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Excerpts from

How To Use New Thought in Home Life

by
Elizabeth Towne




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Book Description
This book provides a Key to Happy and Efficient Living for Husband, Wife and Children. In it Mrs. Towne provides practical advice on how to live harmoniously with family members. "...devote yourself with all Good Will to the work which belongs to you; expecting nothing in return. Give love and service, expecting nothing in return beyond what you can get without contending; knowing that love and service are for the lover and server, that they bring their own reward. If you expect things from others you will be disappointed; if you expect nothing from others you will find yourself made happy at every turn by little unexpected attentions and services."

Book Contents
1. HOW TO REDUCE FRICTION AND PRESERVE LOVE
2. THE GETTING MAD HABIT
3. HELP FOR THE DRUDGING WIPE
4. HOW CONCENTRATION ELIMINATES DRUDGERY
5. SUCCESS FOR TWO
6. ON PULLING TOGETHER
7. ON DEALING WITH REFRACTORY HUSBANDS
8. WHEN YOUR HUSBAND DOESN'T AGREE
9. HOW TO LIVE WITH A GROUCHER
10. TO A WIFE WHOSE HUSBAND GETS ON HER NERVES
11. MAKING LOVE A HABIT OF THOUGHT
12. A WIFE AND HER CONSCIENCE.
13. WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE "MISUNDERSTOOD"
14. GETTING RID OF JEALOUSY
15. FINANCE IN THE HOME
16. HUSBANDS, WIVES, AND BUSINESS
17. MARRIAGE AS A BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP
18. WHEN YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH YOUR ENVIRONMENT
19. WHEN YOU CAN'T GET ON WITH YOUR RELATIVES — AND IN-LAWS
20. HOW TO TRANSMUTE THE FAMILY'S RIDICULE
21. HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF LIKED AND HOW TO EXPRESS YOURSELF
22. MAKING MONEY AND SPENDING MONEY
23. To A MAN WHO HAS PRESSING DEBTS
24. THE INDIVIDUAL AS A MAGNET
25. HOW TO USE YOUR STOREHOUSE OF PERSONAL POWER
26. PRE-NATAL IMPRESSIONS
27. MAKING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR CHILD
28. HOW FATHER AND MOTHER CAN BEST TRAIN THE BABY
29. ANSWERING YOUB CHILD'S QUESTIONS
30. HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN NEW THOUGHT
31. HOW ONE FAMILY OF TEN IS TRAINED FOR THE EFFICIENT LIFE: THE FATHER'S SIDE
32. HOW TO TREAT THE ARGUING HABIT
33. WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER DECLARES HER INDEPENDENCE
34. TAKING SIDES AGAINST FATHER
35. HOW NEIGHBORING MOTHERS CAN COOPERATE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND HAPPINESS OF THEMSELVES AND CHILDREN
36. HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE VALUE OF MONEY
37. HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE VALUE OF MONEY (Continued)
38. WHAT I THINK ABOUT MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
39. HYPOCRITES AND DIVORCE


Chapter 1

HOW TO REDUCE FRICTION AND PRESERVE LOVE

IT is said Professor Larkin thinks three-fourths of the married couples in the world hate each other, and that marriage ought to be forbidden by law! Somebody else says ninety percent of married couples hate each other.

I don't believe it. I do believe that at least three-quarters of married folks love each other more than they guess. The proof is that they make unheard of sacrifices for each other when need arises; that they stick together when they could separate if they chose; last, but not least, that most of them never see other persons they would prefer to live with day in and day out, to their own wives or husbands with all their faults.

The truth of the matter as I see it is this: About ninety percent of the husbands and wives who can't get along with each other couldn't get along with anybody else under similar conditions, for the reason that they can't or don't adjust themselves to each other.

The cause of this is the old notion which we are outgrowing, thank God, that marriage is bondage, ownership. Men think they own their wives, wives think they own their husbands. Each exercises his ownership by trying to make the other do the main part of the readjusting. Each instinctively resents and resists the encroach-ments of the other. And the result is — hell.

But even in hell love is.

Let somebody from outside encroach on both man and wife and see how quickly they will stand as the one they really want to be, and are at heart.

This reminds me of a story. A man dreamed he died and went to hell. Instead of the hell he had always believed in, he found a place that reminded him of Central Park in July. Along a shady walk approached several happy looking men, who came up and greeted him. One of the men introduced himself as Bob Ingersoll. "Well, how do you like hell?" said Bob. "I am amazed," replied our dreamer, "to see such a beautiful place." "It is pretty nice now, isn't it," answered Bob sociably. “But you just ought to have seen the place when we got here."

What Bob Ingersoll and his friends did for a dream hell can be done for marriage by almost any ordinary man or woman.

Do I mean man and woman? No. It takes just one to begin the important improvements in the marriage hell — preferably the woman, since she is in charge of the home. But either man or woman can do it.

How can a woman do it? By living her own life according to her own conscience, by adjusting herself to conditions as she finds them, and setting herself to improve them as well as she can without too much friction.

Faith, hope, and kindness remove friction and reveal love.

The difference between hell and heaven is the difference between friction and no friction; between fight and co-operation.

To eliminate friction readjust yourself. This does not mean you are to be a door-mat, or a mush. It means that where you cannot touch your husband pleasantly, you are to touch him not at all. To vibrate with him when you can; when you can't, to go off and vibrate with yourself. And to leave him free to do the same.

Heaven is freedom and kindly co-operation. Hell is bondage and antagonism. And any hell may be transformed into heaven.

What if your husband (or your wife) won't let you be free? But he can't help himself. Here is a hint: Agree when you can; please when you can; never chew the rag. Read him (or her) the Declaration of, Independence if necessary, then shut up and go about your business.

If you keep mum and follow your conscience the Spirit of Truth will illuminate both of you and dissipate the sulks. Truly "the believing wife shall sanctify the husband" — and vice versa.

That is, the wife or husband who believes the Spirit of Truth is real and works for Tightness in both, will hold her tongue in peace. And verily she shall be blessed and her husband with her.

HEAVEN IS ANY PLACE WHERE PEOPLE LIVE CLOSE TOGETHER AND ENJOY EACH OTHER.

Marriage is the school where people live closest and therefore have best opportunity to work out heaven in all its details.

Until human beings are happy in marriage they miss heaven.

The fewer vows a man and wife exchange, the better. Make no promises that you are not absolutely certain you can and will keep without strain. A very tiny promise broken assumes huge propor-tions.

Subdue yourself, devote yourself with all Good Will to the work which belongs to you; expecting nothing in return. Give love and service, expecting nothing in return beyond what you can get without contending; knowing that love and service are for the lover and server, that they bring their own reward. If you expect things from others you will be disappointed; if you expect nothing from others you will find yourself made happy at every turn by little unexpected attentions and services.

Cultivate the habit of appreciation; lay for chances to say; "Thank you, dearest!" — but never let yourself be fretted because the other party forgets to say it.

Resist not evil; but never mind when the other party resists! Go cheerfully on your way, making your own decisions in your own sphere, and knowing that in due time the other person will leave you free to make your own choices in your own sphere, just as you leave him free to make his choice in his sphere. Forgive trespasses, and smile! So shall your trespasses be forgiven.

Let husband and wife keep on polite terms with each other. Loving kindness covereth the multitude of shortcomings — it does not poke fun at them, or tease. Teasing begins in smiles and ends in galled spots. Avoid the galled spots.

Make it your rule never to get provoked when the other one is provoked. Wait until he is calmed down before you make your answer. Then make it in truth and likewise in gentleness. Make this the light habit of your marriage, and you will find it a talisman against evil.

Last but not by any means least, remember that it always takes two to make a quarrel, and that either one can stop it. By just LETTING GO, and remembering that what you cannot get for yourself, the One Spirit working in and through both will get for you, if you give it a little time. When in doubt, be still until the spirit of love tips you the wink.

Avoid tension as you would a pestilence — let go! So shall patience have her perfect work.


Chapter 2

THE GETTING MAD HABIT

IT is a fact that a great many people confess that they cannot even play a game of cards without getting mad — either at their own "luck," or the "stupidity" of their partners, or the crankiness of somebody else.

Which reminds me how I overcame a habit of "getting mad" when the children interrupted me in the midst of some exciting tale just when the villain was clutching Guinevere and nobody near to save. When I was reading something specially thrilling — at that time I read only religious stories — the children seemed possessed to tease me for this, that, and the other. And I was cross before I thought. And I thought I "couldn't help it," but I did hate myself for the crossness.

Then one day in my silence hour this sentence dropped into my consciousness, alongside the thought of my impatience with the children — "If thy right hand cause thee to offend cut it off and cast it from thee." It was like cutting off my right hand to give up reading those religious novels which "did me so much good." But the voice of the spirit had spoken. I swore off on novel reading. For a whole year I read not a single novel.

Then a friend asked me to read a new religious novel. I did. It was the most absorbing story! And the children seemed doubly possessed to interrupt me! And everybody else into the bargain! I read every minute I could until the story was finished. Then I realized that I had been interrupted ninety-nine times, more or less, and hadn't been even tempted to impatience a single time.

You see, I had grown in that year, grown in self-control; or rather I had learned poise, the power to turn readily from one thing to another. If I had kept on reading novels that year I would have wasted much energy in impatience, and would have fixed upon myself the habit of flying off the handle at interruptions. As it was, the spirit led me to do just the right thing, and I did it — the one thing that enabled me to do what I had longed and prayed to be able to do, control my temper.

The devil of crossness certainly does get into everybody who comes into contact with the cross one. Others may have better self-command than to show it, but they feel the cross vibrations just the same.

And when you have made somebody cross you only make her crosser by mental affirmations of "I love you!" When you have made her cross she resents you and doesn't want you to love her. Do you want the love of some "hateful old thing'' who is mean to you? Of course not. You want her to let you alone.

Next time you start vibrations of crossness change them by speaking PEACE to the troubled waves. To be still is the cure for crossness. After things are all quiet and peaceful again, then is time to start the I-love-you vibrations.

It is like this: Crossness starts vibrations across other people's vibrations; just as if your friend had dropped a pebble into a pool, making neat little ripples radiating toward the shore; and then you threw in two or three more pebbles, each starting its own series of ripples and chopping up the ripples your friend started. Crossness is like that — your vibrations go across your friends' vibrations.

You see peace is the only thing that will stop the cross-vibrations and make it possible to start harmonious ones.

Just remember this next time you make somebody cross. Don't put your arms around her the next minute and tell her you're sorry. And don't try to jolly it off. If you do she will be very apt to flounce away from you, or say something ugly to add to the general crossness. Just let go — don't try to "start harmonious vibrations" — be still and let the atmosphere calm down a bit. Then change the subject. Later you can apologize if you want to, and she — or he — will meet you half-way or better.

The same principle works with a cross child. Scoldings, lectures, slaps, punishment, all add to the general crossness of vibrations, until a regular psychic storm tosses both parent and child into doing what neither would dream of doing if let alone. If the child is sent to his room and the mother goes to hers, the cross vibrations will soon quiet down, when they will find it very easy to come to an understanding.

The parent who has gumption enough to speak peace first can do anything with a child — anything that is right.

 
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