“Your difficulty is not contained, primarily, in the situation which gave rise to it, but in the mental state with which you regard that situation and which you bring to bear upon it.” – Byways of Blessedness
It is one of the hardest lessons to accept, understand and learn.
Circumstances are not negative or positive, circumstances are neutral. It is our thinking, our mental state, our perspective, that makes a circumstance positive or negative.
Bob Proctor does some of the best teaching on this subject, using a universal law he refers to as the Law of Polarity.
“Everything in the universe has its opposite. There would be no inside to a room without an outside. You have a right and left side to your body, a front and a back. Every up has a down and every down has an up.
The Law of Polarity not only states that everything has an opposite – it is equal and opposite. If it was three feet from the floor up to the table, it would be three feet from the table down to the floor. If it is 150 miles from Manchester to London, by law it must be 150 miles from London to Manchester; it could not be any other way.
“If something you considered bad happens in your life, there has to be something good about it. If it was only a little bad, when you mentally work your way around to the other side, you will find it will only be a little good.”
So it’s clear from Bob’s teaching that every circumstance can be viewed two ways. It’s the way we view a circumstance that determines it’s impact on our thinking and mental state. And we know from James Allen’s teaching that that determines the quality of life that we live.
No matter how bad the circumstance appears to be, taking another look, from another perspective, reveals to us the good. Or as Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich, wrote, “Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”
And that’s worth thinking about.
THIS REMINDS ME OF THE STORY OF “The Hut.”
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for GOD to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger.
“GOD, how could you do this to me?” he cried. Early the next day he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island.
It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” Asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.
It’s easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because GOD is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain, and suffering.
Remember that, the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of GOD.