Deal in reality.

Live in reality.

When we find ourselves at difficult places in our lives, those are wise words uttered by counselors. Deal and live in reality. Not in what you “perceive” to be reality, because our feelings and emotions play tricks on us.

Feelings are fickle.

But reality is not. And a part of our reality is our emotions. So many times we try to run from them, hide from them! But – emotions are neither good nor bad. They just exist.

“Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions. Most emotions are responses to perception – what you THINK is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So check your perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms – what you believe. Just because you believe something firmly does not make it true. Be willing to reexamine what you believe.”

“The more you live in the truth, the more your emotions will help you see clearly. But even then, you don’t want to trust them more than me (God).” (p. 197)

Living in truth and controlling our thoughts! What a powerful way to embrace the sacredness of this life and truly live into a full relationship with God.

We can always over-analyze the past, thinking of ways we could have changed things or lived differently. “What if” we had done things a particular way? If we had, would the situation now be playing out differently? Or . . . . “What is going to happen when . . .” when we allow our thoughts to move to the future, we find that we become gripped with fear and uncertainty.

If we aren’t careful, we can convince ourselves that anything is true. And there are lots of “hidden” things that drive those thoughts/feelings in us.

An unfortunate, but real, example is that of my father. He is convinced he has won the sweepstakes – – – multiple millions of dollars. However, there is no reality to ever fulfill those thoughts. His thoughts are driven by his emotions of euphoria and hope. But – reality never comes to fruition for him, so he continues to give people money thinking that soon, if he does it enough, his reality will be different.

If he would deal in reality and let go of his feelings, his life would be very different. But that is not a path he chooses to take.

Living in reality is not always easy, nor is it always fun! However, what we must rest in knowing that we do not have to do this alone. The presence of the Holy Spirit abides in us each moment of everyday. Therefore, we can let our feelings of uncertainty, disappointment, worry, etc. go. We can learn to deal with the here and now. Embrace that paradigm and trust that God works all things for good for those who love and abide in God.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8