This past Sunday, Rev. Kristen kicked off the new 5-week series, “Healed,” with a dynamic presentation that focused on mental and emotional healing as a strategy for cultivating an experience of balance and wholeness in our lives. The “Healed” series is a centerpiece in the first quarter of activities in the UCOH community, also forming the basis for the Spirit Groups’ meetings that began this week. These and other activities support the first quarter theme of “The Courage To Come From Within.”
In Sunday morning’s Opening Prayer, I referenced the life of Louise Hay as being a perfect example of what it means to have the courage to live one’s life from the deepest, bedrock truths of who we are as powerful, spiritual beings. Having overcome incredible adversity in her life before she achieved massive, worldwide success, beginning at the age of 58, Louise Hay demonstrated the innate creative and healing power of which we are capable, by having the courage to come from within. In the process, she not only healed herself of incurable cancer, but also spearheaded a worldwide movement of self healing that will continue to resonate for generations to come.
A Brief History of Louise Hay
On August 30, 2017, Louise Hay passed away, about a month shy of her 91st birthday. As you may know, she was a popular and influential author and publisher of motivational self help books, most notably her own, best selling classic, You Can Heal Your Life, which was first published in 1984, when she was 58 years old.
The same year, Louise Hay founded the publishing company, Hay House. The success of You Can Heal Your Life helped Hay House grow into a powerhouse in New Thought publishing. Since 1984, You Can Heal Your Life has been translated into more than 30 languages, and has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. I have purchased a few of those copies myself. To date, Hay House has published books and audiobooks from more than 130 authors, including Deepak Chopra, Doreen Virtue, Wayne Dyer, Esther Hicks, and Alan Cohen, among many others.
However, Louise Hay’s path to success was anything but smooth. In a New York Times profile, published in May 2008, she recounted her inspirational life story. At the time the profile was published, You Can Heal Your Life was still riding high on the New York Times miscellaneous paperback best seller lists, nearly 25 years after its first publishing. At the time, it had achieved sales of over 35 million copies. In the last ten years, the book that launched a publishing empire has sold another 15 million copies, now eclipsing 50 million total books sold.
Modest Beginnings, Childhood Abuse & A Mid-Life Crisis
Louise Hay was born Helen Vera Lunney on October 8, 1926, to a poor mother living in Los Angeles. Her parents split soon after she was born. Her mother remarried a violent man who abused her and her mother for some years. She was raped by a neighbor at the age of 5; and, at the age of 15, she quit high school without a diploma and became pregnant. On her 16th birthday, she gave up her newborn baby girl for adoption, and moved to Chicago soon after.
For eight years in Chicago, she worked through a series of menial, low paying jobs. Then, in 1950, she changed her name and moved to New York, starting a brand new career as a fashion model. Four years later, at the age of 28, she married English businessman Andrew Hay, who in 1968, after 14 years of marriage, unexpectedly divorced her for another woman. Emotionally devastated by her divorce, at the age of 42, Louise Hay found herself in the throes of a mid-life crisis, without a career, and began to seek support on how to rebuild her life.
The Transformative Power Of Positive Thinking
After a lifetime of abuse, adversity and now emotional abandonment from the man she loved, Louise Hay needed to make some changes, because she still had a life to live, albeit now as a single woman who needed to support herself. She was soon introduced to the New Thought teachings of Ernest Holmes, and began learning about the “transformative and healing power of positive thinking.” Becoming a Religious Science practitioner soon after her introduction, she began leading workshops teaching the power of affirmations, as a method for physical and emotional healing.
Then, around 1978, she was diagnosed with incurable cervical cancer. Determined to prove the principles she had been teaching, Louise Hay concluded that the resentment she had been holding from the childhood traumas of abuse and rape were the root cause of her cervical cancer. She refused conventional medical treatment, and began doing deep forgiveness work through therapy, working with her mental and emotional states of being. She also focused on her nutrition, and worked diligently on eliminating all remnants of negativity and toxicity from her mental, emotional and physical processes.
The Point Of Power Is Always In The Present Moment
Ultimately, Louise Hay recovered fully from her “incurable” dis-ease, and that experience set the stage for publishing You Can Heal Your Life. The rest, as they say, is history. Many years later, answering a challenge to her testimony, she stood firm on the principles that had healed her life. However, she noted that she had outlived all of the doctors who could corroborate her story.
Louise Hay is the perfect example to underscore and emphasize the principles we are working with in the first week of the “Healed” series, which focuses on mental and emotional healing. In my own life, I owe a great debt to the work of Louise Hay. The affirmation principles I learned from You Can Heal Your Life not only healed me of depression, anxiety, and adult-onset asthma in the 90s, but it also led me to Unity, but that is a whole other story.
Among the important truths I learned from Louise Hay, perhaps the most important one is this:
“The point of power is always in the present moment.”
There is no past or future moment in which we can heal. If healing is to be our experience, we must choose it in the present moment. Even if we delay and procrastinate on making the decision to heal our lives until a future time, it will always be a future present moment in which we exercise our power.
The omnipresent, healing power of God is always available to each one of us right here, right now in this eternal present moment. There is only this moment, and healing can be ours right now. Healing awaits our choice to do what is necessary to bring our thoughts and emotions into alignment with truth principles that support our healing. As we do, we literally feel our hearts expanding in love, dissolving anything that blocks our awareness to the unlimited, healing power of love that dwells within our very beings.
Your Past Does Not Equal Your Future
You absolutely have the power to heal yourself, to transform your life beyond your grandest vision. This process begins the instant we assume personal responsibility for our lives, and more importantly, for the inherent creative power that is within our very own beings. As we assume full responsibility for all of our experiences, we gather power, celebrating the awareness that our past does not equal our future.
So today, I challenge you, and I challenge myself, to become willing to heal your past and release your brand new future. We heal the past as we actively practice forgiveness in the present. Forgive what, you might ask. In short, forgive everyone of everything. More importantly, become willing to forgive your own self.
It is in your power right now, even as you read this, to open yourself up to a brand new future grounded in love, self-approval, and self acceptance. A love that inspires you to affirm for your own self:
“I am good enough.”
Yes, you are. And, so am I. As we truly learn to love ourselves, we learn to love God, and to allow God’s Love to work miracles in our lives. When we do, everything in our life heals, everything in our life works, and everything in our life is blessed.