Sunday, July 12, 2009

Metanoia

It has been a while since I've blogged, so I hope I'm not rusty, haha. Several things have happened in my life since the last time I made a post. I have been tackling a force-driven endeavor to better myself by putting several things in my life into perspective. I have had several opportunities to engage in introspection, and I have some things to share.

I won't go into great detail, but a few weeks ago, I had a "falling out" with a good friend of mine over some [harsh] comments I made regarding an assumed, private situation. I feel like a simple apology on my behalf might have remedied the situation, but something inside of me told me not to do so. I have no idea where this insight came from, but all of a sudden, my gut instinct told me to hold my ground, because whether or not it made my friend feel uncomfortable, it was the truth. You should never have to apologize for the truth. This of course spun out of control, a mole hill became a mountain, and I ended up having to separate myself away from these friends, but in a weird sort of way, I felt liberated. The truth set me free. I don't regret it at all.

This story is just a lead-in to my main topic of discussion, which is changing the way we think. There is a Greek term metanoia, which translates to "a change in one's thinking. a transformative change of heart. a spiritual conversion." I like the use of the word spiritual versus religious. Whether you are a die-hard holy roller, or an atheist, we can all agree that beneath the physicality of oneself, there is something deep down inside of us, our spirit. I believe our spirit can grow and develop without any religious connotation because we, as humans, can incorporate morality, good deeds, and the betterment of oneself without mention of gods/ deities. Oprah Winfrey once said, "It isn't until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are, not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within,that you can begin to take control. " That's how I addressed my above-referenced situation. I had to look inside MYSELF to find that catalyst to make a change.

I felt bad for a few days after I technically lost about 3 friends all in one day, but I realized, I could use this positively. I came to the conclusion that it was necessary for me to realize I apologized to people for too much, and for being myself. I now understand that some people don't comprehend that, and as I move forward, bettering myself, some people want to stay where they are in life and if they aren't moving forward, they are just going to have to eat my dust. I realized that I couldn't make a change in my life with the same circumstances or people in it. Instead of looking at it as a lost, I looked at it as a potential, and assured gain. Moral of all of this: change the way you think about situations, because there is always something positive in each and every one of them, even if it's just a lesson learned.

Everything happens for a reason. Wise words from Joel Osteen, "Turn your mess into a message." If you find yourself down on your luck, and if you can't think of anything positive to come from it, use your mistakes and misfortune to warn someone who could potentially make the same mistake. It's a form of therapy, and it's good for humanity. When Michael Jackson's scalp was burned in the early 80's on the set of the Pepsi commercial, he used his awarded settlement to build a burn victims hospital. In 1980 a group of mothers, whose children were killed in a drunk driving accident started MADD (Mother's Against Drunk Driving) to help promote awareness of this, and hopefully keep other mothers from feeling the same pain. Change the way you think.

Now, changing the way you think about a situation also works for present-progressive situations as well. I can't remember which pro-baseball player it is, but I recall his story from an article I read in a magazine a while back. He told his story of how in 8th grade he decided he was going to play professional baseball, although he had never played before. He went outside with a bat and a ball and told himself, "I'm the best batter in the world," and he took a powerful swing and missed. He tried again, "I'm the best batter in the world," he took a swing, and missed again. A third time, he picked up the bat, "I'm the best batter in the world," took a swing, and missed. He thought to himself, "I will be a professional baseball player, I want it bad enough, and I'm going to do this." Days went by, and he moped, and pouted, because he felt like his dream was crushed. Refusing to be defeated, he dropped the batting idea, picked up the baseball, and said, "I'm the best pitcher in the world," and needless to say, after playing all the way through college, he was signed to a professional baseball team. He changed the way he was thinking.

Sometimes seemingly, hopeless situations get the best of us, but perseverance is the only way to get through them. I have a few friends who were devastated because their relationships with their partners didn't work out. One of the friends actually just divorced her husband, and the other friend split ways with a partner after a pretty short term, but significant relationship. Both people were really sad, and although I, myself, have never been in a relationship of this caliber, I do understand what it's like to be dismayed by love. Most people have. My advice is change heartache into hope. I'm a realist in many aspects, except love. I'm a hopeless romantic. If that relationship you thought was going to last for ever dissipates, deal with it, learn from it, but move on. If that person you liked, (for what seems to be forever) doesn't show you the time of day, show them kindness not bitterness, but move on. Someday someone is going to walk into your life, and you are going to realize why none of the other relationships worked out. Sometimes that person to walk into your life is your own self. It's your own self, but with the added spiritual contentment and fulfillment that you, if still with your partner, probably wouldn't exist. Change the way you think about situations, and watch your whole life evolve. Metanoia is key; not necessarily a religious feeling, but that deep down, spiritual feeling, that only you can understand, which uplifts you, and allows you to take control. Try it out. Let me know.

2 comments:

  1. well spoken my friend. You definately have a way with words

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  2. great post! an eye opener and something to think about!

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