The Three Step Process (continued)

excerpted from Inner Healing by Dan Joseph

Let's immediately move on to step two. Let's gather up the perceptions and thoughts that you wrote out in step one (along with their resultant emotions) and offer them to God to be healed.

As I mentioned earlier, I like to use a short prayer in this process. You are welcome to use whatever techniques are helpful to you – prayers, imagery, physical movements, or anything else that supports the releasing process.

I often choose a spiritual figure who represents God's love to me, and ask him to help me release these thoughts. I support you in using whatever approach is helpful.

For the sake of this example, I will include a short prayer below.

    God, I see myself as unfairly criticized.
    I see myself as trapped.
    I see myself as unappreciated.
    However, I admit that these are my own perceptions.
    I am willing to release them to you and receive something new.
    I give you these thoughts and perceptions.
    I ask you for peace, God.
    I release these unpeaceful thoughts to you.
    I release them to you.

At this point, I usually spend some time feeling myself actually handing over the thoughts and perceptions to God. Our goal at this point – the goal of step two – is to release the old thoughts and move into a place of open-mindedness. Regardless of how much time that takes, you can try to reach that "crest of the hill."

If you find it difficult to move into a place of open-mindedness, you may want to say:

    God, I have no idea what to think about this situation.
    I give you my thoughts.
    My mind is open.
    I do not know what to think.

That clears the mind for an inner healing.

When you feel a space opening in your mind for an inflow of new thoughts, perceptions, and feelings, you can move on to step three. Even a tiny opening is enough.

Step Three

During step three, our goal is to become open to a personal experience of God's love for us. Steps one and two were designed to clear a space for this experience.

I often need to spend a few minutes at step three, seeking this inner experience of comfort and love. As I seek for it, I continue to monitor my mind for distressing thoughts, and hand them over to God as they come up.

Again, it may be helpful to say a short prayer:

    God, I am open to your help.
    Please fill me with a sense of comfort.
    I want to feel your love and support.
    My heart is open to you.

The goal at this step is to allow God's love to enter your awareness. That experience will transform your perceptions and guide your responses to the original issue. You simply need to make room for it to enter.

If distressing thoughts and feelings arise during this process (and it's common for them to do so), you can again say a short prayer:

    God, I don't want this thought.
    I want to clear away the blocks to your comfort.
    I give this thought to you.

You may need to tend to the newfound sense of comfort like a gardener would tend to little seedlings. You may need to spend most of the time clearing away the weeds of the old thoughts. But the work is worth it.

If you do begin to experience a sense of comfort or love during step three (no matter how strong it feels) you may want to give it permission to flow through you to others. You can allow it to enfold whatever or whoever comes to mind – including people connected with the original issue. As you let the love of God flow into and through you, you create an ever-wider channel for it. In the process, your mind is healed.

If you aren't able to feel a sense of comfort right away, you may need to "search around" in your mind a bit. This may take some practice. There is a current of peace, or warmth, somewhere in your mind, although it may be buried under layers of distressing thoughts. If you search for it – and continue to release any interfering thoughts – you will clear a space for it to grow.

Once you begin to get in touch with a sense of God's love, you can let that new current of thought alter your perceptions and inspire your actions. This makes the whole process very practical. We're not just seeking a temporary oasis of peace; we're actually seeking a new way to perceive and respond to our issues. We're seeking a new inner path to follow.

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