I loved rides as a kid. I’m not so sure how my body would hold up at a theme park today to be honest. But, back in the day…it was on! My many visits to Hershey Park and Kings Dominion found me pushing to the fronts of the lines. The rush of the roller coasters, the spinning of the good ole Tilt-a-Whirl made me so excited.
What I have come to not enjoy about rides are the cycles we find ourselves in – the Tilt-a-Whirl of life.
Did you know that a lot of your behaviors, thoughts and beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation? That they have helped to form your core belief system about society, life, faith, relationships and work ethic? Add to that the experiences you personally have that are influenced by someone’s core belief system and is it any wonder why we are left wanting to hurl and get off the never ending ride?
Let me give you a personal example while upholding the fact that I have wonderful parents and I mean zero disrespect by sharing these:
Work-a-holic Cycle: I have a great work ethic. I was raised to work hard and to always do things right the first time. This push for excellence is a good thing. BUT in watching both of my parents work numerous hours a day in taking care of our home, family, working, serving others at all hours of the day/night, I developed the habit of performance. I still struggle with it. I have a hard time relaxing when I know there is a task list sitting somewhere with my name on it. I feel guilty when I take a break during a “work day” or if I’m not sick. It was something good that twisted to a negative cycle for me.
Poverty Mentality: I was raised in a Pastor’s home. My grandfather, great-grandfather, uncles, cousins – all Pastors, Missionaries or Evangelists. It’s our “family business” you could say. Since early childhood, I’ve watched everyone struggle with feeling like they had financial security. We were always taken care of and our church families were always generous, yet MY mentality developed that to be in a ministry role equaled to just “getting by”. So, I’ve carried that “just getting by” mentality into my own adult life. I have prevented myself from flourishing at times because I have limited thinking regarding finances.
What some of your generational cycles you can see in your family tree?
We, too, create our own cycles through self-fulfilling prophecies. I like to refer to this as “The Crazy Train”. These are patterns we develop that are destructive to our success.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy is a cycle that starts with an EVENT > OPINION > EXPECTATION > ACTION. An event represents things in our past that negatively or positively impacted our view of ourselves or situations. These events lead us to an opinion about ourselves that, whether right or wrong, is based on those events. Next, an expectation is formed because of the opinion. Then the action starts.
Event > I was told Opinion > I am never going to be good enough Expectation > Everyone says I’m never going to be good enough anyway so why do anything? Action > laziness
Sadly, as an adult I developed a few horrible self-fulfilling prophecies that led me to some very dark places. A few random events, by people who I’m sure didn’t mean ill will at the time with their words and actions, led me to create a new reality of disbelief for myself. The Crazy Train took me right into Self-Doubtville then on into Worthlesstown and final stop into my own personal Pit of Hell.
Breaking through these cycles is NOT easy. It requires support around you and a lot of prayer and self-forgiveness. Leaving behind shame, guilt, lies, disbelief, failures…is not only a possibility but a reality.
Today I challenge you to break free from the negative cycles that are holding you back from the Truth. The truth of love, grace, forgiveness, who you really are, your purpose in life, your ability to dream big and live big. I challenge you to create new positive thought beliefs and cycles that create goodness in those around you. That inspire others to do the same. That changes the landscape of their world just because you came into contact with them for a brief moment.Remember that your words and actions towards others may be turning points in their lives. You have the ability to fuel their Crazy Train or redirect it to a positive place.
Let your life shine bright with the legacy of freedom.