Monday, October 22, 2007

Perception


One of the verses in the first chapter of Your Best Life Now is Isaiah 43:19. I've always liked that verse. God says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it?" I think perception is the key to living a good life. I find "Enlarging Your Vision" to be an empowering chapter. I read a while back in Jampolsky's Love is Letting Go of Fear that we have a choice in determining what we perceive and even what feelings we are going to experience. I was so awestruck by that! For the first time, I realized I had a choice about whether I could be happy and peaceful. I had always thought I didn't have a choice. He went on to say, "Perception is a mirror, not a fact. As I think, so I see, because angry thoughts project an angry world and peaceful thoughts extend peace to the world. I will remember that what I perceive and experience are the result of projecting thoughts in my mind outward. The lens of my own past experiences filters all that I see, and this appears outside me. What I perceive out in the world is actually my thoughts made into images, projected outward as if looking into a mirror. As I recognize the reality in this, I can then look back inside myself and see where I am holding on to unforgiving, attacking thoughts about myself and others. As I choose to change my thoughts, my perception of the world also changes." Wow! That's powerful stuff, isn't it?
Love and Light,
Patty

8 comments:

R4C said...

Philippians 4:7-9 (NIV)
7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

Alicia said...

I think it's difficult for many of us to enlarge our visions because we don't want to be disappointed if what we hope does not come to pass. Case in point: my husband and I have been planning a vacation to Key West for months. It'll be the last vacation he can take for the next 8 months due to work restrictions. Now he has an ear infection and may not be able to fly. I can see the point Osteen's trying to make, but how do we enlarge our vision without living in denial?

R4C said...

I know what you mean-- I have been trying to drag my sister along on my "Dream Ranch Journey." and bless her heart she tries but I also know that her health over the last three years has been her biggest challenge. We keep "believing" God for the cure but it hasn't come yet. However, I think enlarging the vision means-- not always "expecting" the turn out to be what we think/or think we want. Enlarging the vision means "buying into God's vision for us." Knowing and Beleiving that if you don't go to Key West-- God had some greater purpose for you here and just waiting like a kid on Christmas morning to find out what it is--sometimes it is to bless us more and sometimes it so we can bless someone else (which is a blessing for us too!). In this way, my sister can see all the people she is blessing on her frequent hospital visits, all the encouragement she can give by being there. And together we keep believing for the day when she goes to doctor and they exclaim, "the mass is completely gone and we don't know why," and she says, "I do-- Praise God-- my mission here is complete."
Keep believing for the trip--knowing God can heal minor ear infections-- but the enlarging of the vision (IMHO) is how we respond if he doesn't... do you trust God had the better plan?

Patty said...

Wow! Alicia, I'm so sorry that Chris has an ear infection. I know the trip means a lot to you. I'm praying that God will heal him soon so you'll be able to go. rfc, I like the bible verse you quoted about staying positive with thoughts about "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Brother David Steindl-Rast in HEART OF GRATEFULNESS says that we need to continually ask this question, "Isn't it surprising?" as we go through our day. We talked about that once at one of our bible study meetings. There are so many things in the universe that I tend to take for granted. I need to slow down and take the time to realize the beauty of it all so I can be grateful. I spent the last week in the woods by Eureka Springs, AR, living a very basic lifestyle. It was actually camping. My daughter's family are building a house, but in the meantime, they use an outhouse, hand sanitizer, and bring five gallons of water uphill at a time from the spring on their land. It sounds tough, but the trees were so beautiful and the weather was awesome, and I kept saying to myself, "Isn't it surprising?" Their children are so adept at outdoor living. At night they sleep in a tiny cabin, but all day, they live outdoors. I know this will change with winter coming on and that they will be cooped up in their tiny cabin or RV more, but right now they are just grateful for the weather holding out as well as it has. They continually look for opportunity in everything. It made me reassess my lifestyle. I'm so grateful to be home to running water, flushing toilets, and a bathtub. I guess what I'm saying is this. There is always opportunity. Even in "bad" days, we need to look for an opportunity. Maybe it will be a chance to change something we don't like. In the case of my family in the woods, this basic lifestyle is causing my son-in-law to work long hours on building the house so they will have a more comfortable habitation. It is giving him a chance to change what he doesn't like. It's providing the contrast for him to realize what his true goals are and to work in that direction. I like what you said, r4c, about maybe the Lord has something better in mind if an opportunity doesn't work out. Perhaps there is a greater purpose. Maybe it feels like denial when we choose to stay positive regardless of the outside circumstances, but it is actually a great relief to be able to choose our own emotions. In the meantime, Alicia, I will continue to pray that this opportunity to go to Key West does work out for you and Chris.

Alicia said...

Thanks for you perspectives. It's helped me focus on what's really important, and the true motivation behind wanting to go to Key West (wanting to relax and spend time with my husband). I've also realized it's ok to plan, but I need to be flexible to allow God room to work.

Patty said...

Great insight, Alicia. So did you get to go to Key West or did God have something else in mind?

Patty said...

rfc, you quoted one of my favorite verses---Phil. 4:8 "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, think on these things." Our thought life is so important. Osteen says to "think positive thoughts of victory, thoughts of abundance, thoughts of favor, thoughts of hope; good, pure, excellent thoughts." I think that is so key in our lives.

Patty said...

It's been over a year since I wrote on this particular post, but I got a joke in email today that reminded me that we have a post on perception so I wanted to share it:

"The Window Through Which We Look

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.

The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

'That laundry is not very clean', she said. 'She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.'

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: 'Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?'

The husband said, 'I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.'

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look."

Good point!!