Thursday, October 18, 2012

September 2012

This month we read the blog post below, and then talked about each of our own struggles and questions we ask ourselves. We brainstormed ways to change our own questions to reflect faith, hope and love. I highly recommend this activity for everyone! It applies to all circumstances, most certainly including infertility or the loss of a baby.

Changing the Question

I met with a friend the other day. We have an interesting history that dates back to college, which was somehow over ten years ago. (How is that possible? Will I feel like a bonafide adult any time soon?)

She told me about a training she had a long time ago that dealt with the questions we ask ourselves. She said we all ask ourselves questions, and that our minds try to find answers to every one of those questions. But when we ask bad questions, or questions that only have negative answers, we are wearing ourselves out, depleting our energy and stamina, and causing stress.

There's a process for modifying/transforming our questions. It includes evaluating how the questions make you feel in your mind, body, and soul.  I'm giving it a try....

Original question
"What is wrong with you?"  (Asked of me, by me, about myself, accompanied by anger or frustration or disappointment or despair.)

When I ask myself this question I feel upset, feel like a failure, think I'll never change. My body feels sluggish, tired, tense, heavy. My soul feels guilty, dirty, ashamed, foolish.

The first transformation is to include faith in the question and make the question more neutral.  I'm not really sure how to do this, but here's an attempt: "How is God changing your life, showing His strength in your weaknesses?"

This question says that I believe God is here, is part of my life, and isn't just ignoring me as I repeatedly fail. I still feel sad, discouraged, and tired. Still somewhat guilty, but not ashamed or dirty.  Those feelings are not positive, but they are less severely negative. Step in the right direction....

The second transformation is to include hope in the question. "How is God changing my life, giving me strength to glorify Him more every day?"  The hope in this version of the question is found in the every day part. The idea that today is a bit better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be a bit better than today. I'm not regressing, and I'm not stuck in this icky heart place. I'm moving in the right direction whether I can discern it or not.  Interesting to me that in this transformation I switched from the external "you" or "your life" to the personalized "me" or "my life."  Like I'm less accusatory and feel safe enough to acknowledge that it's me we're talking about here and not some dumb slacker. (Does that even make sense? Hmmm....)

This question says that I'm not stuck. Change is not just possible but is reality. My reality. I actually am moving in the right direction. All of this hard work is not wasted. I feel optimistic, encouraged, empowered, and on target because I'm moving closer to the goal of Christians - glorifying God. It's not about me or my actions, but about God and revealing Him to others as I bring Him glory through my life. 

The third transformation is to include love in the question. (  "How is God actively showing me love as He changes my life, giving me strength to glorify Him more every day?"

This question says I have value; I am loved by the King. Loved not just enough, but so much that He changes me and gives me what I need every moment of every day. I feel treasured and protected. My body wants to sit up straighter, pay attention, look straight ahead, and confidently take the next step. My soul feels at peace, not lacking in anything.

Once you have gone through these question transformations, you're supposed to ask yourself the final version of the question as you lay down and fall asleep. In time your brain will come up with an answer, and it will be a life-giving answer instead of a life-draining answer.

Let's give this a shot :)

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