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OTHER ITA SITES:
African Americans: Decide Your Destiny, Master Your Mind, Part 4
“No one can make you feel inferior without your own consent.”
Prayer and forgiveness
Prayer and forgiveness are very spiritual by their nature. Prayer represents our communication with God and forgiveness is a godly act even us mortals are empowered to perform.
Prayer - Studies have demonstrated that sick people recover faster when people pray for them then when no one is praying for them. This holds true even when neither group knows if people are praying for them or not leading some to conclude that the power of prayer is an independent power.
Some people and even a few preachers demean the ‘act’ of prayer by repeating clichés like ‘God helps those who help themselves’ or that we need to get off our knees and take action versus taking time out to pray. I say that prayer is action. Prayer puts you in touch with the Creator of the universe.
If you have any self limiting beliefs that you can’t overcome using the above strategies then using this one can trump all obstacles and this is it - If God be with you, who can be against you. If you believe that is true with all your heart, nothing can get in your way for very long. Prayer can enlighten, calm, clear the mind and help you find strength and wisdom when you need it. As African Americans, we have a strong spiritual heritage of Christian faith. I strongly urge you to use the gift of prayer to seek wisdom and understanding from the Source above.
Forgiveness - This is an extremely difficult and supremely divine act that we are empowered to perform. As much of the legacy of slavery, lynchings, discrimination, segregation, poverty, brutality and injustice plague our communities today, each one of us must muster the strength to forgive even those that don’t ask for it. This will help us to reduce the power of these emotional anchors to the nuisance level as Publisher and CEO Earl Graves calls it.
Christ died on the cross long ago so that I could find my own redemption from the sins I committed almost 2000 years later. Put your forgiveness on the table today as Jesus did. Not everyone will accept it but that is fine. When you forgive in your heart, you rid yourself of excuses for not putting out your best efforts everyday.
Forgiveness is a very potent and mighty power. And it is a power that you don’t have to be cautious about how you use it. It will change your life and possibly the life of others around you because forgiveness changes everyone affected by it.
I remember when Reginald Denny forgave the boys that attacked him during the riot that occurred in L.A. after the Rodney King verdict that acquitted the officers that brutally beat him. I saw the parents of those boys crying and giving the biggest and warmest hugs to Mr. Denny. It was heart warming to see and unbelievable under the circumstances but forgiveness seems to have that effect on people. That moment began the healing of a deeply divided and desperate city.
Like so many of the skills and strategies I mentioned previously, the power to forgive and the willingness to exercise that power gives you control. The power is in your hands, which is right were you want it.
I understand that these are apparently very spiritual principles and they may seem odd to those that don’t hold any deeply rooted spiritual beliefs. There are therapeutic benefits to prayer and forgiveness that go beyond their obvious spiritual benefits. They can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, restore relationships and maybe even lead one to a higher level of inner peace. In fact, there are 1,200 published studies in 2004 alone on the benefits of forgiveness.
The foundation, A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, states that there are at least two benefits of forgiveness. One, forgiveness reduces the stress associated with the state of unforgiveness. Bitterness, anger, hostility, hatred, resentment and the fear of being humiliated again all have negative health consequences. They even can cause hormonal changes that can lead to immune suppression, heart disease and memory problems. Secondly, research shows that people with strong social networks of friends and family tend to be healthier then loners. In a sense, forgiveness means setting yourself free of your own suffering.
For those who do have deep religious beliefs, you already understand the power here. Either way, I highly recommend you get as much practice at this as you can. The more of these strategies that you put to work for you, the more easily you will find yourself able to get into highly resourceful states. These are just a few of the most effective ways to gain maximum leverage over your mental and emotional states.
Your mastery over yourself is the foundation upon which the rest of the skills for the 21st Century are built. Lottery winners are examples of people that acquire wealth but have not achieved personal mastery. The odds are that they will lose everything they won and end in bankruptcy just a few short years after hitting the jackpot. They had the wealth but lacked the mental discipline and preparation needed to keep it.
This mastery is especially crucial when it comes to developing the next skill required to succeed in this new economy. All seven skills and dozens of strategies can be found in the downloadable ebook, “The 7 Simple Secrets to Wealth Building: An African American’s Guide to Wealth Building in the 21st Century and Beyond” available at www.blackwealthnow.com.
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