Thoughts to Ponder

February 28, 2017

“Here are the two best prayers I know:

‘Help me, help me, help me’ and

‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’

Anne Lamott1

“I would maintain that thanks are the best form of thought;

and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

G.K. Chesterton2

Those two quotes sum up the main teachings of any belief practice. Remember those sermons about sin and repentance or rules for correct spiritual practice? As we think of the rules we’ve been taught, we may wonder where this topic is going.

However, if we stop to analyze those lessons we will remember that the two main points our spiritual leader was trying to make were:

  • I’m in trouble and need help.
  • Help received. Thank you.

After considering the main points of those sermons, we may stop to consider events when our situations improved, perhaps unexpectedly. We were happy that it was resolved and wondered how it all happened. Often, we assigned those small or large miracles to mere coincidences. Possibly, if we were spiritually inclined, we might say something like, “God was on my side that time.” That is expressing gratitude or “happiness doubled by wonder.”

While I acknowledge God as the Supreme, Eternal Being, I tend to anthropomorphize that entity and the angels or spirit guides as someone I can talk to like my best friend. I like to start my prayers with gratitude. I wake up in the morning and say good morning and thank you to God for giving me a new day and the gifts of sun, trees…. Then I tell the Higher Power that on this day I choose to be the highest and best me I can be. After that I ask for the guidance and the ability to do what is mine to do. As I end this conversation I express my gratitude again, knowing that all that happens this day will be in my Highest Good.

Those of you who know me personally are probably saying her life does not reflect the words she is writing. That is so true. I tend to take the easy way out in many aspects of my life. Then I wonder why certain miracles are not forthcoming.

Spiritual teacher Doreen Virtue3 advises us that God and the angels will always help but you must first ask. If I follow that advice and ask my Higher Power to assist me as I do what is on my to-do list, each situation is resolved quickly, leaving me to wonder what the big deal was – and grateful.

The point of that confession is to admit that my Eternal Source has not let me down. I cannot blame God for not giving me my heart’s desire. Instead, I must admit that I often do not follow divine prompting and take the action that is mine to take.

Spirit, Thank you for this new day, new beginning. I ask that you will show me what action is mine to take today. I will ask for help when I need it and express gratitude when that help appears. And, so it is.

1Quotables, O the Oprah Magazine, September 2016


3Virtue, Doreen, Hay House World Angel Summit, audio, “Real World Angel Experiences”, February 28, 2017

Sharon D. Dillon,,

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of Echoes of Your Choices, a motivational book, and one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at


Thoughts to Ponder – January 15, 2016

“When you heal yourself on the inside,

everything else around you no longer triggers old pain.”

A Window of Wisdom 1007*

 The last few weeks we’ve been talking about releasing old pain and experiencing a lighter, happier life. On December 17 we talked about the harm we cause ourselves by concealing our pain. On January 1 we discussed letting our negative feelings out. Today we’re continuing to think about ways to heal yourself on the inside.

The idea that has been floating around mental therapists and religious teachers for many years is forgiveness. An old saying tells us to “forgive and forget.” It’s easy to say I forgive this person for doing that to me or my loved one. But do we actually forgive? Forgiving means to release the pain and begin to feel kindly toward the person who has injured us. That’s a tough job. From my own experience I’ll say that it’s almost impossible to forget. We may forget what E=mc2 means but we never forget an insult or other situations that cause us pain.

Recently a friend told me about a better way to release old pain. That is to thank the person for the role he or she played in your life because it affected who you are today. That may not be possible or safe to pursue. An easier and safer way is to write that person a letter pouring out your feelings while acknowledging the way that person’s actions made you a better person. How is that possible? Perhaps a person telling you repeatedly that you were stupid made you determined to prove them wrong. Maybe it encouraged you to pursue higher education or get a job requiring excellent mental skills.

I can hear you saying, “I wouldn’t dare send a letter thanking ____ for what he/she did. That would put me in danger or at the least bring their ire raining down on me.” Only mail the letter if you feel 100% safe. You don’t have to mail the letter. Just writing out the facts and feelings is releasing the old “stuff.” You can burn the letter allowing the pain to float to the clouds with the smoke. You can tear the letter to bits and send it to the landfill with the rest of your trash or release it to a river to float out to the sea.

A quicker method my friend suggested is to picture the offending person in your mind and mentally or verbally thank them for making you the person you have become. Either method is incredibly freeing. If you do this choosing to be free of the old pain, you will be.


Thank you for teaching us that we don’t have to carry the weight of old and new pains. We can release ourselves from this burden by thanking the offender for the role they played in our lives. We know that you will transmute the pain to feelings of freedom. We know and trust that this is so for each of us, no matter our situation.

And, so it is.

* A Window of Wisdom 1007, January 6, 2016,

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 15, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at