The Positive Approach to Unpredictability

When life's plans get blown up, as they will, you can still find empowerment in your perspective.

Posted in , Jul 13, 2018

Positive power

“Make your plans and you hear God laughing” is a line in the song “Life Changes” by Thomas Rhett. I smile each time I hear this line as it humbles my Type A, plan-ful personality. Finding comfort in life’s unpredictability is easier for some than others.

In my professional life as a therapist, I am never surprised by what clients share with me, be it a life experience, relationship dynamics, fears, goals, hopes, hurts. My job is to use my professional experience and skills to help my clients make plans and take constructive action to help them heal and move forward. It is also my role to empower them to be able to handle the inevitable unpredictabilities of life that lie ahead of them. So much of this empowerment falls in the area of attitude and perspective. This is where I channel Grandpa Peale. No matter what we face, we have a choice of how we respond and act. Undoubtedly, a positive, proactive, focused and thoughtful attitude yields greater benefits then the alternative.  

When unwelcome events or experiences have come my way, setbacks that have been deeply painful, I have always been grateful that I have been given a model, in my grandparents and parents, of how to move through such experiences. The pain and suffering are real and should not be diminished. What makes a difference is how we take them in and move forward. How we can use them to build our resiliency and empathy. Not easy, for sure, but, again, far better than the alternative approach.

I was struck by Catherine Marshall’s words while thinking about life’s unpredictability: “Often God has to shut a door in our face so that He can subsequently open the door through which He wants us to go.” May we all find some comfort in that.

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