We Inspire People to Live Better Lives

01.22.2020

I AM What I See

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers

Click HERE to download this transcript.

Rev. Richard Rogers: So this year, the theme – the idea – is ELEVATE. I want every one of us to pick one area in our life that we’re willing to take to a higher place. I don’t care what it is; it can be a relationship; it can be your finances; it can be whatever it is. And the basis of this – I’ve never done a 13-week series, so this isn’t a series… because I can’t do a 13-week series, because I would be tired of it.

[Congregation laughs]

But the book that I’m using for this first quarter this year is called, Elevate. It’s an essential guide to life by Joseph Deitch. Julia has it in the Bookstore. And, so, some weeks I’m going really close to the book, and some weeks I’m going kinda a little “off road.” But it’s going to be the focus, so if you want to get a copy and join with me each week as I go through this process, feel free. Because I think it’s a good book.

So, the whole idea of elevating your life is that we’re going to a place where we haven’t been before. Right? Does that make sense? Because if it’s truly elevating to a higher ground then, by definition, you haven’t been there before. So, the idea – as we move into this new year – that you’re going back to a special time from your past… I really want you to let go of. Have you ever had that? Where, “I want to get back to the way it was” or, you know, that mindset of, “The 50s were better,” “The 60s were better,” “The 70s were better,” you know. I’m trying not to say, “Make America Great Again.”

[Congregation laughs]

But it’s this concept, right? That we’re going to go to a higher ground. It’s not a place that we’ve been before; it’s literally a higher ground. Right? It’s literally a place we haven’t been before. And, so, I want to do a little “mirror therapy” today. Okay?

So, when you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a piece of work?

[Congregation laughs]

Do you see beauty? Do you see somebody who’s broken? What do you see when you look in the mirror? Because, what I want us to do – if we’re really going to elevate our lives – we kind of have to start with the beginning. Right? Because, have you ever tried to create all the stuff around you to look right, so that you could just be your messy, wonderful self? Like, you could be a piece of work in the midst, but if your life looked perfect, it had to imply that you were okay. Right? But tonight I want to really start with the center. I want to start with you. I want you to look in the mirror and tell me what you see. Because, ideally, I want you to look in the mirror and see magnificence. I want you to see something special. I want you to see the best version of you. Right?

Because what we know from science is that we don’t really see what IS, we see what we BELIEVE. So we think that we see things accurately, but the reality is, we see what we believe about ourselves.

Are you guys ready? Let’s go to the first shot.

[Plays video of young girl standing on bathroom counter and looking in the mirror, talking to herself]:

“Look; I can be a source. Now, my whole house is great! I can do anything good! I like my school; I like everything! I like my dad; I like my cousins; I like my aunts! I like my Allisons! I like my mom! I like my sisters! I like my dad! I like everything! I like my hair! I like my haircut! I like my stomach! I like my stuff! I like my room! I like my whole house! My whole house is great! I can do anything good! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I can do anything good! Better than anyone! Than anyone!”

[Congregation laughs and applauds]

Okay, so when you woke up this morning, was that your morning routine?

[Congregation laughs]

Okay, I want you to try that tomorrow morning! I want you to [laughs] just get up on the counter of your bathroom …

 [Congregation laughs]

Right? [laughs] And I just want you to just stand on the counter of your bathroom, and I want you to go through the list of all the things that you do great. Right? I want you to rock back and forth – safely! – with your OSHA-approved belt around you in case you fell…

[Congregation laughs]

Right? But I want you to really move into that experience of seeing yourself with new eyes! Because, the reality is: There’s been a time in most of our lives where we looked in the mirror and we saw ourselves as broken. And it’s so painful! Because – no matter how much the people around you love you, believe in you, want to lift you higher – when you see yourself as broken, it is such a painful experience. Right?

And so, for some of us, then we begin to work on ourselves. We begin to do our inner work. We begin to believe in ourselves. And then we move into the place where we believe that we’re amazing. And we think – once we see ourselves as amazing – then we’re just done. Right? Because, “I’m amazing!” Right?

But, sometimes, you’re not! Have you ever had that experience where somebody who just loves you to pieces points out maybe just one small imperfection. Right? Which can blow everything up! So we go from feeling broken to, then, we’ve got to be perfect… And then our third place is when we just come to feeling loved. And the benefit of coming to that place where we can look in the mirror and just see love is that we can hold our humanity and our divinity in the same light. We can hold our perfection and our imperfection in the same way, because we’re not having to be more. We’re not having to be less. We are able to see ourselves, ideally, from the point of view of how God sees us.

The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 said this: “For now we see in the mirror dimly; but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part; then I will know in full. Even as I have been fully known.”

See, there’s a part of us – and I believe in this spiritual journey that we’re on – that is coming to both see our humanity and see our divinity. But there will be a day – I absolutely believe it! – that there will be a day when we can actually look in the mirror and see the face of God looking back at us, as our face. Where we’ve let go of all the pain and all the judgements and all the things that we were taught to believe about ourselves, and we begin to see ourselves in a divine light.

And, so, I’m not asking you, today, to see yourself as perfect. Because I think, in some ways, we’re just setting ourselves up for more disappointment. And I’m definitely not asking you to see yourself as broken. But what I want you to be able to hold is the fullness of your spirit – the fullness of your divine nature; the fullness of how God created you – and your humanity, and the fullness of who you are.

Let’s do the next video; I want to do the next video, too.

[Shows clip from Snow White where Maleficent is talking to her magic mirror]:

Do you know where we’re going? “Mirror, mirror…”

Maleficent: “Face in the magic mirror, come from the farthest space. Through wind and darkness, I summon thee. Speak! Let me see thy face!”

Mirror: “What wouldst thou know, my Queen?”

Maleficent: “Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

Mirror: “Great is thy beauty, Majesty, but, oh, a lovely maid I see. Rags cannot hide her gentle grace. Alas, she is more fair than thee.”

Maleficent: “Reveal her name!”

Mirror: “Lips red as the rose; hair black as ebony; skin white as snow.”

Maleficent: “Snow White!”

[Rev. Rogers rubs hands together gleefully; congregation laughs]

Right? So I want you to look at that story! Because that story so much is the story of our ego looking in the mirror! So when our ego looks in the mirror, what do we want to see when we look in the mirror? We want to see an outer verification that we’re all that and a bag of nuts!

[Congregation laughs]

Right? We want somebody outside of us to tell us that we’re finally perfect… that we’re finally just perfect in every way! So every day the Queen would wake up; she would put on her best queenly little outfit; she would go stare at the mirror; and she wanted outer affirmation that she was all that.

How many times in your life have you wanted outer affirmation that you were all that? Right? We do! We absolutely do! And so she goes to the mirror, and I want you to see that that’s pure ego! There’s not anything wrong with pure ego, as long as we see it’s pure ego! And pure ego stares at the mirror and wants validation that we’re all that.

And, then, when the mirror has the gall to say there’s a new “chickee” in town…

[Congregation laughs]

Right? Does she get on the phone and say, “Oh, I want her to be my new BFF!”

[Congregation laughs]

Right? “I want to go find out why she’s the fairest one of all! I want to go learn from her; I want to be teachable.” No! Then she begins to conspire how to destroy that, so that her ego gets to feel safe.

Over and over again, what I want you to see is that, if we’re living externally, there is no rest. Right? Because we’re always not quite perfect enough. And the path of love – the spiritual path – really is to be able to see yourself the way God sees you, with all of your strengths and talents and abilities, and to see all the kinds of times you’ve made interesting choices, and be able to hold both.

Everybody’s made at least one interesting choice, right? That family and friends who just love and adore you were just like, “Ohhhhhh…..”

[Congregation laughs]

“This is not going to be good!” Right? So the idea here is: I want you to look in the mirror and let go of that need to be this artificially perfect self. And be able to see yourself exactly the way you are: with the fullness of your spirit. With the fullness of your humanity. And be able to look at that in a way that absolutely makes a difference. Over and over again, what I want you to see is the way that God created you was absolutely for your highest and your best!

Okay. One more thing. This is going to be a little weird, but stick with me. It’s going to make sense. And if it doesn’t, oh well. I took a shot, right?

[Congregation laughs]

How many of you have heard of the spiritual idea of karma? Most people have, right? Karma is this idea that, whatever you do, rolls back around and comes back either to bless you or to bite you. Right? Everybody’s heard that idea, right? So, if you’re good, then only good’s going to come to you; if you’re bad, then only bad’s going to come to you. And it never really makes sense why bad people get blessed so much, right? That never really made sense. But it’s this idea – and it’s kind of universal law – as you give, so shall you receive. Right? But this is kind of this idea that everything that happens to you – everything that happens to you every day – is not because of right now. It’s this belief that it’s ramifications for backpay. Right?

Then what Jesus taught was this idea of Grace. And the idea of Grace says that, if we do something – if we make a mistake; if we have a moment – that, though forgiveness… As we forgive ourselves, as we forgive others, karma still comes, but we’re not at that same place any more. So what Grace is all about is a higher level of good. That it’s no longer “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”; but it’s about a higher level of good. So, though Grace, we are being called to be blessed in even greater ways.

Now, there’s one more spiritual principle that I think it’s really important that we look at tonight, as well. And that is the idea – the Law of Reflection. And the Law of Reflection states that the entire Universe is trying to reflect back to you on the way that you’re being with you. Does that make sense? So, it’s not about necessarily what you DO; but it’s more about the internal experience that you’re having.

Let me give you an example. So, if you were to go 100 miles out into space, and you were just being your groovy self, right? Would there be anything that would be reflecting back to you so that you could see how you were being? Not really. Everything would be so far away if you were 100 miles out in space. Everything would be so far away that you wouldn’t ever really get to see a reflection of how you’re showing up.

So this Law of Reflection states that the reason that we come into three-dimensional form is so that we can get reflected back to us how we’re being so that we can actually see ourselves in such a way that we can actually make a new choice. So, in the Law of Reflection, it’s not about, “When did I do this in my past?” The question in the Law of Reflection is: “How am I doing that to myself?” So when anything is good or bad in our life, then the question becomes, “How am I doing that to myself?” so that I can see that. Because if I can’t see it, I can’t heal it; I can’t change it. Are you with me? Did that make sense?

Okay. So I needed to set all that up. Okay.

So recently – well, kind of a while ago – I experienced what I felt was a betrayal. Does that make sense? Have you ever been betrayed? So I experienced a betrayal. And one of the things that’s interesting about a betrayal is that you feel so betrayed! Right?

[Congregation laughs]

You just do! How many of you have ever been betrayed? And it just feels awful! It’s one of the worst feelings, right? And when we feel betrayed, we don’t want to take any responsibility. Right? Because feeling betrayed really wants to deny that they had free will. Right? Does that make sense? Whoever betrayed us… We want, in that situation, their free will to be gone. That they should never have done that, because them doing that betrayed me. Has everybody had that experience? If you haven’t had a feeling of betrayal, God bless you!

[Congregation laughs]

I don’t know how you got into adulthood; I don’t know how you made it out of junior high… But God bless you! Right?

So betrayal is one of those heavy, painful experiences. Because we just want to be a total victim in betrayal, don’t we? We want to just tell the whole world that they betrayed us, and we’re just a big, old victim. Right?

So, when we do betrayal from this mindset, then the only thing that we can do is forgive others. Right? Because we were the victim; they did something “wrong.” And out of our graciousness, we forgive them… or not. But that’s the idea; that’s the only work there is. Because we were done “wrong”; they betrayed us. They made a bad choice; they went behind our back or did whatever they did. They betrayed us, so we have to forgive them or not. But that’s the whole dynamic of this. Do you see this?

The problem with this is, the Law of Reflection would state that life happens because of the way that I’m being with myself. Okay? So, in this event that I felt betrayed in, there was really no part of me that wanted to say to myself, “Where have I been betraying myself?” Right? Because I wanted to make it about them! I wanted to tell the story what dirty dogs they were! Right?

But what I want you to see is: what the problem is, even if you forgive you for betraying you, you don’t get the blessing! You don’t get the growth! You don’t get improvement! Has everybody had a lesson that really cost you a lot? Right? Whether it was mentally or emotionally or physically, it cost you a lot? So what I want you to see is, why this is so important, that nothing got better in life until I said to myself, “Where have I been betraying myself?” and I began to take that seriously. Because when I was willing to actually no longer blame them – realizing they had free will, and even though I didn’t like their choice; I didn’t enjoy the experience very much at all… I was absolutely going to have to repeat that experience over and over and over again, with more and more experience of betrayal… because I wasn’t willing to look at it – what I never really looked at, is the ways that I betrayed myself. And, until I cleaned up that – until I did my inner work at that level – I was going to have to experience more and more victimization to see that I was victimizing myself! Can I get an “Amen”? Does that make sense?

And so, what I want you to see today is, that we can no longer afford not to see ourselves. Because if we don’t see ourselves, then we just keep making it about them. And they don’t need to change. Guess who needs to change? Guess who needs to heal? Guess who needs to spiritually transform? It’s me! It’s you! We need to do our inner work! But if we don’t own this Law of Reflection – if we don’t own the way that we’re being with ourselves – then nothing really ever changes.

So, you ready for your homework? Yay!!!!

[Congregation and Rev. Rogers laugh]

Maybe; maybe not! Tell me what it is first, and I’ll decide whether I’m taking it home or not, right?

[Congregation laughs]

I want you to look at the area in your life where you feel stuck. Or the area in your life that you want to elevate to higher ground. And I want you to ask yourself the question: “Where am I doing that to myself?” If it’s a disappointment; if it’s a betrayal, like with my illustration… I want you to say, “So where am I betraying myself?” if someone is cheating you, I want you to ask yourself the question: “Where am I cheating myself?”  If somebody’s not giving you the love you want or the attention you want or the money you want, I want to ask yourself the question: “Where am I doing that to myself?”

If you’re not getting what you want – if you’re not living your highest level of life – I want you to turn that mirror on yourself and I want you to look into your soul. And I want you to see where you’re doing it to yourself. Because, until we get to that level of clarity, nothing ever changes.

So, tonight, it’s the shortest little question: “Where am I doing it to myself?” Because how many of us have had a lesson more than once that wasn’t fun?

[Congregation titters]

How many of us have had a lesson that was expensive or hard or heart-breaking? And we 100% wanted to make it about those bad people?!? We might have even done our forgiveness work, and said, “Man! I am such a spiritually advanced individual!”

[Congregation laughs]

“I forgave that jerk for being a jerk!”

[Congregation laughs]

“And I can line up 20 of my friends who will each say that person was a jerk!” But, yes, you did the forgiveness work, and that’s wonderful! But you didn’t really ever begin to look at where you’d actually been doing it to yourself. And if you don’t stop doing it to yourself, the Universe isn’t going to stop putting that in your face for healing.

I am amazing. Together:

[With congregation]: “I am amazing!”

But until we treat ourselves at that level – until we’re actually behaving as if we are amazing – the Universe is only going to reflect exactly what it’s always been reflecting. Because we need to have the transformation.

And so, to elevate our lives tonight, there’s just one question: “Where am I doing it to myself?” Because until I can see that – until I can see where I’m withholding; until I can see where I’m betraying; until I can see where I’m being cheap; until I can see where I’ve been breaking myself; until I can see what I hate other people are doing to me – I haven’t grown a bit. I haven’t grown one bit. But when I can see it in myself – when I can see where I’m doing it to myself, and I can change that one thought, that one behavior, that one belief, that one idea – then my whole Universe just changed immensely.

Will you pray with me?
I invite you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of God that is right here, right now. And, today, I’m willing to see with new eyes. I’m willing to see myself – my soul, my thoughts, my beliefs, my understanding – I’m willing to see myself with brand new eyes. And to be in the question that maybe we’ve never been in before: “Where am I doing that to me?” Because I’ve been so angry and so hurt and so disappointed how life has been coming at me. How others act around me. How I don’t always get my needs met. How I’m feeling like a big, old victim to everyone. And, today, I ask: “Where am I doing that to me? Where am I acting in such a way that I would never accept from my best friend, but I do it to me over and over and over again?” So in the name and through the power of the Living Christ, we ask to see. In this year of 2020, we want to see with new eyes. We want to see with perfect sight a level of our soul that we’ve never seen before that will literally change everything. And so it is. Amen.

Copyright 2020 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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