Monday, February 4th, Day 153, More About What I Believe
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
I have been studying more of Maxwell Maltz’ Psycho-Cybernetics. One idea I want to experiment with is 1) setting a goal firmly in mind with a strong desire for its realization, 2) doing the analysis with the forebrain, and then 3) relaxing, perhaps doing something else, while my sub-conscious works on the solution. Maxwell said if we have to be aware of exactly which fingers are playing the piano, if we have to know exactly which muscles to contract to accomplish things, we would never get anything done. We simply do not know what is going on under the hood in our bodies. He says we have a Success Mechanism that takes care of the details.
Can We Believe Effort is the Reason We Fail At Goals?
Maxwell says that through the Success Mechanism, creativity is developed, without effort and strain. He believes that effort is often the reason we fail at goals. That seems to contradict with my training. I always thought results were proportional to effort. Maxwell says no.
So does that mean the more I try and try and try with my blog, I am not likely to be successful? To follow his ideas, instead of putting in so much effort, I need to get an end result firmly in mind with a strong desire to see it realized. Then I need to let the sub-conscious work a solution for me. Maxwell still believes it is necessary to act. He says that our Success Mechanism does not start working until we act. Then through negative feedback, we can correct our mistakes.
Changing What I Believe: Direction Versus Speed
I thought it was important to first get direction right, then speed. Maybe I was wrong. If I had not looked for real estate all along last year, I would not have been prepared to get the condo when we did. I had to know what was not going to work before I knew what would. It is important to act, get negative feedback, make course corrections, try again repeatedly, remembering successful tries while forgetting mistakes.
So, when it comes to my blog, I need to act with an end result in mind. I need to get feedback and correct my course based on the feedback.
What Is The Purpose of My Blog: Joyful Vibrance or Losing Weight?
I wonder if Mr. Maltz’ Success Mechanism will also work for losing weight. Certainly, I have already started to act. However, it is possible that I have the cart before the horse. I want to lose 15 pounds while not sacrificing my mood and energy. Perhaps mood and energy are so important that the goal of losing a few pounds (that arguably I may not need to lose) pales in comparison. Fortunately, at this time, my mood and energy are thriving, probably because I have been consistently using Cronometer, a diet diary that I think everyone should take a look at, even if they do not have the time and inclination to use it all the time.
I could be wrong though. I am getting some negative feedback from the scales. What should I do to correct my course? I think more effort is not necessarily the answer. The answer may come in a dream or meditation. It may come while doing the dishes. Right now, I will just get the end result firmly in mind.
My husband is watching the evening news in the living room, with the sound turned on. It is a bit distracting. I watched a portion of it before I started working on my blog this evening. Almost 1,000 golden retrievers congregated in Golden, Colorado yesterday. I think golden retrievers are wonderful. My heroine, Lisa, in my free novel, Lisa’s Light and Hope, got a golden retriever guide dog. The novel is set in Boulder, Colorado. You are free to read it, even though some of my basic beliefs have changed since I wrote it. I never imagined that I would end up back in Colorado after living there in 1982-3.
Changing What I Believe
My husband repeatedly expresses gratitude for getting out of Utah and moving here to Colorado. I left the religion of my birth in 2009 and lost a lot of my ties to Utah. Socially, it was not the greatest decision. However, I feel confident that I made the right decision for me. I do not talk about it much on this blog as I have so many friends and family who would not agree with my decision, and I do not want to stir up controversy.
Though many people could have said something to me, Mom is the only person who has crossed me. I have pointed out passages to her, chapter and verse, that are perfectly clear to me, and she does not even see it. I have done my best not to argue with her. I realize that when you hold a point of view, you can literally not see evidence that conflicts with it.
Changing One’s Point of View
Though I may be accused of lack of conviction, to be true to the truth, it is sometimes necessary to change one’s point of view. The religion of my birth has been accused of brainwashing. It is difficult as one who has possibly been brainwashed to determine whether one has in fact been brainwashed.
Maxwell Maltz calls it being hypnotized. He said it is necessary to de-hypnotize yourself from false beliefs. Since many of my beliefs formed in my formative years, I accepted them as true without critically examining them. Later, I subjected many of my beliefs to critical review. It was a process that required a lot of time and questioning–years of it.
I sometimes try on points of view as a trial to see what works for me. I sometimes hold seemingly conflicting views on things. For instance, is light a particle or a wave? There is no point of arguing. Somehow it is both.
What is the Truth?
Do I know the truth of all things? Probably not yet. I keep examining things all the time, and my beliefs are certainly not set in cement. I have chosen to believe in God. I examined the other possibility and worked with it for a while, deciding later to believe in God instead. It can be argued from the Bible that there is only one God. It took me a long time to accept that because I had polytheistic leanings. What God is really like I have a hard time fully comprehending. It is not my place to put limits on what God is.
Relationship with God
Despite my inability to fully comprehend God, I want to have a relationship with Him. Based on how I understand the Bible, I believe He is also very desirous of having a relationship with me and everyone else for that matter. So I pray. Sometimes, I put my prayers in my blog entries. If you look back at my past entries, following the arrows, you will find many prayers. Because one of the main categories of this blog is spirituality, I believe the prayers belong where they are.
What Can God Do For Us?
What can God do for us? People have argued that He cannot restore amputated limbs, so His power must be limited or He must not exist. I believe He can do anything. However, there are things that for some reason He will not do. For instance, He has never allowed any human to live indefinitely on earth. It must be the order of God for death to occur, even though we in our limited understanding have a hard time accepting it. I did not want my father to get sicker and weaker, but he did. I wanted to pray that he would recover. He finally died. Now I know that I will too, and that is something I have had a hard time accepting.
Is there really such a thing as eternal life? We have the Bible as a guideline. Eternal life is the goal of many civilizations throughout millennia. At one time, I gave up on the goal of eternal life and was willing to accept non-existence after death. However, the words of Jesus in John 3:16 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” intrigued me. What does that mean? If I only need to believe in the Son in order to have something as desirable as eternal life, can I believe?
Why I Should At Least Try To Believe
I decided it was worth an effort to at least learn how to believe. I knew how to believe, but I also knew how to dump beliefs. At one time, I believed almost nothing. But later I wanted to believe in the Son in order to have eternal life. The religion of my birth teaches about eternal life too. However, they have a long list of requirements in order for anyone to be eligible. Something did not seem right about all of them. They did not line up with what is written in John 3:16. I liked the simplicity and power of that verse. I meditated on it over and over.
Mom asked me once what I believed. I told her I believed in John 3:16. After discussing it with her, I could tell she did not believe it the same way I did. In the King James Version, it reads ‘everlasting life’ in John 3:16 instead of ‘eternal life’. Mom questioned whether everlasting life in that verse was the same kind of eternal life she believed in. We did not reach an agreement.
Thank you for this beautiful day with my husband. He is happy, and that means a great deal to me. Thank you for your promise of eternal life, if I will only believe in You. I do not fully understand what eternal life means. I hope it does not mean that I am going to be old forever. During my youth, I was not fully vigorous either, so I hope and pray that it means having a vitality beyond anything I have experienced in mortal life.
Will You Fill Me With Your Joy?
Lord, will you fill me with Your joy? I have felt it at times and want to experience it even more. I want to lead others into vibrant joy, and I do not believe nutrition is the full answer, even though it can help. Spirituality is critically important too, so I want to talk about it in this blog, not just this entry, but in past entries and many more to come. I think the first thing to do is pray, with at least an attempt to believe that You are there listening.
I have understood Your Voice in my heart for many years. The words came to me, according to my understanding at the time, many of which I recorded. As my understanding changed, so have the messages. You have never rejected me. I rejected You for a time, but when I returned, You accepted me with arms of love I could feel. I have gone through a period of questioning everything, including Your existence. Now, I accept it without complete proof. I encourage my readers to accept You too because I believe in doing so they can be blessed, especially with joy.
Purpose of My Blog
Lord, I have been trying to lose weight. In fact, I hope to help others who might want to lose weight as well. Perhaps I am aiming for the wrong goal. Instead of trying to lose weight, perhaps I should go for the attainment of vibrant joy. I have almost given up on that, but perhaps I should not. Perhaps it is a worthy goal. Should I pursue it more fully?
Lord: Yea, KaeLyn.
That was clear. Should I still work weight loss into my blog?
Lord: Keep working on your Cronometer log.
In 2006, I wrote a book called Emotional Wisdom. I wrote a lot of good material that is still relevant to what I believe now, especially about joy and happiness. I believed then and believe now that in order to be happy eternally, I must learn how to be happy now. Maxwell Maltz says that happiness is thinking pleasant thoughts most of the time. I thought happiness was a feeling rather than thinking. On the other hand, according to Dr. David Burns, feelings follow thoughts, so perhaps thinking is the primary cause of happiness. So then, what is joy? I believe it is the pleasant feeling I have when I feel in tune with God.
Let me think more about happiness. Maxwell Maltz says that happiness is a virtue itself rather than a reward for other virtues. He did not think we should feel guilty for seeking happiness. Life gives us plenty of encouragement to think unpleasant thoughts. However, we can rise above our circumstances and think pleasant thoughts even when times are difficult. As Victor E. Frankl determined, we can always choose our response no matter how heinously we are treated. The apostle Paul in the Bible sang songs of joy while he was imprisoned.
I think there is a difference between happiness and joy, but they are related to each other. When we have an attitude of happiness, we can begin to feel joy as long as, I believe, that happiness is based on good things. Feeling happy that your enemy has run aground may not be a source of joy, for instance.
How Can We Have Pleasant Thoughts More of the Time?
So what can we do to have pleasant thoughts more of the time? My grandmother told me that she was never truly happy until she was married. I found happiness in marriage shortly thereafter, but the marriage was short-lived. I believe that most of us think unpleasant thoughts when our marriages end. Did the unpleasant thoughts cause the marriage to end or did the marriage’s end cause unpleasant thoughts? I believe it is usually the former. If we can keep our thoughts pleasant, perhaps we can keep our marriages.
Resolving Marital Difficulty with Pleasant Thoughts
How can we do that when so many things go wrong? Those of you that follow my blog know that last December, I almost gave up on my current marriage. I almost went back to Utah to await a divorce. I had decided to go back to Utah and had even scheduled movers to pack and move my things, when something turned me around, and I decided to go back to my husband.
Perhaps it was a pleasant thought. I thought about how my husband had just purchased a condo and put my name on the title. Thoughtfully, I pondered again about what that meant to me. I had always informed him that I needed to have a nest. He had fulfilled that. My wishes and needs were important to him. He had listened to me. It was time to go home to my husband and claim my nest.
It was easier to go back than I could have imagined. First, upon arriving home, I saw it was self-evident that he needed me. Immediately, we both started being more loving towards each other than we had been previously. Soon afterwards we both admitted that we needed each other. Now we are both happy. We have had some challenges, but we are working them out. I needed more time to write, and I got that. Things started to work out better in the bedroom too. Marriage does offer its moments of joy.
Practice Thinking Pleasant Thoughts
I think single life can be joy-producing also, so marriage is not the only place for pleasant thoughts. However, it is an important one.
Obviously, I need more practice thinking pleasant thoughts.
I wanted to read Maxwell Maltz’s book again, so it was one of the few books I brought from Utah after my father’s funeral. It has golden nuggets of thought, so am glad I am reading it a third time. As a plastic surgeon, Maxwell took it upon himself to repair his patients’ emotional scars. I think to some extent we all have emotional scars and need his ideas.
At least I have the freedom to determine what I will believe for myself. My husband, who was then my boyfriend, gave me as long as I needed to choose my own spirituality. He did not dictate what I should believe. We share many common beliefs now and worship together in simple ways.