I ran across this little saying in a blurb about a new book recently – The Voice You Listen to Will Determine the Future You Experience. The saying was in the advertising for the new book by Stephan Furtick titled Crash the Chatterbox. In Crash the Chatterbox, best-selling author Pastor Steven Furtick focuses on four key areas in which negative thoughts are most debilitating: insecurity, fear, condemnation, and discouragement. He asks, “What great deeds are in danger of remaining undone in your life because of lies that were planted in your past or fears that are looming in your future?”
I have written in the part about FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt – which is common in the business world and is often used as a delaying tactic by larger companies to keep customers from buying from smaller, more nimble companies with new products. Just throw out a little FUD about the new product or the small company and you will freeze a certain portion of the market.
I’ve also written about the Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’s – those after the fact regrets that we all get from time to time about things left undone; especially things that turn out to have been really fun for those not so timid that they didn’t even try.
Whenever I write one of these pieces, I get feedback from new readers saying they liked what I wrote and inviting me to see what they’re up to. For the most part these are from people now well on their way to recovering from some dark period in their lives; something that drove them in places in their minds from which they may still be struggling to escape.
The good news is that most of them have made it out of their person hells, or have at least begun the journey back, and they are usually now espousing a more positive, upbeat outlook on life. Most, but not all. There are still way too many people out there, many of them spewing out words of hate or darkness and despair on their blogs. I refuse to go there with them.
Whatever the situation that has occurred to drag those people into the hole that they are in needs to be confronted as the first step to recovery. No matter what it is – it is; and once you accept that, you can ask yourself the next question – “Now, what I’m I going to do from here?”
I wrote recently about the four candles story; about the candles of peace and faith and love being extinguished, and how having the candle of hope still lit enables the other three to be relit. Sometimes preceding any effort to use Hope to relight the other candles in your life it is necessary to just stop – stop the wallowing in pity and self-blame; pause the fear, uncertainty and doubt; put aside the insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement for the moment – and accept the fact that you are where you are and that there is nothing that you can do to change that.
The next step, at least for me, is to admit that you cannot solve everything by yourself. Just admitting that will take a large load off your shoulders. For many, having gotten into this mental state is a paralyzing experience – nothing gets done because everything is feared. Others may try and try different ways out, only to find that each door just leads them deeper into the maze of despair.
Sometimes it is right at the edge of the abyss that many finally figure out that help has been with them all along. They stop. Some get down on their knees, some just look up; but all eventually say, “Not my will but thy will be done.” They offload their troubles to the only power strong enough to bear any burden. In that moment they experience liberation from the troubles and darkness that have surrounded them. They have chosen to listen to the voice of Hope and they have used the last flicker of the candle of hope to relight the candle of faith. They will see the candles of love and peace also be quickly reignited in their lives as well when they stop doing the things that have been pushing others away.
So listen to the voice of hope. That will also let you hear the voices of faith, love and peace in your life. If you can do that, the calliope of negative noise that tries to overwhelm you from time to time will be shut out of your life. Think of it as if you are wearing a set of noise canceling earphones and the only thing you can hear is a playlist made up of the pleasant sounds and tunes of hope, faith, love and peace. People will wonder why you are walking around with a smile on your face all the time. Maybe you’ll even have time to read the book by Pastor Furtick – Crash the Chaterbox.