Want a Miracle? Shift Your Perception

Losing is painful. It doesn’t matter what – a job, a promotion, your health, a lover, a spouse – it’s painful. Sure, the pain is greater, the greater the loss, but whenever we lose something, we feel it deeply.

A friend of mine, a trial lawyer by trade, recently lost a big case. He’s not in the habit of losing trials, for him this was a most unusual experience. But what intrigued me was his attitude about it: “I can see where I made some mistakes. I know it’s hindsight and all that, but I seriously misjudged how the jurors would look at certain facts a course in miracles. I can’t wait for my next trial – I have some thoughts on what I could have done differently, and I want to see how they will play out.”

His is an optimist’s attitude. A miracle-making attitude. One that practically guarantees success a course in miracles online. Oh, maybe not every time, but more often than not. It is well established that optimists succeed beyond their actual aptitude and talents – all because of their attitude.

Many lawyers, in his position, would have expended their efforts laying blame somewhere: on opposing counsel for underhanded tricks, on the Judge for being biased toward the other side, on the jurors for “not getting it,” on their trial team for being inefficient, or on themselves. My friend, however, simply assessed his work, figured out what was missing, and was rarin’ to go on the next trial – so he could once again, win.

All it took was a shift in perception, what Marianne Williamson* defines as “a miracle.” Or, to my way of thinking, a shift in perception (how you see the loss) lays the groundwork for a miracle, for something to happen that will be better than what was expected. By moving off the blame-game, and choosing instead to learn from the experience (the shift in perception), my friend put himself back on the success track.

When you look at your loss, whatever it is, as permanent and all-encompassing, then sure enough, you’ll feel devastated and unable to let go and move on. If, on the contrary, you look at your loss – be it the loss of a job, a spouse, a client, your savings – as temporary, something to learn from – then chances are excellent that you will be able to move on to even better things; to a “miracle.”

The only change is in how you perceive the event, the loss. And that, unlike the loss itself, is totally within your control. Buck against it though we may, we can always control what we think. No, it’s not necessarily easy. I find it takes considerable effort to move my thoughts off the comfort of wound-licking and self-pity to thoughts that will generate a better future. But it’s doable.

If you’ve read my newsletters or emails in the past year, you know I sign most “With joy and ease, Debra”. When I write “with joy and ease”, am I trying to convey to you that I’m constantly joyous and everything in my life is a cinch? (In other words, am I LYING?) Certainly not.

With this signature I intend to remind you and myself to choose the path toward fulfilling purpose that feels joyous and easy. In the flow. Right for us. But not everything that feels this way also feels effortless.

In fact, over the year since I’ve refocused connect2 Corporation to guide women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, I’ve frequently felt I’ve been powering through. Even though I’ve known I’ve been living the path that’s right for me – doing the professional work I’m meant to be doing plus taking care of my children, my home and myself – many times I’ve allowed the volume to get blaringly high. I’ve been doing the right things but way too many of them at once! Why? Because I’ve been afraid. Afraid that if I slow down, my children will suffer. Or my business will suffer. Or my divorce process will slow down further. Or more. Or worse.

So as much as I’ve been practicing living in connection with Spirit, I’ve also been burning out my power supply. Pretty consciously. Not willing to see a better way because I was convinced I was right: I was alone, solely responsible. And apparently, because I was fearful of upsetting anyone – especially my clients or loved ones – I clung to these beliefs.

But about a month ago my motor burned out. (Please forgive my metaphors if they don’t make mechanical sense.) I’d been gearing up for my divorce trial, scheduled for June 28 and 29. Expecting it to be physically and emotionally exhausting, I conserved my energy. I chose not to attend a bar mitzvah or a dear friend’s wedding – both out of town – to keep focused. I swallowed my pride and faced my fears to ask for help. (And gratefully received it!) I did my level best to prepare, to make sound and rational choices. Of course, my days were still overly full. And I noticed things kept going wrong. They were not working out with ease. I felt out of the flow. I sensed I was in power struggle. But I kept trying. And then, less than two weeks before the trial was scheduled to start, I heard it was likely to be postponed for at least six months. The adrenaline I’d been living off plummeted. And I crashed hard.

First, I cried. (For me, this is always an accomplishment.) Then I felt too drained to move. To see clients. To return phone calls, even personal ones. To write. I was fried. I assumed this was all merely emotional, as postponement of the trial (and therefore its ultimate resolution) was deeply disappointing and frustrating to me. Turns out I also had strep throat. And then a sinus infection. All I could do, for many, many days, was rest. I humbly postponed client meetings. I took a break from typical marketing activities. I cancelled work outs. I stopped cooking. I knew I’d reached my limit.

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