Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Spiritual Awareness

Essay on Awareness Course
As I began taking this course, I was not prepared for the insights that would be given to me in
my personal spiritual journey. One of the topics that really helped me on my sacred path is the section regarding the Eighth insight. I discovered through this topic in the course an issue that I struggle with and a need to overcome it in order to help other congregants in my capacity as a spiritual counselor. Through this experience, I was led to begin a step study for co-dependents. Twelve women have joined me on this venture, congregants within my immediate ministerial capacity. We are working through the twelve steps created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous however; we are using the materials created by John Baker’s A Purpose Driven Ministry Resource Guide, a recovery program based on eight principles from the Beatitudes. At this stage, we have worked through the first participant’s guide, which includes the first three steps and I, and these benevolent women have discovered many important spiritual truths in our personal struggles with co-dependency. As a group, we have grown closer to one another and closer to Spirit because of taking this leap forward in our personal growth.

I realized through this part of the course that I was struggling with an addiction to people. This carries into every area of my life and as a minister an area that I must deal with in order to be of greatest service to my fellows. It is another step towards spiritual freedom and liberation for me. As I know the importance of engaging in my own evolution, but have a tendency to put that to the side to help others, which is a selfless quality, a merit in one respect, but one that needs to be in balance and harmony with my spiritual ascension and evolution. 

I further realized that I was having issues in my romantic life because of this problem, issues in my marriage, that I certainly contributed to as a result of being completely addicted to my spouse who struggles with various forms of addiction, though is in recovery. It led me to look into myself and to find answers to the questions of why the bliss of our initial love relationship had turned into turmoil, chaos and conflict and what my part of the conflicts were and most importantly what Spirit could reveal to me in this regard and how I could seek to recover from these patterns. I realized that I dependently so relied upon the energy of my spouse. When he stopped sending that energy in the initial full force that began our love relationship I began to seek to control him and in effect repelled his energy, forced it away and we each somewhat pulled apart from one another thus the oneness we initially shared was crushed.

Thus, resulting in power struggles, and conflicts, many issues, and distance, withdrawal, retreating, arguing, disharmony, among many other forms of overwhelm, stress and burden. He turned to addictive traits and solutions that offered initial promise from his pain but began to quit working and I continued to try to control, manipulate, lecture, teach, and thus creating more distance, withdrawing and pulling back of energy and attention. 

I discovered many truths about addictions from this course. I grew up in an alcoholic family, as my father was a practicing alcoholic in the formative years of my life. When I turned sixteen, he got sober through the assistance of a treatment facility, counseling, alcoholics anonymous and spiritual beliefs and practices. I knew about chemically addictive personalities and traits, and problems. I knew how these affected family members through my association with twelve step programs over the years. What I had not considered was the greater range of addictive issues and so this course lead me to seeking what might be affecting my husband, what issues were causing his addictive and compulsive tendencies and I began to pray about the issues that Spirit revealed to me through my search for higher truth and solutions. 

As I uncovered the truths through the guidance of Spirit, I tried discussing them with my spouse but he was not ready to deal with these issues and was very much in denial. I knew that I could not make him see the Light in the circumstance. However, I also knew as a Minister of Light that I could pray for him regarding these issues. I could ask others to pray for him. Therefore, I did pray that Spirit would reveal these truths to him in such a way that he could no longer be blinded to the truth, in such a way that the revelations would come through Spirit and not me. I prayed that the chains would be broken, the karmic ties, bonds would be severed and cut and in such a way that he was revealed to himself and others, thereby being accountable not to just me, but to others, and to Spirit. This miracle happened, and the way it happened was not by coincidence or happenstance, but was indeed the divine intervention that I prayed for and that others prayed for on our behalf. His behaviors were revealed in such a way, that I could not have created it or thought it up, or plotted, controlled, in anyway, as the Divine has a perfect plan for us all, if we can just be patient and wait on the Divine to act on our behalf. 

I have begun to give him the freedom to recover in his own way and pace, and to accept where he is and who he is in this moment and each moment. This has given me more time and freedom to focus my attention on my own actions, reactions, thoughts, feelings, and to be free from having to try to control things I cannot control anyway. I realized that my struggle for control really kept my spouse from getting the recovery he needed, because I was in Spirit’s way, as I was not allow the synchronicities of the Universe to come into play. 

Today I do not have to get my energy from my spouse, or any other person. I am not focused on the actions of others, I am less sensitive to what others say, and I am more open and receptive to allowing others to get close to me. I have addressed my issues of control and realized that I have control over nothing that another person does and my attempts to control were misguided, and ineffective, and harmful to others and me. My life is no longer on hold; rather I am progressing spiritually at an accelerated rate. I am no longer tired all the time or feeling lifeless and drained, I am full of life, aliveness and energy. I feel like enormous burdens have been lifted from my soul. Thank you so much for this awakening. I have given up my unrealistic expectations of others and myself and this is so freeing to be able to accept others not as I would have them, but the way they are and the beauty is I am able to see their divine perfection rather than character flaws and defects.

I realized my completeness, wholeness, comes from Spirit, not from others. My spouse and I are closer than we have ever been. We are praying together and choosing things that bring us closer and illuminating things that cause us to separate and pull away from one another. We are each developing a deeper sense of self, and of compassion and understanding for one another’s struggles and the pain, we have caused one another through our power struggles and conflicts, and destructive behaviors. We are no longer pulling one another away from our individual evolution but enhancing one another’s spiritual growth and this is a miraculous indescribably wonderful adventure. 

Rather than focusing on physical intimacy, we have begun to focus on inner intimacy, revealing ourselves totally and completely, and talking, sharing our wants, needs, desires and dreams. We understand one another on the inside, developing a deeper sense of one another’s well-being so that we can move upward, and onward forward on our sacred journey together. We are in counseling together working on having a deeper more intimate physical and romantic relationship doing healing work individually and together. He is participating and leading a men’s step study for men struggling with life issues and addictions of broad scales. Through these constructive actions, we are developing a strong spiritual connection, without power struggle, rather accord, having a close relationship, greater than what either of us thought was possible. 

I decided that can live with or without the marriage, but I wanted it, but free from having to fill myself with his energy, and I relinquished control over his actions to Spirit and to his accountability partners, trusting that Spirit will act on both of our behalf leading him and us to our highest, best good. I am choosing to stay centered in my own energy and life. I have had victory over my tendency to control, over my angry outbursts, and manipulation tactics for about three months. I do not have to create crisis, chaos or drama to get what I want, I simply share my feelings honestly and openly with respect and dignity. I am detached from his problems most of the time. 

Thank you so much for the insights and awareness of these issues through this course. It has helped me tremendously in my marriage and my relationships with others in my community, spiritual life. I no longer feel the burden of the problems of others, and am able to allow Spirit to guide my steps and trust that Spirit will help others with their problems as well. Blessings be upon you in the greatest measure.

Love and Light,

Rev. Tracy


To ordain yourself with the Universal Life Church, for free, for life, right now, click on the Free Online Ordination link.

Rev. Long created the ULC seminary site to help ministers learn and grow their ministries. The Seminary offers a huge catalog of materials for ministers of the Universal Life Church

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