Please read the introduction to Marnie's new book, "Perspective Transformation" and answer these 3 questions in the comments below.
Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill and Helen Keller modeled perspective transformation. Unlike the facades, hiding and blaming of current culture, they each chose to honestly, and publicly, bear their own imperfections, while busy about changing the world.
Edison humorously responded to insults with, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Churchill confessed, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” And, Helen Keller put nay-sayers in their place with her famous come-back, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
This book addresses the reality of our very personal, and deeply ingrained, weaknesses. It’s a reality check and prescription of escape from our feverish drive to fix our foibles fast, or hide until we do.
True freedom is about embracing the blessings associated with very things we find most disappointing about our lives. It’s not that we should lay down and blindly accept brokenness without a fight, but there are things we’ve worked tirelessly to reform, yet brokenness still plagues us.
I propose that these particularly agitating aspects of our lives are allowed, and even intended, to test our tenacity, humble our pride, and increase our empathy toward others who struggle to break free of their own unique demons.
I’m one of the most optimist thinkers you’ll ever meet, but I simply refuse to ignore my glaring imperfections, live small, or blame away my responsibility to be the best I can. In these pages, you’ll find no Pollyanna-positivity or ostrich head-in-the-sand avoidance. Instead, we are going to face the facts, embrace the truth, accept grace, and move toward total freedom and healing, one perspective at a time.
The transformation of our major “ick” issues will require time, patience and grace. On the other hand, perspective shifts are like gold: they provide the mercy of comfort and courage to forge on until the battle is won and the victory locked in.
We’ve all done goals, vision boards, mantras and the like; and they’re all great, and necessary. But dealing with work goals, or deep-down dark places, is the difference between running a sprint or a marathon. It’s the distinction between operating a business or hosting a homeless shelter. In business, you must generate regular, reliable financial profits; in ministry, your profits are calculated completely differently. Sometimes the investment of love takes decades to prove fruitful, and may cost more in mental anguish than in money.
Unlike undergoing surgery with anesthesia, we’re required to remain wide awake during our open heart operation. There is no perfect narcotic to numb the pain of having our histories splayed open and exposed. Instead, perspective transformation is a drug-free, mentally-managed process that takes the experience of a long and excruciating recovery from unbearable to delightful. It helps us stay the course.
There was once a front page newspaper article about me entitled, “The Wonder Woman of the North.” I didn’t get that title because I was perfect nor had I demonstrated any super-powers. Instead, the journalist was responding to my joy and productivity in the midst of tragedy and typically-overwhelming life circumstances. She observed me refusing to let the negativity over-power me, and she found it remarkable.
Personally, I found it delightful! I experienced that season of my life with peace and joy—the same perspectives that have carried me through fires, floods, a tornado, lightning strike, sinking boat, ambulance rides, sudden death in the family and more.
Perspective transformation changes our experience of life’s unavoidable pain and suffering.
Like you, I’m just a person with stuff in my life that bugs me. I, too, prefer one-and-done miracles whenever I can get them. But the rest of the time, most of the time, life requires gradual improvement vs. promptly-imparted perfection.
In fact, perfection, joining Cirque du Soleil, and owning a yacht were never even on my bucket list. My mission is to face my giants bravely, work wisely and faithfully toward positive outcomes, and to share the best life possible with as many people as I can.