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It Matters How You "See" a Situation

     In the best selling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey stated, "we simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be.  And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.  The way we see things is the source of the way we think and the way we act."  In other words, our perceptions influences how we think and approach every situation in our lives.

     When my fourteen-year old son, Blease died unexpectedly in 1995 from cardiac arrest my perception of this loss resulted in me circling around Mt. Misery for years until I had a shift in how I perceived this tragic experience.  Before the shift in my thinking occurred, day after day, year after year I focused on the death of my son. Focusing solely on my son's death prevented me from moving forward.  Despite my professional success at the time, on the inside I was experiencing an emotional hell I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I  majored in pity parties.  I was consumed with my anger towards God for allowing me to suffer such a loss.  I isolated myself from family and friends.  I was so bitter and angry that I could have written Tyler Perry's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman".

     The shift in  my thinking did not occur overnight.  I had to first face the fact that my perception of loosing a child was not accurate.  One day as I watched a mother on a Oprah show discuss her thoughts and emotions about the death of her son, I was shocked and amazed by her courage when it was evident that her emotions were very raw.  As I cried throughout the show, I couldn't help but think about how this mother was able to get up in front of a national audience and tell her story. Despite her loss, she said that she was focusing on the LIFE that her son had lived and how much joy he had added to the lives of his family and friends.  A few days later after that show, I realized that my focus on the day my son died was not honoring the days of his life.  I had allowed my perception of my mother's experience after the murder of my brother, Arthur to influence a perception that loosing a child was a death sentence.  Nine months after my brother's death, my mother died from cardiac arrest.  I was thirteen at the time so her death imbedded an impression that the death of a child for a parent was so crushing that it could lead to the death of a parent's will to live.  I witnessed the change in my mother's spirit months after my brother's death.  This experience left a mark on my mind and heart that could only be erased with the help of God and His Word.

     Like the prodigal son, I returned to my faith humbled by the fact that God's mercy and His grace kept me as I traveled through one of my toughest valley experiences.  Once I restored my fellowship with the Lord, I began to renew my mind in His Word on a daily basis.  Taking a tip from the children of Isreal, I decided that I would only allow myself one hour daily to mourn my son's death.  The other twenty-three hours would have to focus on living my life the best that I could for the moment.  Day by day, step by step a new path with a new purpose began to evolve as I spoke about my experience in my Toastmaster's club meetings in Wilmington, NC.

     Out of my greatest pain, the Lord provided me with my life's purpose.  To help others help themselves get up and move on after experiencing adversity.  God is no respector of persons, what he has done in my life he can do in yours. Romans 8:28 states, "and we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them".

     Challenge your perception of your situation against God's Word. Eph. 4:23 ...let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitude. Regardless of your circumstance God is faithful.

It's Your Move ~ Aspire Higher

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