Changing our perspective when life is tough
Our thoughts our so important. Our perspective is so important. We have the ability to shift how we see our circumstances.
Those comments are guiding us in where we are going in this post. They’ve been on my mind recently. About a month ago Alan and I received some news that was a bit surprising to us and we are still waiting to see how things pan out. At first there was much angst and fear, but luckily God has been drawing me in, directing my attention. One night I wanted to listen to something positive before bed and as I started a Youtube search I landed on something from a guy named Wayne Dyer. Truthfully, before this time I haven’t had much contact with his work.
As I listened, I found great comfort in one theme. I had trouble finding the exact thing I listened to that evening, but I will write down two lines I came across that depict the same message:
“There can be no obstacle or undesirable circumstance to the mind of God.”
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
This morning I took some time to just sit with those words again. At times my mind would go to places like sarcasm, like “Really? What about the hurricanes that roll through and cause devastation?” But my mind doesn’t stay there. I hesitate to say this because in many circumstances we talk about a lesson in everything and people can feel so minimized in their struggle. If you’re going through struggle, this is not to say you need to push feelings aside and just act ok. At the same time, I’ve seen how asking for a new and fresh perspective has given me the internal shift I’ve needed. A new perspective can help us get through situations that feel unmanageable.
It might mean pondering these questions and how they connect to your situation. Take a few minutes to see if any of these questions stand out to you to pause and reflect:
1. What might be God’s perspective on _________
2. Is there a new perspective, one based more on love and possibility and less on fear and lack?
3. Is there any sign of opportunity in this tough situation? Even if it’s not what you would have expected, is there good you can find?
4. Is there a chance for growth? Sometimes we have tough situations come our way to refine us and mold us. Sometimes we actually need to become new people to handle them. If you’ve never been assertive, is this an opportunity to be a more assertive person? If you’ve seen disabilities of any kind with a negative eye, is it a chance to see how God see’s people who are “less than perfect?”
In my work as a therapist I sit with many, MANY people who find themselves in circumstances that they wouldn’t wish on anyone. As we work through the situations, I’ve found a common process each person goes through…
-Be with the emotions. Sometimes it takes longer, depending on the relationship each person has with emotions. Allow yourself to feel.
-Accept and acknowledge the situation. This doesn’t mean if you’re in a form of abuse you need to accept it and allow it to continue. I mean it in a way that acceptance and acknowledgement helps to move forward. Denial keeps us stuck.
-Connect with God and your heart to make a plan for moving forward. If you’ve been on my blog posts before, you might say, “ here she goes with her suggestions again…” Hey, I have some go-to suggestions because I’ve seen they work. In my doctoral research I knew I would be helping people find connection in life, so I research ways to help individuals find connection to God, themselves and others. We need to be connected to make the best decisions in life. Here are some suggestions:
Move -This post talks about yoga as a form of movement. Basically when we feel stuck, any time of movement is helpful!
I am confident your situation can improve. If you take the time to be gracious towards yourself and catch a small break from your racing mind, which can get tangled in fear and "what ifs" your perspective can be opened to new possibilities. You have a God-spark inside you that is gently speaking hope. Be courageous to pause and listen. Happy rooting, everyone!