Vertical versus Horizontal

thankful

 

 

Horizontally-speaking, life feels rather one-dimensional: hard.

Having a horizontally-challenged perspective is a big part of what makes us human. Too often, the limited perspective makes us believe this moment is all that is and the scene in front of us is all that will ever be.

Of course we know better than that, but at times that’s how it feels.

 

What we need is a vertical perspective when we’re waiting for something life-changing. We need assurance there’s an end in sight when we’re going through something heart-breaking. We need faith in a sovereign God when we’re called on to suffer.

God promises a future and a hope. He promises sustaining grace for every trial. He promises His presence with you—as close as your heartbeat and as near as your breath. He promises to never leave you. And never to walk away.

So today, allow God to take away your fear of the unknown and replace it with a calm, quiet confidence. He knows the path of your life from a thousand feet as well as the route that you take on your way to work today.

So, if you’re struggling today, it’s going to be OK. And if it’s not OK yet, then it’s not the end.

Job 23:10: “But [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”

You may not see it, but . . . the best is yet to be.

Divine Appointment

rainbow

 

It was a normal summer Saturday morning.  Ok, perhaps not so normal perhaps, as I had to drag myself out of bed and travel halfway across the other side of town to meet a prospective client.

It was one of those days in which I wished I should have gotten ready faster and left the house earlier.  Which is why I agreed immediately when my dear sister (although we’ve much sibling rivalry at times) happily volunteered to give me a lift as she was heading out.  She dropped me halfway to my client’s place so I could take a bus to my destination.   To cut the story short, I was well on my way, arrived at the bus stop and after a few minutes the bus came.

Upon boarding the bus, I immediately noticed an empty seat beside an old lady at the front.  I smiled to her, she smiled back and I plonked myself down right beside her.  She’s dressed very prettily in a dress, silver white hair elegant combed back.  The wrinkles on her face and arm tells me that she’s probably around the ripe old age of 90 (I think).

Before I realised how rude I was to be staring at her, she started talking to me.  She introduced herself as Florence (First thing I thought of was Florence Nightingale and wondered if she was ever a nurse). And of course I told her my name.  Then we carried on with our mini conversation as below :

Old Lady :  Oh isn’t it a lovely sunny day?

Me: Well, yes it’s indeed a sunny day (hmm..  so much so for weather talk, it sure is sunny but I’m not sure about the lovely part)

Old Lady: Are you in a hurry Macy?

Me:  Yes, in fact, I’m rushing for an appointment.

Old Lady:  I am going to the Church just round the next corner, I thought you might be interested to come with me.  But, well, since you’re in a hurry today, I want you to have this ( speaking which  she reached into her handbag and wanted to pass me a Christian flyer).

Me: (I said smiling),  I’m a believer too.

Old Lady: Oh, really ! Praise the Lord (she’s smiling so widely with a sparkle in her eyes).  You know God is Good. In life there’ll be ups and

downs, sometimes you may find yourself in a muddy pit.  Don’t be discouraged, God will pull you out of the pit.

 

At this point, my spirit immediately felt comforted, yet I was close to tears.

Flashback to the night before, I really don’t feel like coming to this part of town but had no choice as the appointment had been fixed (and afterall, the client always wins).  This was a place with many memories of a past relationship. I remembered even praying to God before bed the night before to grant me strength and peace in my heart.

 

The next thing I knew, the old Lady spoke again

Old Lady: Macy, can we pray for a while?

I nodded my head.

Old Lady: Dear Father, thank you for Macy and I pray that you’ll keep her and bless her. Amen.

 

After the prayer, she said goodbye (still with that sparkle in her eyes) and got down the bus.

And although this old granny is a complete stranger, it was one of the most wonderfully short and sweet prayer I’ve ever had someone said with me.  The morning started out a little grey for me but meeting the old lady just lifted my spirits up.  Though we only spoke for a while, and I don’t even know her, I felt so divine!  Amazingly, I felt God’s presence with me. It’s such a peaceful and comforting feeling that I can’t explain.

Moreover, the old lady is so full of joy and life at her age!!  That spirit and sparkle in her eyes is something that makes me really say ‘Wow’ , almost like being star struck (or even better).  She’s just so inspiring.

I believe she must have been sent by God.  How wonderous ! How marvelous !

Very often, we ask God to speak to us, give us visions, reveal to us in dreams.  But somehow, I think today God chose to speak to me through a lovely old granny.

 

I will always treasure this wonderful memory in my heart.  Perhaps, one day when I’m that old, God will still use me to encourage some younger woman out there feeling down and out and lonely, to remind her that she’s never alone, that her beloved Father in heaven is watching over her with Love.

 

Romans 8:39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Turn Forward the Clock

 

time,clock,turn back the clock

 

 

This morning, I woke up to the warm bright morning sun.  I took a look at my clock, which says 6, I knew my clock has stopped.  Yes, time to change the battery, I said to myself.  So I hastened to my drawer, managed to scour for a small AA battery, pluck the clock out from the wall, replaced the battery.  Then I had to wind the clock as it has stopped at 6, and it was then 9 in the morning.

As I wind the clock, I remembered what my mum used to tell me about winding clocks or watches ” You always wind an clocks or watches forward, never backwards as it will ruin the mechanism in the clock works.  I’m  not sure why but I always followed that.

As I wounded my clock forward, a revelation came to me – isn’t life the same too?

Time in life is linear and one directional – that is – always moving forward.  Nonetheless, don’t we like to ‘turn back the clock’ and relive the old times in our minds.  Now don’t get me wrong, reminiscence is good – for fond memories. But what about the bad memories?

We all go through disappointments, hurts, failures, mistakes in life.  We’ve made bad choices, ended up with lacklustre careers, bad company, broken relationships, and many other heart breaks.  While it’s good to retrospect and learn from our mistakes.  Yet, human nature in us, likes to dwell in the past, look back and wonder ‘what if’, ‘what could have been’, ‘what should have been’ and all the likes.

Needless to say, time and tide waits for no man (or woman), time lost is lost, what’s in the past cannot be changed.  So why do we still like to turn back the clock, back to the past?  We can’t turn back the clock, go back in time to change things.

And how can we live our best in the present and towards our future, when we keep looking back, in mourning and regret?

Like any other so-journeyer in this trail called life, I realised I need to move on, keep looking and moving forward.  No amount of looking back can undo yesterday.

As the saying goes, it doesn’t matter where we came from, it matters where we’re going.

The only way ahead is to look forward and live, because the Best is yet to Be, you have not lived your best time yet!

 

 

 

 

Maslow’s Self-Actualisation Theory

For the Psychology inclined, dig this:

 

The fulfillment of one’s potential, or self-actualisation is regarded to be critical to psychological well-being and optimal mental health (Rogers, 1959).  Maslow proposed that self-actualisation is achieveable only when basic needs (physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs) are fulfilled.  According to Maslow, self-actualisation includes being reality-focused, problem-focused, opened to experiences, receptive of self and others and autonomous (ruled by own values).  Self-actualised people may show negative attributes including stubbornness and detachment (Maslow, 1943).

In a study that investigated personality characteristics which correlate with self-actualisation.   Self-actualisation correlated negatively neuroticism but positively with extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness.  All correlations were significant.  Self-actualisation is an important concept within humanistic personality theories.  These theories believe that everyone has the capacity to develop their full potential and achieve self-actualisation (which is important to psychological health).  Hence, the focus is on helping people become more competent and achieve optimal mental health (Rogers, 1959).  In this light, further understanding of self-actualisation will be useful in counseling settings as psychologists help clients advance towards optimal mental health.

 

Further Reading

 

References

Chan, R., & Joseph, S.  (2000).  Dimensions of personality, domains of aspiration, and

subjective well-being.  Personality and Individual Differences, 28(2), 347-354.

Costa, P.T., & McCrae, R.R. (1980). Influence of extraversion and neuroticism on subjective

well-being: Happy and unhappy people. Journal of Personality and Social

Psychology, 38, 668–678.

Costa, P.T., & McCrae, R.R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEOPI-R) and

NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI).Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment

Resources.

Costa, P.T., McCrae, R.R., & Dye, D.A.  (1991).  Facet scales for agreeableness and

conscientiousness: A revision of the NEO Personality Inventory.  Personality and

Individual Differences, 12(9), 887-898.

Dahl, R.J., Wakefield, J.A., Kimlicka, T.M., & Wiedersteik, M.   (1983).  How the

personality dimensions of neuroticism, extraversion and psychoticism relate to self-

actualisation.  Personality and Individual Differences, 4(6), 683-685.

DeNeve, K., & Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analysis of 137 personality

traits and subjective wellbeing.  Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197–229.

Draguns, J.G., Krylova, A.V., Oryol, V.E., Rukavishnikov, A.A., & Martin, T.A.  (2000). 

Personality characteristics of the Nentsy in the Russian arctic: A comparison with

ethnic Russians by means of NEO-PI-R and POI.  American Behavioral Scientist,

44(1), 126-140.

Hayes, N., & Joseph, S.  (2003).  Big 5 correlates of three measures of subjective well-being.

Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 723–727.

Heylighen, F.  (1992).  A cognitive-systemic reconstruction of Maslow’s theory of self-

actualisation.  Behavioral Science, 37, 39-57.

Jensen-Campbell, L.A., & Graziano, W.G. (2001). Agreeableness as a moderator of

interpersonal conflict.  Journal of Personality, 69, 323- 361.

Jones, A., & Crandall, R.  (1986). Validation of a short index of self-actualization.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 12, 63-73.

Knapp, R.R.  (1965).  Relationship of a measure of self-actualisation to neuroticism and

extraversion. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 29, 168-172.

Lolla, D. (1974). An operationalization and validation of the Maslow need hierarchy.

Educational and Psychological Measurement, 34, 639-651.

Luyckx, K., Soenens, B., & Goossens, L.  (2006).  The personality-identity interplay in

emerging adult women: Convergent findings from complementary analyses.

European Journal of Personality, 20, 195-215.

Maslow, A.H. (1943).  A theory of human motivation.  Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.

Maslow, A.H.  (1954).  Motivation and Personality.  NY: Harper.

Maslow, A. (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being (2nd ed.).  NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Maslow, A. (1971). The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. NY: Penguin.

McCrae, R.R., & Costa, P.T. (1983). Joint factors in self-reports and ratings: Neuroticism,

extraversion and openness to experience. Personality and Individual Differences,

4(3), 245-255.

Pettit, J., & Vaught, B.C.  (1984).  Self-actualisation and interpersonal capability in

organizations.  Journal of Business Communication, 21(3), 33-40.

Rogers, C.R. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality, and interpersonal relationships, as

developed in the client-centered framework. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A study of

a Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the person and the social context (pp. 185-256).

NY: McGraw-Hill.

 

Shostrom, E.L. (1964). An inventory for the measurement of self-actualisation. Educational

and Psychological Measurement, 24, 207-218.

Spielberger, C.D. (1972). Anxiety: Current trends in theory and research: I. NY: Academic

Press.

Stöber, J.  (2003).  Self-pity: Exploring the links to personality, control beliefs, and anger.

Journal of Personality, 71(2), 183-220.

Sumerlin, J.R. (1995). Adaptation to homelessness: Self-actualisation, loneliness, and

depression in street homeless men. Psychological Reports, 77, 295-314.

Sumerlin, J.R., & Bundrick, C.M.  (1996).   Brief index of self-actualisation: A measure of

Maslow’s model.  Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 11(2), 253-271.

Sumerlin, J. R., & Bundrick, C. M. (1998). Revision of the brief index of self-actualisation.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, 87, 115-125.

Wilkins, W.E., Hjelle, L.A., & Thompson, M.  (1977).  Anxiety and actualisation: A

reconceptualization.  Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33(4), 1001-1005.

 

Dreamers!

dreams,dreamer,delusional,mediocrity,realism,success,inspiration

I think there’s a certain delusional quality that all SUCCESSFUL people have to have,

YOU have to BELIEVE that something different than what has happened for the past 50 million years CAN happen.

Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity.

What’s the point of being realistic?

It’s UNREALISTIC to walk into a room,

flip a switch and have light come on,

but fortunately Edison didn’t think so.