Ok, so mindset matters. Taking care of yourself matters. Creating and operating as the most authentic you, that you could ever possibly imagine matters.
“But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
I think of this a lot. People are all created differently. And, the people around us influence our mindsets and our mindsets influence our realities. Our mindsets are the catalysts for our manifestations and prayers. We walk in the realities that our minds create.
Think on this. In the Bible, there’s a verse that says, “set your mind on things above, not on things below.” What’s above? The heavens. Divine perfection. The exact, perfect unconditional love of Christ, which surpasses all understanding and sees us as divine sons and daughters through adoption. When we follow in the footsteps of Christ, however that looks for us, God looks at us with love, and we are always, consistently, walking in this love whether we feel it or not.
I read recently about a sect of Judaism that believes when Adam and Eve were walking in the Garden of Eden, they walked in spirit, and that the result of eating the apple was God giving us literal skin. And that body of flesh, that part of us, is the part of us that separates us from God. And, thus, our bodies in this physical realm, carry that burden of sin and eternity continues to be on our hearts. Why would we have eternity on our minds if we were not meant to explore the possibilities? So imagine- the garden of Eden was a spiritual reality and when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were then sent to the physical realm, where they were meant to work and suffer for the maintenance of the physical body.
This interpretation of scripture made so much sense in my mind. If this is true, if God literally gave Adam and Eve ‘skin,’ in the garden, then when Christ came to Earth, He came to reconcile us with God, and help us walk in our divinity through prayer, and the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, before the fall (or the imprisonment of our souls within our body) we were already walking, ‘in spirit and truth,’ and our physical separation from divine love didn’t exist. I’m not a Biblical scholar, and I don’t pretend to know what the correct interpretation is, but I imagine that God created the world to be explored, without the physical parameters of our bodies, and in companionship with Him. Imagine if all of the science fiction about Quantum Leaping and time travel really existed in a reality before Adam and Eve ate from the tree. In my head God cares a lot more about relationship with Him than looking at a human body, so this interpretation really resonated with me.
Which brings me to mindset- how do we align ourselves with a Divine Mindset while walking on the Earth where we need to pay our bills, make decisions that align us with our goals, and deal with the constant pressure of society to be something? And, even beyond that: we have to operate within the confines of this world in order to survive, in spite of being connected to the divine?
Operating in Authenticity
Did you know that optimists always tend to be ten minuted late? Or more? Optimists always assume, for better or worse, that the best case scenario will play out. Of course, this is a more annoying trait. If optimists are always running late, it can be frustrating. But more importantly, this optimistic quality can lead people down a dangerous road. This is why pessimists are just as important. Just as every pisces needs a virgo to ground them in reality, every optimist needs a pessimist to ground them. The red flags exist. Don’t let your optimism cloud that judgement.
When we act authentically, we may find that we aren’t fitting in to the world’s preconceived notion of what we need to do. When I was growing up, I was lucky to have young parents who were still experiencing the world around them with awe and wonder. My mom loved to act, sing and dance; and my dad often took me out in nature and encouraged me to explore the world around me. We never had a lot of money, and as a result, I grew up and fell in love with creatives, with artists, with out-of-the-box thinkers, with the beautiful world around me. For better or worse, I don’t have a fear of the unknown- I occasionally fear people, but am encouraged to explore, in the faith that I am walking authentically in the calling God has for me and the He will protect me from ill will.
When I was younger, I tried to act in a way that the Church, and most of the USA, endorsed. I got married at eighteen, and I got divorced at twenty-three. I tried to work a 9-5, went to college, and did everything within my power to have, ‘the house, the spouse, the six-figures.’ With a more recent relationship, I even prioritized the boyfriends’ home over my own income (to be fair, I thought of us as a team). After about a decade of trying to fit into this box, and failing again and again, I am at a loss as too how to proceed, so I am giving up, being my most authentic self and trusting that God will figure the rest out for me.
As an adult, I have now freelanced for five years, and built my own business in education. This happened during the pandemic. Now that the pandemic is over, I am eager to explore and to grow. And, when things don’t go my way, I set my mind on things above, rather than the things below, and try to help others. There’s not really a great answer, but envisioning my future has always helped me get through uncertain times. That, and doing my best to empower others to be their very best self.
When things Get Tough
It’s so easy to cultivate a positive mindset and trust God when things are going well. Beyond accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, there’s more to do in the difficult times where God is not doing things the way we think He should. We know we can rest in his grace, and understand that our reality is simply a season.
Mindsets in Action
Joseph was his Father’s favorite. As such, I imagine he lived a somewhat privileged life. His dad gave him a jacket, a symbol of love, which created so much dissonance between Joseph and his brothers that they sold him into slavery, where he would spend time working for years, eventually being promoted to Pharaoh’s right hand man, accused (falsely) of molesting Pharaohs wife, thrown back into jail, released after prophesying both success and death, and then subsequently promoted once again to a position of power. It was only after this rollercoaster of a life that Joseph’s brothers showed up in Pharaoh’s court, and it had been so long that they didn’t recognize Joseph. He played a small trick on them and was finally reunified with his family.
Being in jail definitely sucks. Being sold into slavery by your brothers (talk about sibling rivalry) sucks worse. I think about the turbulence in Joseph’s life and am in awe of the way he only played a small trick on his brothers. If my siblings sold me into slavery, I would be livid. But, God used Joseph in spite of the individual tumult he experienced and I would argue: God was able to use Joseph because he was open. Because he had a mindset that was fixed on things above. He had no fear of rotting in jail- he knew even if he died there, he would be in heaven with God, and this confidence- confidence in the things unseen- gave him the strength he needed to get through this.
I want to talk about Halle Berry. Halle Berry was homeless and stayed in a shelter when she initially moved to NYC. She stated, “Giving up was never an option, it took me right back to my high school years. You say I can’t? Watch me. I’m going to figure this out. And shelter life was part of figuring it out for a minute.”
Halle had a goal. That mindset- the hope in things unseen- gave her an ability to overcome the obstacles around her. She placed her faith in her future- not quite as good as things above, but better than the reality of being homeless. Having a mindset- a mindset that believes in possibilities of the future, a mindset that believes anything is possible- is the first step towards manifesting the life you feel reflects your most authentic self.
Our mindsets determine our reality. We can look too things above, heavenly places, our life (which is hidden in Christ) or our future. But when we look at these things, we are aligning ourselves with our highest calling. We know we are on the right path when we are feeling joy, and when we feel as though we walk in purpose. Always check in with your emotions: they are guideposts directing you where you need to go.