|You'll notice my knees are not shaking.|
An Attitude Check
How is your attitude? Like an airplane, is your attitude nose up, and climbing, or is it nose down, heading for a crash?
Mine? You know the answer. Hopefully, it's one reason why you drop by. The thing is, my disposition is positive---usually---even when times are dire. A big reason is that I have a peace of mind that transcends my circumstances.
During tough times, I've learned to fly by the instrument panel of
healthy principles. I'm guided by the rudder of a loving God and dynamic, positive, discerning, friends who also have a sense of humor. No emotional vampires in my life to pull me down. Heck no.
Growth: Moving Beyond Knowledge
How did I get this way? By eating slowly, making the most out of what I feed my mind. Just like eating food, it's best, when studying, to digest slowly, taking my time. It takes awhile for my brain to signal the stomach of my comprehension that it is full. When that happens, I have enough meaty information that requires exercise, if I want to prevent becoming mentally fat.
Gobbling food quickly leads to physical indigestion. It leads to packing on more pounds than I need carry on this mortal coil. The same is true with learning. Personal growth or healing is not a matter of stuffing my head with information, seeing how many pages I read today. It's about three things: applying, applying and applying. This is the only way we overcome characterological patterns ingrained in us since youth. Again, this requires effort.
I know, schools have taught us incorrectly. True learning is not about acquiring more cognitive information. Wisdom is using it. Otherwise, what was the point of the effort?
Overcoming Ingrained Characterological Patterns
Books were not given to increase our knowledge, but to improve our lives. Ruminating upon what I learn, practicing it, making it a deliberate part of me---incarnating it, is better. When difficulties arise, I have learned antidotes that help me triumph over today's or tomorrow's looming difficulties.
I don't catastrophize. Panicking doesn't help, when struggling. If that's where I am, I'm forgetting that I can't live life by going it alone. The machete of God's power and the support of my Balcony People cuts me through the tangled jungle of life, easing the journey. Without connecting, intimately with others, I suffer from the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I suffer decay of my soul, entropy.
Freaking out only makes problems worse and more disturbing. Fear informs me that I'm either overlooking critical truths or I am not allowing grace to balance out what I perceiving or feeling, I'm reacting, not responding. Usually, I'm condemning myself, allowing the fearful child within to fly the plane of my life.
A bad idea.
The Instrument Panel of Healthy Principles
Being mindful of healthy principles, and living by them, allow the airplane of my life to fly straight, calmly, preventing my life from crashing into the sea of despair.
Specific Dials On the Instrument Panel"If thy law [or healthy principles] had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction." Psalms 119:92
You want to know specific principles that help me? Okay. Here's one: "When I need the applause of others to feel good about myself, I've give them power over my life." Another you ask? All right. How about this: "I block my own well-being each time I base my self-worth on what I do or what others think of me."
Man, you are persistent. I hear you asking for more. You are gobbling up these principles like potato chips, although they are healthier than that. Fine. Here's another: "Condemning my imperfections has never enhanced my appreciation of life nor has it helped me to love myself more."
What a minute, you want more, you haven't had your fill?? I'll be a nice guy and leave this final one: "If you feel like a doormat, you need to get up off the floor." Well, there you go. If you apply these, you'll fly straighter through many storms of life, arriving at a life filled with more serenity, emotional ease and joy. Happy flying.
How About You?
Are you nose up or nose down? Please share what state your attitude is in, and why.