By Oke Chinye
Read: John 16:25-33
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
sychologists say that it is not so much the events in our lives that distress us, rather, it is the perception we hold about the events. Have you ever wondered why some people are able to stay calm in the face of intense pressure whilst others loose it completely or collapse like a pack of cards? What is responsible for the difference in reactions? What is it that makes certain people survive, adapt, recover, and even thrive after going through adversity and tough times, whilst others spiral downwards into personal decline or get stuck in a state of learned helplessness or even end it all as we have seen some people do in recent times? How come certain people go through the most intense pressure and emerge even better?
When you encounter an event, you immediately give it meaning based on your beliefs and past experiences. The meaning you give to that occurrence will generate thoughts within you which will evoke certain feelings or emotions in you. These feelings will determine the action you take which will eventually lead to an outcome. If your interpretation of that event was a positive one, it will trickle down the chain and lead to a positive outcome. If on the other hand it was a negative one, it will evoke negative thoughts and emotions in you which will lead to a negative action on your part, leading eventually to a negative outcome.
Get into the habit of asking yourself “how am I interpreting my life’s experiences that is causing me stress? “What am I assuming here that is causing me distress or unhappiness”? And then question the assumption when you identify it. For instance, if you are unhappy in life because you are not yet married, are you not assuming that all married people are happy? And is this correct? If you give up in the face of the current harsh reality, are you not assuming that nothing good will ever come out of your life? How can this be true when you are not gifted with the knowledge of the future?
You have little or no control over what life throws at you, but you can control your perceptions, attitude, and thoughts about them and by extension control the outcomes you get out of life. Nothing means anything except the meaning you give to it and the meaning you give to it is not the only meaning. There are always several perspectives to every event. That glass which is half empty is also half full. There are different ways of looking at an occurrence. Choose the meaning that serves you best. Reframe your adversities as opportunities for growth and notice how this changes your energy and drive. It is what you say it is. Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are right.
IN HIS PRESENCE is written by Pst (Mrs) Oke Chinye, Founder of The Rock Teaching Ministry (TRTM).
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