Words of Wisdom from Dr. Phil.

We had had yet another ‘disagreement’ and, as per usual, I was left feeling that I must be either horribly delusional or he must be just plain wrong. I had always favoured the latter but it wasn’t making me feel any better. I was still miserable and hated this contention between us. But how to make him see sense?…he can be more stubborn than an ox when he thinks he’s right! (and in case you’re wondering I am quite different to him… meek as a lamb, docile as a dove… lol, yeah right!)

I turned on the TV to be greeted with Dr. Phil interviewing some miserable soul.

“There’s no such thing as reality. It’s just your perception of it,” he said.

And right there, it hit me hard between the eyes. Neither of us were right and neither of us were wrong. We just had different perceptions. Relief flooded me. It was a lightbulb moment that would bring huge changes to our marriage. No longer did I have to compete, be right, or, be wrong. We could both be legitimised and work this stuff out together. Our different ways of looking at things could become an asset rather than a stumbling block. I just had to open my mind to this new idea.

It had also been a struggle to open my mind to the idea that there was good in my life. I had never thought about it in specifics. I definitely didn’t feel it. In reality, I think like most people, things had happened, I had had an emotional reaction and however I was left feeling at the end of that experience is where I stayed. What I told myself from that happening was what I ended up believing.And most of the time that was negative. The idea of challenging what I was thinking was totally foreign to me. If I thought it, it must be real, right? Well, apparently not according to Dr. Phil. My thoughts are not reality. They are a perception and perceptions can be challenged and changed. Hhhmmmm

So along comes God and asks me to draw something every day that I am grateful for. I’m a pickin’ that He knew I would be having some major mindset shifts to accomplish this task. In order to find the one thing I would draw each day, I decided to make a list of ten things during the day and from those ten choose the one that would become today’s grateful drawing. As we talked about last week, this is dimension 1 of ‘Yada’. To begin to seek out, analyse, investigate. To begin to know the good in my world. But as I continued to do this each day, month in and month out, I began to notice a shift coming in my ‘daily grateful list’. Instead of just things, events, etc., happening around me, I began to put things like ‘Grateful for the sunset…God’s kiss goodnight’ or ‘ Grateful for Freedom…God’s gift’. The author of the good, the reason behind the thing or event, was becoming visible to me. I was moving into the second dimension of ‘Yada’… I was beginning to understand how or why.

Johnson Oatman, the author of many many great old hymns, was onto something when he wrote

“Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One,

Count your blessings, see what God has done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one

And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

My dad was telling me the other day about a group called the Wayside Mission in Auckland, New Zealand, back around the time I was making my entrance into the world. They had a kitchen and shower block as well as a big meeting hall and used to give out showers and food to the alcoholics and homeless people who lived in the city at that time. Dad used to go and help out. He said that, for all they had absolutely nothing in the world, when asked every week what they’d like to sing it was always “Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One”, and it was always every verse in a rousing rendition sung with all their gusto. What was it that made this song their constant favourite? Did they know what Dr. Phil was saying? Did they find as they sang it every week, that their perspective changed from the hard world around them back to the one who is love? Apart from a shower and food in their belly today, their situation hadn’t changed, but when their perspective was on the Giver and His gifts, their world was a brighter happier place.

Perspective…grateful.

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