Friday, 23 March 2012

A Paradigm Shift

by Tomim (See all authors)

If you're feeling down, vulnerable, weak or depressed, it's easy to begin to feel that this journey to sobriety is just "not worth it"... But perhaps a "paradigm shift" in attitude can change everything.

What's a "paradigm shift"? Stephen Covey (author of the best-selling "7 Habits of highly effective people") describes this with an actual incident on a NY subway where a father, with a number of unruly children, entered the subway and began to make an enormous ruckus. Covey, in his belief that children should be controlled by their parents, turned to the man and admonished him for permitting his children to disturb Covey and the other passengers. The man replied sadly that the children were returning from their mother's funeral and he did not have the heart to discipline their behavior, knowing they were acting out their grief. Covey immediately felt empathic and supportive of this man. Covey calls this a shift in the paradigm of seeing the situation from a different perspective.

In every situation, it is not the mere "happenings" that revoke our reactions, rather it is our perspective of the happening. Our job is to find meaning and perspective in wherever and whatever we find ourselves, and with this we have the ability to always rise above it.

When G-d is revealed, there is no test. Imagine G-d woke us up in the morning to serve him. Would we delay even for a moment? But specifically when he is concealed, that is when we prove to seek after him in this dark world - for the sole purpose of revealing his glory. Our lows, as much as they are tests, are really opportunities! They are opportunities that we received (that many others have not yet), because Hashem knows we can prove strong enough to succeed. While we all appreciate the "highs", when we overcome the test of the "lows", G-d reveals Himself to us in a greater way than before!

For a wonderful book on understanding life's tests, I would recommend reading "Life is a Test" by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.

(See also the Attitude Handbook for many great perspectives that can help us achieve a "paradigm shift" in the way we view this struggle).