirm, affirm!

ma said...

I think that one of the affirmation could be that the universe is a good place.

Great photo!

Lynne said...

What a gorgeous iris! You captured it perfectly. Such a beautiful purple. I think iris are regal flowers.

Reya Mellicker said...

Good? Bad? Please explain the difference? Or not ...

I don't believe people or the universe are inherently one thing over another. I think we and the bigger reality is so complicated that any attempt to label it diminishes its truth. So - those affirmations wouldn't work for me. Glad there are still folks who wear the rose colored glasses ... my glasses? Purple, like the iris.

deborah said...

ok, now i just want to know about vegetable music. . .

i believe: we are all made from the same star stuff--all of us living and nonliving chemeo, biological, electrical, animate and inanimate things in the Universe

i believe in an omnipresent and conscious life force

i believe we (humans) are made in the image of this force in two ways: we are capable of infinite creativity; and we have free will

i believe in loving kindness

Gary said...

Life is good and I am grateful.

I think this one says it all for me. All my life I have been simply happy to be alive, to share the days with the people I love and so grateful for being me and for being clear headed and for being who I am with all the odd thoughts, loves and enthusiasm I bring to everything I do. I have been blessed with the right people at the right time, finding passion in my life and finding happiness in spite of some real challenges. What more could I ask for but happiness?

lettuce said...

they are sexy reya, this picture captures their velvet as well as their colour, just gorgeous.


life is good and i am grateful.

lucy said...

THAT is an iris, bluer than any eye's iris.