Book’s Thoughts Can Be Helpful in Times of Need

Published December 14, 1989. Can you recall a difficult moment or time in your life when you read something uplifting, or someone said something to you that was helpful? Douglas Bloch, an author, teacher, and counselor residing in Portland, Oregon, has collected and written a series of thoughts that he believes are helpful in times of discomfort or even pain. They are published in his new book, “Words That Heal, Affirmation and Mediations for Daily Living.”

In the book’s preface Bloch notes, “An affirmation is a positive thought or idea that you consciously focus on in order to produce a desired result. The affirmation is a simple yet powerful technique that can heal and transform your most deeply held beliefs. Affirmations are based upon the following principles: 1. Your outer reality is a direct reflection of your predominant thoughts and beliefs, and 2. Change your thoughts and you change your reality.”

Bloch gives a humorous example of a short and simple affirmation.

An elderly man suffering from a physical illness received a healing affirmation from his minister. Soon his condition improved. “I guess that affirmation did the trick,” the minister thought to himself when he heard the news.

The minister revisited the now healthy aging man and asked him if it was the healing affirmation that made him well. “Well, to tell you the truth,” the man said, “I lost your affirmation the day after you gave it to me.”

“How then did you heal yourself so quickly?” asked the minister.

The man responded, “Since I couldn’t remember your affirmation, I simply told myself, ‘Oh, hell, I’m well.’”

The book “Words That Heal” contains 52 affirmations based on various topics. Each is one to two pages long. Here is one titled, “This Too Shall Pass.”

According to an ancient tale, a Sufi village was attacked and captured by a group of warriors. The king of the victorious tribe called the Sufi leaders and said that unless they could tell him what would make him ‘happy when he was sad, and sad when he was happy,’ the entire village would be put to death the following morning.

The village people constructed a large bonfire and all night long their wise men and women strove to answer the king’s questions. What could make a person happy when he is sad, and sad when he is happy? Finally, sunrise came, and the king entered the village. Approaching the wise ones he asked, “Have you filled my request?” One of the wise men then reached into a pouch and presented the king with a gold ring. The king was perplexed. “I have no need for more gold,” he exclaimed. “How can this ring make me happy when I am sad, and sad when I am happy?” Then the king looked again and saw an inscription on the ring. It read, “This too shall pass.’

So it is in your life. When everything is going according to plan, savor those precious moments and realize that in time they will be a distant memory. And when the night is darkest, and you can’t imagine things ever improving, remember that nothing in the physical world lasts forever.

In this way you will learn to accept both good and bad times equally, understanding that all of life’s teachings are necessary for your spiritual growth. With this realization, you will be like the great saint who proclaimed, “One to me is Loss and Gain, one to me is Pleasure and Pain, one to me is Fame and Shame.”

It was Socrates who noted, “Remember, no human condition is ever permanent. Then you will not be overjoyed in good fortune nor too sorrowful in misfortune.”

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