When my daughter was a 6-year old, one of her favorite cartoons was a show called “The Rugrats”. Each episode would feature the adventures of a group of toddlers who were familiar to those who watched: Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, and Angelica.
A common theme in the cartoon was what I call “Rugrats Reality.” That’s where the toddlers get slightly distorted information and their adventure follows, based on that information. It might be a mispronounced word or something else. For example, they created havoc at a bowling alley in search of a “champion-chip”– which they imagined to be a giant chocolate chip– when their grandfather went bowling for a championship.
While Rugrats Reality makes for some funny cartoon segments, it also describes the way we often deal with things in our own lives.
Our perception of reality goes a long way in shaping our experiences. If we think of the world as a hostile place and that people are out to get us, then that’s what we’ll experience.
Evidence to the contrary has a hard time getting through because we filter those things out. So, the kind words or actions of others don't mean much because we’ve already made up our minds that it’s a cruel world and so we dismiss the kindness of others.
Or maybe we play back those tapes in our heads that tell us that we’re unworthy or not capable of doing anything. And so often we find that those things tend to be true for us.
And why is that so? It’s because we make them our reality.
Not too long ago I woke up and it looked dark outside and I started feeling down. I thought about how those kind of days– when it’s dark outside– make me feel dark inside.
I sat there for a few minutes and wallowed in my foul mood and then decided to open the blinds to see if rain might be the cause of such a dreary day. I trudged over to the window and found that when I opened the shade it was a bright and sunny day.
The reality was that the darkness I felt wasn’t outside, it was inside... Inside me... I was the one who created it... No one else was making me think those thoughts but me.
The gospels tell the story of the Master Teacher Jesus being approached by a Roman Centurion who had a worker who was at home and very sick.
Jesus indicated that he’d go to his house and heal him but the man told Jesus if he’d just say the word he knew that his worker would be healed. Jesus responded to the man, “as you believe, so it is done unto you.”
The most important word in his declaration is “as”. It is the nature of our belief that makes the difference. What we believe makes the difference. Our thoughts lead to our attitudes which lead to our actions. The outcomes we experience are the results of what we really think or believe.
So, indeed, if we change our thinking we can change our lives.
New Every Moment,