27
Jun

The Tyrant…

Saddam Hussein

Book Club Folks: Do you have Songs in the Key of Solomon yet? If not, click here to order it from Amazon.com. If you already have the book, click here for the suggested reading plan for July. I’m already reading it and I think I’m in love with this book!

Warning: You might want to get 2 of your favorite beverages first. 

With age comes wisdom. Or so it is said. Often, I don’t feel as if that is all that evident in my life, but I do think some of my thinking has evolved over the years. Perhaps it is wisdom. Perhaps it is not. But, all I know is that when I let the evolved part of my brain loose, I am happier. Because of that, I am trying to let that part of my brain free on a more regular basis. It isn’t always easy. But, let’s examine one area where I think it has evolved.

Relatively early in my life folks often said that I was an “encourager.”  People have also said they can let their “guard” down with me and thus, when people do, I am so honored to have that privilege. When given that privilege and since I hate to see good people hurting, I do my best to try to find the “silver lining” in each person’s situation. I truly believe we can learn from any circumstance in our lives–good, bad or indifferent. Let’s be honest–sometimes we learn more from the bad stuff than the good.

Two things often result for me when I have such a focus: 1) The fear about the impending doom seems less capable of hurting me; and 2) I suddenly have a wealth of ideas on how to conquer that situation. Learning something new is a very powerful thing for me–it keeps life from being boring and it makes me feel more alive. How about you?

Why would an awful situation suddenly produce “happy thoughts” just because I think can learn from it? I thought differently. When we choose to change our thinking about a negative situation, suddenly new possibilities for solving the issue just “show up.”  Soon after that, the situation is usually resolved one way or another.

Not true? Wrong! Think about when you are ready to buy a new car. Let’s say you decide you want a blue Ford Explorer. Suddenly, wherever you drive, there are blue Ford Explorers everywhere! (Dang it–you hate it when I’m right, hunh?!) In all reality there were just as many blue Ford Explorers on the roads near you as there were yesterday. But, because you are now “attending” to that little desire to buy a blue Ford Explorer, your eye notices a lot of blue SUVs and pays even more attention to those that are Explorers!

If the above is true, then imagine what we can achieve if we merely make a decision to go out and achieve it. Here’s another example of what I mean: If you make the decision that you want to make the world a little kinder place, you start focusing on what you can do with the resources around you that would help the world become a kinder place. One of the easiest ways to do that is to “pay it forward” literally at your local drive-thru. We’ve all seen in the media how 1 person paying for the order of the car behind him started a “chain of kindness” of people paying for everyone else’s order for an entire weekend at a Starbucks! In fact when it rolled around to a Monday morning at one location, the person who originated the “chain of kindness” also received a free order because that person was back in line at the same location that following Monday morning! That means they just created a kinder world for themselves, too!

All because one person changed their thinking and made a decision.

The same is true about other areas of your life. If you decide that you are finally, once and for all, going to lose that weight and keep it off, sooner or later you will find what works for you and take it off. You won’t let temporary failure get in the way–you’ll simply regard it as discovering what did not work for you. And you’ll amaze yourself at how much you really know about successfully taking off weight if you sit down and write it out on a legal pad or computer screen, without even having to consult Google!

If that is true, then so is having a lot of discretionary cash at your disposal after you quit spending your hard-earned cash on cigarettes. So is learning a new language or being a better parent or being a better son or daughter.

Today is my youngest’s 20th birthday. Yes! No more teens at my house! (That’s been a long time comin’ around this humble abode.) The youngest has had obstacles at every turn–bad allergies, two over-achieving older siblings, learning disabilities that aren’t recognized by most special education programs at public schools, bullying and constant teasing at school throughout his academic career, and two perfectionistic parents. But, despite all of that, he is slowly learning how to deal with those overbearing parents of his, has ignored the bullies and teasers, worked around the learning disabilities (and even excelled at three subjects in high school), put up with the two siblings and takes allergy meds for those crazy allergies. He just chose to think differently about things so that he could still find joy in a world that doesn’t understand his unique brain. He could have chosen so many other paths that were much more destructive. But he hasn’t.

Is he perfect? Nope. Do I still wonder how he will turn out? Yep. Could he still decide to go down destructive paths? Yep. But, I bet that even if he struggles and makes some bad decisions this coming year, we’ll still be celebrating his 21st birthday with him next year. Why? Because he’s made the decision to not let the world get the best of him.

Are you going to let yourself be defeated?

Point to Ponder 1: If you could choose one area of your life to “remodel,” what area would that be? Your marriage? The way you treat your friends? Are you a little pudgy in some places? Is it alcohol or nicotine?? Whatever it is, walk somewhere away from everyone else (because this is going to get you labeled a mental patient!) and yell to that area: ” (Insert your biggest nemesis here!), YOU are not going to have ANY power over me anymore!”

Point to Ponder 2: Now that you know who or what “the enemy” is, spend a little time thinking about why this “nasty boy” is ruling your life like a tyrant. When are you the most vulnerable to an attack from this tyrant? At certain times of the day or night? What’s going on inside your head during those times? Because I guarantee you that whatever you are not acknowledging as a thought is what’s causing that tyrant to get the upper hand in your life. Write this all down somewhere so you can read it several times throughout the day. (My suggestion? Tuck it in your wallet or put it in your desk drawer where you keep the office supplies.)

Point to Ponder 3: It’s time to go on offense! You’ve identified the enemy and its tactics. What thoughts can counter those tactics? I realized that’s it’s pretty hard to stuff my face if my hands are busy (and now you know why I blog!). Can you distract yourself ? Replace bad thoughts with good ones? Now, post those on a sheet of paper on your bathroom mirror. If you think of more, add them. Read them each day to remind yourself that YOU are worthy of a positive change in your life and in the lives of others. YOU were put on the planet to make it a better place. And there’s no better place to start than with yourself.

Point to Ponder 4: Tyrants don’t give up easily and they WILL identify one of your weak spots or an area you still haven’t acknowledged. So, make “Plan B.” When that tyrant gets the upper hand again, what are you going to do to keep that tyrant from “winning the war”? Plan B should be about your “emergency thoughts and actions” that will take back that area from that tyrant. It may mean re-thinking one part of your original plan and adjusting it to meet the new challenge from an old foe. But, whatever it is, this time Plan B will thwart your enemy! Just because you lose one “battle” doesn’t mean you have to lose the war.

Go forth and conquer! 🙂

Monday’s Post: Two people knew the Word of the Week. Are you number 3???

You Might Also Like: The Honest Truth and Yes, That’s Redundant; The New AnniversariesThe Real Memorial Day; Eulogy for a Brother; and We’re Still Losing This War

This entry was posted on Friday, June 27th, 2014 at 10:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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