The purpose of this blog is to give helpful insights into issues, themes and situations that hinder living in fullness of life. Posted from newest to oldest, they cover a variety of subjects. Browse by scrolling through the articles or using the Archive. The 1st post "Greetings" is an introduction to this blog. More about Abundant Life Services can be found via the link to the website. Please feel free to comment if you would like or submit ideas for future posts.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Where Do I Begin?
That's a pretty common question when you sit down for the first time with a counselor. Do I start by telling you that I’m here because I’m sleeping all the time and have no motivation. Maybe I should talk about how I feel an overwhelming sense of despair. Perhaps I should talk about how my thoughts race from, “what is left, I don’t think things will ever be the same” to “this is the same thing mom went through and she passed away in a pit of despair.” I could get really deep and talk about how, when I was a teen, my dad kept telling me, “you’re just like your mom and you’ll never amount to anything.” Then a year later my dad left us and never came back.
In this fictitious, but believable account, you see four things. The first is behavior and that behavior is often what gets our attention. Second is feelings and these feelings often prompt our behavior. Third is thoughts or self talk, the tape that loops over and over in our head, many times producing the feelings. Lastly is beliefs, in this case, beliefs like I’ll never amount to anything, I’m destined to be like mom, this is my fault, I deserve it.
Do we need to deal with the behavior, feelings and thoughts? Yes. Often this is how we uncover the beliefs; but are those beliefs true? If not, how do we change them? If we could change them, perhaps the thoughts would change and thus the feelings and even the behavior could change to.
I have watched this process unfold and seen many gain powerful victory from consuming thoughts and feelings and unhealthy behaviors. Is this psychology at work? Consider this: in the Bible in John 8:32 Jesus says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Apply that to the process I just outlined and you’ll see that this is more than psychology, it is a spiritual principle at work. In addition, Paul states in Romans 12:2 . . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” When you couple these two spiritual principles together, you get a pattern that has the potential to transform (from the Greek word metamorphoo, meaning metamorphose like a caterpillar to a butterfly) or radically change a person’s life.
So, back to the question, where do I begin? The simple answer is begin with whatever you see, but know that beneath behaviors are feelings; beneath feelings are looping thoughts and beneath the thoughts are beliefs which could be true or untrue, healthy or unhealthy. If the beliefs can become healthy, truth based, spiritually powerful beliefs; then the truth and renewal of thinking can quite possibly transform your life.
May God bless you with Hope and Life.
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