It is amazing how one simple thought can change everything I know. The people I work with on a daily basis often tell me, “I wish I would have seen myself the way I see myself now, back then, because things would be so different.” People I work with and talk to often find themselves stuck in hardships and negative attitudes about themselves, their lives, and their situations because they have become so accustomed to viewing their lives through the lens of a negative attribute, or a limited scope, or a particular method of existence. It is only when they allow themselves to see themselves differently, or view their situations differently, or view their past circumstances differently, that they can then break free from the bonds that have held them back for so long, and begin to move forward with a new perspective on life. In therapy, we call it “Reification,” in which a person forgets that he or she has the power to redefine his life by simply viewing it from another perspective.
For example, if I call myself “stupid,” then every thought and action I take will be predicated on the notion that I am indeed “stupid.” Every time I do something and it doesn’t go well, even if it’s accidental, I will refer myself to being the “stupid one that never gets anything right,” and will continue to define myself that way until something, or someone, or Someone wakes me up and tells or shows me that I am “not stupid.” Even then, it is up to me to take on that new mantra of “not stupid” and reorient myself around that fact. Because I have believed for so long that I was “stupid,” the fact that someone tells me that I am “not stupid” does not necessarily change how I feel about myself. I have to believe in it myself before the real change takes effect, and then practice being “not stupid” and understanding the consequences thereof.
What is God trying to say? For many of us, we define our lives based on what happened to us, or what someone said to us, or what someone did to us, and we orient ourselves based upon those definitions not because of those events, but how we thought about and responded to those events. We allowed people to tell us that we’re not smart enough, we’re not daring enough, we’re not bold enough, we’re not rich enough, or we’re not connected enough, to do the things God has given us the vision to do. We’ve allowed people to steal our innocence, take control of our courage, snatch our will to live away, and laugh in our faces while we cower in fear. We allowed people to define our very existence, and in doing so, allowing the enemy to snuff us out, bring us down, and keep us from reaching the Destinies that God has ordained for our lives. And we allowed it because we, whether we realize it or not, have the power (by God) to think ourselves to be different than those around us would imagine us to be.
Whether we want to admit it our not, we are victims only because we think ourselves to be victims. We are foolish only because we think ourselves to be foolish. We are depressed only because we think ourselves to be depressed. We are ugly only because we think ourselves to be ugly. We are crippled only because we think ourselves to be crippled. We are immature, pathetic, unintelligent, moronic, schizophrenic, angry, idiotic, incapable, run-down, “never gonna amount to anything,” mean, selfish, too much, and the list goes on, because we allowed others to label us as such, and we accepted the labels given to us, and then thought ourselves to be what others have made us to be, no matter the circumstance.
I serve a God who is able to give me a different thought about who I am in Him, and in doing so, give me a Paradigm Shift, a thought, idea, or concept that completely changes the landscape or perspective of everything around me. God has the ability to allow me to see my life differently than I’ve ever seen it before. He has the power to make me a believer when I want to doubt, to make me rich when the world says I’m poor, to make me happy even though life says I should be depressed, to lift me up when life tries to press me down, to give me peace in the midst of struggle and war, to make me a visionary when others say my dreams don’t make any sense. God has the power to give me power over my past circumstances, no matter what it may have been. Whether it is the fact that my father tried to kill me, my brother, and my mother when I was 3, or whether my friend was raped for 5 years from the age of 7 by her stepfather, or that my brother in Christ lost his job at 58, regardless of what it is, I have the power to overcome anything that has happened to me because of how I think of myself in relation to the situation.
Yes, things happen to us that are beyond our control, and for a while, it hurts. But we have to recognize that despite the situation or the circumstance, our God is a God who has the ability to give us a mind of victory when we want to be defeated. We have the power to think ourselves differently than our circumstances would dictate. We have to be willing to shift the paradigm by which we define ourselves, and then have the courage to overcome the obstacles that come with the shift. It is not easy being different than what others would think we should be. It’s not easy being the outcast, being the radical one. Nevertheless, God has created all of us for a purpose, for a destiny, and until we think ourselves to be different than what the world would believe, we are nothing more than pawns in the world’s game, muses to people who will be there for us today, and against us tomorrow. We must realize that God has great plans for us, and in order to make that first step, we must first embrace the Paradigm Shift that states that we are who God says we are, no matter what we or others may think.
You are one thought away from the first day of the best days of your life. Think about it.