Romans12: 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Today my reflections were about the transformation of my mind.
When I was young I transformed my mind by shutting down the true feelings and misinterpreted the scripture in Philippians 4:8-23 (MSG) which reads:
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse good, the noble, the positive
I have learned that the best way is not to ignore the sadness that comes with life, but to rather acknowledge it and move ahead.
I think one of the statements that opened my soul up is one from Nelson Mandela when he said, courage is not the absence of fear. So the scripture says fill your minds, and filling something is a process.
And I think first it must start with acknowledging what is there, the void, the pain and sadness if be then continue to filling it up . . .
So confidence is not the absence of low self-esteem per se, the bravery is in the conquering of self-limiting beliefs and fear and see through it.. .. . . . I do believe that this is in part how I should transform my mind now.
The older I get the more understanding I receive, as the word of God says, in your getting get understanding. In reading a lot of books, I also realise that avoiding pain and suffering does not build any resilience muscles, all it does is create an unrealistic bubble about life. The bible is the best resource for people who suffered, in fact Paul says “close to death”.
A lot of books advise that even when raising kids, don’t rush to shut them down when they cry, but first validate their sadness and then help them sit through it and only then can you figure out how to be on the other side of that . . . . . in that way you saying crying is okay but you overcome me. This builds resilience and as a parent I do see the benefits of this approach in my own kids.
When we don’t validate what we feel and treat issues as though they don’t exist, we are limiting ourselves to TRUE GROWTH. When I write this line. . I can literally see abundant life disappearing . . . . Because I do believe that abundance should be in my inner world and flow to my outer world
I can see now that I definitely am a work in progress in how I renew my mind. I get it now what the Lord says our minds are a battlefield.
Here is the process that has been helping me do the trick of transforming my mind . . . . .
1. First I acknowledge the feeling – for what it is and not rush for what I hope it should be. This helps me identify what I am most afraid of. . . . . . Sometimes the truth is really scary and avoiding it is somewhat an escape in hope of trying to minimise the pain
2. Then I ask myself “HOW DOES THE STORY END?”- I got this from YouTube videos and have clung onto it for dear life. And here is how I apply it. When I feel sad, when I feel betrayed, when I feel lonely, when I feel lost, when I feel like I don’t belong. All these feeling, emotions and experiences
– I acknowledge them and then I ask myself how does the story end? – this helps me create a picture , a process on the other side of sadness, betrayal and I start to imagine and see myself , through a process and not an overnight escape – then I can apply that Philippians 4 – I see on the other side I am no longer in that state
3. Once I have processed number 2 above, I then try to allow myself to be open to the lesson – when I was younger I used to ask “how could I have avoided this “ as I grow older this question no longer serves me. All it does it spiral me into a life of could have, should haves which are anxiety filled and perfectionists orientated
4. The older I grow I understand that prayer “Lord help me accept the things that I cannot change “ and some of these things are stuff about myself and this prayer helps me be more open to what God says about me and forces me to lean on Him and not my own understanding
5. Some of those things are just linked with going 40 years in the wilderness instead of 11 days to the Promised Land. And you accept that this is life.
6. I then try to surrender, which is the opposite of giving up. The two can be very confusing and I think this is what the Lord is warning me about. The pattern of this world says you are in your mid-life, what is done is done and cannot be changed. This is true but God says transform your mind, with every age, new methods must be used and in this mid-life, this is what must work!!!!
7. The battle is on and the the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all
All our lives we have to fight !!! It’s called life