If I'm having difficulty opening my mind to a new perspective, I often find it helpful to look at how much value I'm placing on my old ways of seeing. Sometimes we invest very heavily in our old perspectives, without even knowing it.
For example, let's say that I'm having trouble with my boss at work. I see my boss as demanding and arrogant. I take responsibility for those perceptions, and turn to God with them. I say, "God, please give me another way of seeing my boss. I want a new perspective."
Unfortunately, nothing seems to happen. My boss continues to be demanding, and I still feel upset.
Then, one day, I sit down with a co-worker. My co-worker says, "Hey -- don't we have a great boss?"
"A great boss?" I say. "Are you kidding?"
"Sure," my co-worker says. "I mean, she has that rough personality at first. But I just kept reaching past that. I'd say that we're real friends now."
I'm taken aback. "Friends?" I say. "My goodness. I could never be friends with our boss. I mean, if we were friends then I'd have to take on extra work."
That, perhaps, is my problem. Part of my mind has been valuing my old perceptions of my boss in order to protect myself from "having to take on extra work." If I can accept that the miracle won't require me to be a doormat for my boss, I may be more inclined to accept an inner healing.
Falling Into the Trap
Many of us fall into this trap. On one level, we want our minds to be healed. We want to be at peace. But on another level, we're frightened of what will happen if we release our own, personal perspectives. I think that it's important to be very honest with ourselves about our resistance. Once we lift up these blocks to our awareness, we can ask God for help in releasing them.
As another illustration, let's imagine a woman who is generally gentle and calm. This woman, however, has a recurring issue in her life. She sees reckless, dangerous drivers on the road everywhere. She sometimes gets into heated arguments with them.
The woman decides that she wants this area of her life to be healed. She turns to God with the problem. She says, "God, I think that most drivers are crazy. But I'm willing to receive a new perspective on this. Please heal my mind." Unfortunately, nothing seems to happen. The woman doesn't feel any more peaceful, and the drivers keep bothering her.
One day she's cut-off by a man who abruptly crosses several lanes of traffic. At the next light, she pulls next to the man and opens her window. "How dare you drive like that!" she says. She scolds him until he drives away. As she's heading home, the woman realizes that she feels energized and alive.
Later that day, the woman takes a moment to reflect on her situation. "Perhaps I'm looking for an excuse to vent some of my emotions," she says to herself. "Perhaps that's why I'm always focusing on bad drivers. However, this is a dangerous dynamic. I'd rather find safer ways to express myself:"
Identifying the Block to Your Miracles
That woman, using a great deal of honesty, identified a block to the miracle. As long as she continued to derive value from her old perceptions, she had trouble exchanging them for an inner healing. But when she realized that she didn't need an "excuse" to express her emotions, she became more willing to let her perceptions be changed.
In both of these examples -- me with my boss, the woman with the drivers -- we needed to identify the sense of value that was linked to our old thoughts and perceptions. In my case, the "value" of the old perspective was protection against imagined increased work. In the woman's case, the "value" was having an environment in which to express her emotions.
If we find ourselves resistant to exchanging our personal perspectives for God's healing vision, we may want to look for any value we're associating with our old ways of seeing. Once that "value" is raised to the light, we may realize that it doesn't outweigh the peace of a miracle.
©2001. Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Quiet Mind Publishing, LLC. www.quietmind.info
Inspired By Miracles: On Miracles, Relationships, and Inner Guidance
by Dan Joseph.
A spiritually-friendly self-help book. Dan Joseph has written a critically important book in troubled times. With a style that is at once simple yet thought-provoking, and a tone of genuine warmth and wisdom, Dan guides the reader through coherent, useful exercises that won't make you cringe, but rather can enable a clear psychometric analysis of events to rise to the surface.