“A person is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions”
(James Allen, As A Man Thinketh)
One of the great weaknesses of our society today is the growing attitude of victimization. Many people claim themselves to be victims of some outside force. “I don’t know the story of the Bible because my pastor doesn’t teach me…”; “If that driver hadn’t pulled out in front of me…”; “I am like this because of my parents…”
When we are victims of circumstances, or as James Allen says, a “creature of outside conditions,” we have no power. We have given over the power in our life to the circumstances. The longer we give power to our circumstances the worst our circumstances become. In his other book, Above Life’s Turmoil, Allen writes, “You imagine your circumstances as being separate from yourself, but they are intimately related to your thought world. Nothing appears without an adequate cause.”
To get control of our circumstances we must first acknowledge personal responsibility for being where we are. That was the hardest part for me because the ‘victim’ in all of us doesn’t want to take that responsibility.
When we take responsibility, we must then take control of our thoughts. And, yes, in the beginning, that can be hard. It seems sometimes that it’s our nature to first think negatively. But that’s just because it’s the habit we’ve developed. And like any habit, it can change by replacing it with the habit of thinking the right way.
Emmet Fox once writes: “You are not happy because you are well. You are well because you are happy. You are not depressed because the trouble has come to you, but trouble has come because you are depressed. You can change your thoughts and feelings, and then the outer things will change to correspond, and indeed there is no other way of working.” Think about it!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
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1. As A Man Thinketh (1903) by James Allen