By Noelle Sterne
Charlotte came into the Bible study group looking radiant, happier than I’d ever seen her. She couldn’t wait to tell us what had happened. The previous week, she’d been worriedly repeating the details of the upcoming custody hearing for her daughter. After Charlotte’s recent divorce, her husband was attempting to undermine her character to sway the judge for custody.
But now, Charlotte was transformed. Maybe, more accurately, triumphant. The hearing was very short, she said, and the judge saw through her husband’s tactics. Charlotte was awarded custody and at the end, to her astonishment, her husband turned to her and said, “It’s probably for the best.”
The group members congratulated Charlotte and shared her joy. Two of us commented on the astounding change in her. “What caused it?” we asked. She told us of a process she’d discovered for meeting challenges like these that stemmed from her study of A Course in Miracles.
Charlotte called it “Send Love Ahead.” It’s a meditative method, and she described how it works.
At the next group meeting, gave us all a typed summary. Here it is:
- Sit quietly apart from everything. Close your eyes and take some slow, deep breaths.
- Visualize the event that fills you with apprehension. See the room or setting, where you’ll be appearing, working, sitting, talking. If you don’t know the specifics, imagine them.
- If you’ve been resisting the situation (“I wish I didn’t have to do this!), admit it. Rage if you must.
- If you’re afraid, admit that too. Charlotte said that she was so fearful in the days before the hearing that she couldn’t eat. So at home, whenever the fear arose, she shouted out loud, “I’m afraid!” Often when you fully admit horrible feelings, they dissipate.
- Do your homework. If it’s a presentation, speech, or call, write it out, rehearse it out loud.
- If you need to, research the contents. If it’s a written or other creative project, list the steps necessary to complete it. If it’s a defense of something, make notes or write a script and practice your points. Charlotte wrote out all the positive reasons she should be awarded custody (and without maligning her ex-husband) and rehearsed them.
- Mentally, or physically if you can, go to the place or situation, whether it’s an office, auditorium, meeting room, judge’s chambers, or your own study. Fill the physical space with love.
- See the room shining in light.
- Picture yourself and every other person involved, smiling and extending their hands to you, nodding “Yes.”
- See and declare each of them as the Christ (Namaste).
- Feel the light and peace envelop you and radiate out from you.
- Gently think about how you want to emerge from the situation. See yourself afterwards in a favorite, comfortable and comforting environment, like a reward.
- Think about how you want to feel after it’s over. What do you want to have accomplished or settled? What direction do you want to know you’re next going in?
- Write down your answers to these questions. Writing them down is stating your affirmations. Record as many specifics as you can. Don’t be shy or modest. You deserve all the rewards and blessed outcomes.
- See every other person involved leaving feeling satisfied, fulfilled, happy with the outcome, and ready to take the next constructive action.
- Say to yourself: “I surrender all to God. I feel only Love here.”
Repeat these words every time you feel anxious about the situation or tempted to visualize something less than perfect.
- Sit quietly feeling this Love.
- Practice these steps twice a day.
A week after Charlotte told the group about this method, I had the opportunity to test it. In a few days, I was scheduled to attend a difficult meeting on behalf of a client. Using Charlotte’s principles and steps, I prepared the materials necessary, practiced my opening statement aloud and in an increasingly firm voice. Then, several times a day, I visualized the office where the meeting would take place. I saw it and everyone in it filled with Love, illumined. I projected Love to each person who would be there.
And I made a list of how I wanted to feel afterwards: “knowledgeable,” “reasonable,” “professional,” “peaceful,” “strong,” “satisfied with the outcome,” “understood,” “respected,” “listened to,” “having accomplished the task,” “achieved the perfect administrative decision for my client,” and “knowing the next direction.” I visualized, too, relating the positive outcomes to my client, and us congratulating each other. As I drove to the meeting, I kept saying “Love is here.”
Yes, I was nervous, hands clammy, stomach hollow. But I knew I’d prepared, practically and spiritually. My hands gradually warmed and my stomach stabilized as I repeated “Love is here.”
The meeting started on time and went smoothly. I said what I had to, listened attentively to the others, and responded in even tones. Afterwards, driving home, I glanced at my list. I shouldn’t have been amazed—but every one of those positive outcomes had been fulfilled! And more—the individuals on the other side assured me of their complete cooperation to resolve the matter speedily. I felt great gratitude—to Charlotte, to the Course in Miracles, and to the Creator.
When I related my experience at the next group meeting, one of the members referred us to Lesson 349 in the Course in Miracles Workbook, and I recommend it for similar situations:
Today I let Christ’s vision look upon
All things for me and judge them not, but give
Each one a miracle of love instead.
In any difficult situation you may face, especially one you want to run and hide from, think about this lesson and Charlotte’s steps. Use them before a thorny phone call, a meeting you dread, an exam you’re scared of, a project you don’t know how to start, a presentation that terrifies you, or a creative session you cringe at plunging into.
Sit quietly, take a few deep breaths, do your homework, and visualize the absolute best outcomes. You deserve all of them—as you send love ahead.
© 2023 Noelle Sterne