Footsteps In Faith: You can change your life by changing how you feel about your story

| August 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Maj.) Ken Hubbs
Strong Bonds Chaplain, U.S. Army-Pacific Chaplain’s Office

HubbsYou may not agree with Dr. Laura Schlessinger on all points. 

In spite of the most recent controversy concerning the syndicated radio host, you can’t ignore her occasional stroke of genius when helping callers work through personal issues. 

A recent caller was pining (or as Dr. Laura suggested, whining) about her horrible life because of how her mother treated her while growing up. Dr. Laura interrupted the caller in mid-sentence and asked why she keeps retelling the same old story, since the same ‘ole, same ‘ole has no power to change anything. 

It’s well established that if you change how you think, you’ll also change how you feel. What we tell ourselves about a situation is far more significant than the original facts. 

For example, a short, narrow plank in 100-foot deep water can be terrifying. But as a water ski, behind a fast boat, on the ride of your life, this same piece of wood guarantees different feelings. 

It’s either frightening or fun, depending on what you think about it, and it has almost nothing to do with the facts of where you are, why or how you got there.

Dr. Laura asked the caller why she didn’t tell her story as overcoming and surviving a bad situation. Why didn’t she tell the story of refusing to treat her own children like she had been treated? 

She asked the caller how she excelled in school, despite being told she was stupid. She asked about her wonderful husband, great kids, great church and the many good people in her life.

If the caller, Dr. Laura explained, keeps telling the story of how awful her life was, she will only feel defeated, inadequate and worthless. But, if she tells her story of survival against the odds, then she’s powerful, resilient and a role model for the rest of us. 

The facts are the same, for the same person, but with two completely different stories and two completely different outcomes. Both are real, both are true, but one is healthy and the other is debilitating. 

Which would you choose?

In your story, are you the victim? The loser? The failure? Or, do you learn lessons and make adjustments? 

Do you never quit, no matter what setbacks come your way? Do you turn tragedy into triumph? 

The great thing about life is you get to choose: not your circumstance, but you do get to choose what you think about it. 

You get to choose your own story, and that can change your life.

(Editor’s Note: To find out more about the syndicated Dr. Laura radio show, visit www.drlaura.com.)

Chaplain (Maj.) Ken HubbsStrong Bonds Chaplain, U.S. Army-Pacific Chaplain’s OfficeYou may not agree with Dr. Laura Schlessinger on all points. In spite of the most recent controversy concerning the syndicated radio host, you can’t ignore her occasional stroke of genius when helping callers work through personal issues. A recent caller was pining (or as Dr. Laura suggested, whining) about her horrible life because of how her mother treated her while growing up. Dr. Laura interrupted the caller in mid-sentence and asked why she keeps retelling the same old story, since the same ‘ole, same ‘ole has no power to change anything. It’s well established that if you change how you think, you’ll also change how you feel. What we tell ourselves about a situation is far more significant than the original facts. For example, a short, narrow plank in 100-foot deep water can be terrifying. But as a water ski, behind a fast boat, on the ride of your life, this same piece of wood guarantees different feelings. It’s either frightening or fun, depending on what you think about it, and it has almost nothing to do with the facts of where you are, why or how you got there.Dr. Laura asked the caller why she didn’t tell her story as overcoming and surviving a bad situation. Why didn’t she tell the story of refusing to treat her own children like she had been treated? She asked the caller how she excelled in school, despite being told she was stupid. She asked about her wonderful husband, great kids, great church and the many good people in her life.If the caller, Dr. Laura explained, keeps telling the story of how awful her life was, she will only feel defeated, inadequate and worthless. But, if she tells her story of survival against the odds, then she’s powerful, resilient and a role model for the rest of us. The facts are the same, for the same person, but with two completely different stories and two completely different outcomes. Both are real, both are true, but one is healthy and the other is debilitating. Which would you choose?In your story, are you the victim? The loser? The failure? Or, do you learn lessons and make adjustments? Do you never quit, no matter what setbacks come your way? Do you turn tragedy into triumph? The great thing about life is you get to choose: not your circumstance, but you do get to choose what you think about it. You get to choose your own story, and that can change your life.(Editor’s Note: To find out more about the syndicated Dr. Laura radio show, visit www.drlaura.com.)

Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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