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Believe In Order To See

Ever heard anyone say, "I'll believe it when I see it!"? Others say, "I need to see in order to believe." The more accurate statement underlying the previous two is, "I don't believe..."

You have three vital life monitors that work in you around the clock -- your eyes, ears and heart. Unfortunately, what you don't always realize is they are finely calibrated to screen in or screen out external input. In other words, you notice only what you are programmed to see.

Some of your programming came before you were old enough to do your own. I understand that. One phrase that was programmed into me at an early age by my father was, "It's a dog-eat-dog world out there!" From that calibration I saw many instances of social injustice and people letting other people down. This "proved" my programming was correct, right? I "didn't believe" that a loving community existed.

The result of that single belief was fear, isolation and loneliness on a grand scale. I realized this as an undergraduate and went home one weekend to speak with my father about it. I tried to express how hard life was without any close friends. What I realize now is, I wanted my father to re-program me so that I could go out into the world with new eyes, ears and a new heart -- to be more trusting and to feel a part of.

We ended up in an argument. He was convinced I was naive and would end up hurt. He said he had failed at teaching me how to be successful in the world. Well, if that's failure, I sure am glad for failure ;-) I know today that he was doing what he thought was best.

In realizing I was an adult who could make my own choices, I chose to do my own reprogramming. I began taking risks. As I continued through college over those next couple years, I joined in social activities and became involved in a service club. I chose to believe, took a risk and jumped in. I began to see, hear and feel amazing things. I became a "part of."

Now, it's not a yellow brick road. Are there folks who've hurt me? Yup, there've been plenty. Have I felt betrayed by organizations? Yes, one or two ;-) Is it worth the risk? Absolutely it is!

So, what is it you really want to believe in? Here are just a few common and often quiet hopes, stated in a powerful manner.

I believe...

in a positive outlook on life.
I am a lovable person.
in God.
that good people are out there.
there's someone special for me.
I can be a great parent.
there's a career that's just right for me.
I can be a wonderful spouse.

...add your own.

Then take action towards what you want. One playful way to do this is to become a detective for whatever it is you want to find more of! For instance, if you want to believe in God, begin keeping a notebook or journal of any small "coincidences" or "God shots" that happen in your life. 

Noticing one little thing may not turn the tide, but as you continue actively "looking" for God in the world, guess what? You'll see God everywhere. Yes, it's true. We tend to find what we go looking for.

Become a detective and sleuth out good people in the world. Be open to them. Open your eyes, ears and heart and believe... to see. The other day my family and I ate at a Cracker Barrel. The waitress immediately engaged my children in a playful manner. She wisely dropped about a hundred extra napkins on the table and brought drink cups with lids on them. My wife and I talked about how nice it was to be treated so well and speculated that this lady was also a parent who understood how to make the eating out as painless as possible for parents of young children. We caught a good lady in action! 

Your turn. Have fun. You'll do well.

Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."

  ~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris


Ask Dave!


How do I clear my head of thoughts of worthlessness?

Dave's Response:

Begin by polling about your worth.  That's right, ask around.  There's bound to be several individuals who've not been overpowered by depression's deceit in your life.  If your feelings of worthlessness is a big secret, then break that secret and let someone into the lonely, abusive room in your head.  See what their response is to it. 

Make a deal with yourself that you will take notice of all those things in your life which reflect your worth back at you.  Tipping an extra dollar for good restaurant service.  Giving the right of way at an intersection when you didn't have to.  Smiling at someone who was having a poor day.  

Depression is like the loudest playing, annoying radio station in the radio in your head.  It's time to tune out.  I know it's not that easy, but other stations are playing and deserve to be tuned in to as well.  Even though the signal will be weak at first, if you strain to hear it, surely you will begin to.

Let me know if you need expert guidance.  I've been there and know the way out.

Your friend and professional advisor,

Dave Turo-Shields

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