Nevertheless, we managed to spend some family time there and I was blessed to got a new book, The achievement habit by Bernard Roth. I sometimes feel it is God's divine intervention to lead me to pick up a certain book and he has valuable lessons to teach me through the author's way of writing. And of course, God was right, again !
In one chapter, Bernard mentioned about "his daughters have no meaning" and this exercise requires the group to mention something in their lives that has no meaning. So A may say , my dog has no meaning , B said, my work has no meaning and so on. After a while, someone in the group may mention something or someone that is close to them and say, my daughter has no meaning. As a father of two young kids, for me to say, my kids have no meaning is incomprehensible and something unimaginable. That is not the point that Bernard was trying to convey.
He said that the meaning that we attached to anything/anyone creates the context that we are in. We are empowered to make this choice and give it meaning. Therefore, if we are in a situation that you dislike, say you failed an exam paper, broke your leg or lost money in business, it is what meaning that we give it to that make up our emotional state.
If we do not assign a meaning to it, then it does not matter to us. This is a revelation indeed as I reflect back on some of the challenges that I am stuck with. The more I want to dig out of the hole, the deeper I seem to get myself into. That is because I have attached a deeper meaning to it. Therefore, the choice lies with me and not the situation itself.
Similarly, if someone has hurt us, offended us or disappoint us, it is also up to us to decide whether we want to attach any meaning to that relationship. That is not to say to remain callous and cold in our dealings with people but that at each stage, we are given a choice to decide what to do with it. We have this awareness that our decision makes the outcome we want and we need not let external circumstances to control us.
In the Bible, God says - So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4.16.
The world may continue to judge us by our external circumstances, choose to ignore them. Block out these noises. It is within our control. We have a choice and we can choose not to listen to this inner dialogue that corrupts our mind - you should be more like your brother, why can't you be smarter? how come you are still here?,etc.
It is interesting how concepts that I thought I had knew or learnt in the past can be reframed in different ways and somehow years later with accumulated life experiences, the valuable lessons reveal itself , packaged differently and presented as a surprise present for me. That is why I love to read, you won't know what you are getting. And sometimes you thought you had resolved an old problem till you encountered some words or phrases in the book and it rekindled your memories.
It changes your perspective about life, everything in fact. Nothing stands till even though we may think life seems to be the same day in, nights out. Little changes are taking place beneath our skin, transformation are in progress and when new situation occurs, we react differently, said different words and act differently. Then we realised , ah ,this has a new meaning, a new level of understanding........
Thank you Lord for your continuous education, you somehow knew what I need , when I need it and have the means to deliver it to me.