Today’s guest post comes courtesy of an online writing acquaintance of mine, Les Dossey.
He’s a writer, speaker and life coach who specializes in helping men become high performers in all areas of their life – personally and professionally.
If you’d like to submit a guest post yourself, here are the guidelines.
Is it acceptance, opinion, religion, doctrine, tradition you seek, or Truth?
Be warned… ignoring or answering that question, will change your life.
13 years ago that question meant nothing to me.
The world from my perspective was a million shades of grey. Black and white didn’t exist and as far as I was concerned the only thing that really mattered day in and day out was my opinion about the truth.
Then my world imploded and I fell into a deep, dark-hole, where “the grey” quickly gave way to the absence of color and everything was pitch black.
I became certain the hole was bottomless and when I reached terminal velocity, I realized that the darkness was trying to consume me, to make me one with it’s self.
I started freaking out, I was sure I was going to die.
Then by grace, God reached down and stopped my rapid descent.
For a few minutes… everything stopped. There was no noise, no emotion, no chatter bouncing around in my head and then the silence was interrupted by a lucid thought, that seemed to come out of nowhere.
Instantly I came to the realization, that in this very dark place, I could see!
The Shocking Shift
And in that very sobering moment the distinction became abundantly clear – it’s either black or white, death or life, darkness or light, love or hate, good or evil, truth or a deadly lie disguised in a million shades of gray.
My paradigm began shifting instantly as it collided with this new and alarming truth. There is no in between. There’s only one or the other.
As I wrestled with how to untangle it all, God gave me a thought – Journal.
The first entry was short – life sucks.
The next a little longer – life sucks more.
Eventually the thoughts started flowing and the weight of the world began falling from my shoulders onto the pages of my journal. As I wrote, all my thoughts and beliefs were revealed as if exposed for the very first time.
As the weeks came and went, my paradigm was making rapid shifts as most of my thoughts and beliefs were proven to be someone else’s opinion, a doctrine or religion, tradition or a need for acceptance and the most painful part was discovering that I didn’t know how to tell the truth or be honest with myself.
A Societal De-Tox
My thinking muscle was weak and atrophied from consuming B.S. and lies, wrapped up in nice little packages, like my education, songs and TV shows, commercials and the news, books and movies – not to mention the host of people that I allowed to influence my life.
I knew I needed to make another shift and then God gave me another thought – Unplug.
I cancelled the newspaper. I quit watching TV shows. I quit watching commercials and the news. I stopped listening to music with words. I quit hanging out with an entire group of people. I even quit going to church.
I was amazed at the transformation, overwhelmed by the peace I felt and delighted to discover that I was actually better equipped to serve myself and others without the weight of the drama that had previously poured into my life from all of those sources.
My only source for months was that very cool instruction book God had written for us. My focus became everything Jesus taught and did.
He said follow me, do as I do, be as I am.
Suddenly I saw Jesus as more than a savior, as more than a deity, I saw him as a man who understood how to live the truth.
I began to see that everywhere he went he encountered deadly lies disguised beneath a million shades of grey and each sought to do him and others harm. But he was in control. He confronted them, denied them, cursed them, cast them into the sea and stripped them of their authority.
The only thing that mattered to him was living his life according to truth. God’s truth.
The most recent paradigm shift occurred for me when reading (Matt 25:21 Well done, good and faithful servant) which I’d read many times before.
But, this time when I read it, what I really heard was my heart talking, letting me know, that what it wants more than anything else in the world, is to hear God say, “Well Done Son, Well Done!”
All of the previous shifts were self centered and somewhat selfish as I sought to remove the pain from my life, but this latest shift is about aligning my thoughts and beliefs so God can use me to change the world.
Question: What paradigms have shifted in your life?
Les Dossey is the Man’s Man Coach at GET SOME Xtreme Coaching where he helps men find their purpose, get unstuck, tap their potential and take massive action. You can check out his blog at http://lesdossey.com or his Linkedin profile athttp://linkedin.com/in/