Never Changes His Mind

One of my junior high friends is not just in trouble today, he is feeling troubled. My book, Turn Back the Tirade is a few days from publication. I not only want him to read this ebook, I want him to “get it.” What he is feeling today is legitimate. How he is dealing with the feelings may not be.

There are Three Big Ones that cause anger and hostility:

  1. Frustration
  2. Disappointment
  3. Rejection

No wonder my young friend is upset! What happened to him triggered all three.

Dr. Brené Brown reminds us that power is the ability to effect change. The three “Big Ones” are frontal attacks on our belief that we can change anything. When we—regardless of age or social status, wealth or how sexy we are—are questioning our worth or value, are frustrated, disappointed or rejected, we are going to feel disempowered. That is debilitating and scary.

Dr. Brown says we are caught in a cultural lie that life is all supposed to be fun, fast and easy. She says the current cultural assumption that things should be fun, fast, easy, leads to…

“…the combination of fear of disappointment, entitlement, and performance pressure (which) is a recipe for hopelessness and self-doubt.” (Brown) That describes lack of power—inability to effect change.

Write this on the first page of your journal: My worth is God’s gift to me. It is my birthright. Nothing that will happen to me changes that. My self-esteem may waver—that is what I feel about myself—but my self-worth is the way God feels about me. He never changes His mind!

I would trade a couple of graduate classes for one grade school class that taught me that disappointment, frustration and rejection are part of life. Therefore, I need to learn how to effectively deal with them. Angering at other people and disliking myself doesn’t help. Why doesn’t someone say, “Here, let me show you how to do that right!”

Vicki Yohe is a singer and a missioner. She was on one of my favorite programs to sing one of my favorite songs. The host interviewed her about her mission to Uganda where she has planted an orphanage. She says we have done it wrong. While we have been feeding and clothing, we should be empowering.

Empowering is connected to hope.

Dr. Brené Brown says, “I always thought of hope as an emotion—like a warm feeling of optimism and possibility. I was wrong. …hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process.”

Hope happens when we learn to think, say and act out…

    • I know where I want to go, what I want to be: I have purpose, desire, goal, direction.
    • I know how to get there. I’m persistent, and I can tolerate disappointment and try again.
    • I can do this!

Put another way, hope and empowerment describe…

  • Tolerance for disappointment. (Of course I’m disappointed, but it will not kill me or change God’s opinion.)
  • Determination. (I’ll persist and work hard. What happens to me today makes my life temporarily more difficult, but it doesn’t change who I am—God settled that!)
  • Belief in self. (This hurts and this is tough, but I can do it. I can do it!)

Branding that on your soul is not fun, fast or easy. We are not entitled to special treatment. It is your choice to do the hard, persistent, determined work.

Dr. Brown’s words are challenging and invigorating:

“I always thought of hope as an emotion—like a warm feeling of optimism and possibility. I was wrong. …hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process.”

“I think it is so empowering to know that I have the ability to teach my children how to hope. It’s not a crapshoot.” The Gifts of Imperfection, (Hazelden ©2010) page 65

©2015 D. Dean Benton  

Ebooks from Dean that you will find helpful.

  • Turn Back the Tirade—Anger management and personal empowerment
  • HopePushers—with intent to deliver—What hope is, how to get it, how to maintain it, how to dispense it.
  • Caught in the Tail Lights—Dealing with parental divorce, abandonment, rejection, purposelessness.
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