William James said "Things are not as they are, but as we are." We really do see differently from anyone else. Every moment is seen from our perspective and that's a great thing. From our perspective, we are the center of our world and from that center, we have the power to choose how we see anything. The gift of freedom to perceive is priceless! It's the key to being happy.
While on a radio show an older woman called in and told that when she was very young a doctor told her parents that she was autistic. The parents had not heard of autism and they thought the expert said their daughter was “artistic.” Their child was obviously not displaying “normal” child behavior, so with all the care and concern of devoted parents to help their child thrive, they proceeded to fill their “artistic” daughter’s life with crayons, paints, art supplies and crafts. The woman is a college graduate, articulate, joyful and successful.
I know there are degrees of autism, but my point is; there is power in labels.
Using the internal timer
A couple years ago I'd been mentally pulled from my routinely solid state of happiness and contentment. It doesn’t matter what the source of the discontent was. What matters is, for a time I allowed circumstances to control my habitual center of peace and joy. When that happens, that’s when a timer can come in handy. In those chaotic times when we are thrown out of our peace, if we can stop our mental and emotional free falls by setting a timer for 15 minutes of stillness for the purpose of breathing and regaining a positive direction and peace will return.
My husband was present through my tunnel of annoyance and when he’d look at me; there was always a question in his eyes: Are you back yet? One morning I woke up and all I wanted to do was replay the CD in my mind labeled “injustice,” but like the song, “It’s a Small World After all,” I wanted to spare myself the needless repetition of a thought that does not match my spirit, so I set my timer for 15 minutes, to pray and get myself back.
In that short period of time, I clearly realized I needed to walk. I had not walked for two days and I certainly did not want to do it with my heavy heart, but the walk was a transfusion. I got myself back. With it came clear thoughts, free of negativity and my body called for more water and a nap. Sleep, sweet sleep came and I was completely refreshed.
The timer, prayer, exercise and rest put me at my computer and I was able to write a blog that reflected my restoration.
Things are not as they are, but as we are. We have all the power and when we stop and take time to reflect on that power we can move through our negative circumstances with grace and ease. We don’t have to get buried in avalanches of negative thinking, if we can remember to stop, be still and know that mighty in the midst of our chaos is God. Where God is, there is peace and all is well.