Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flying Upside Down

A guest blog by Cheri Douglas...

About those folks who just won’t listen to IT…

Won’t accept IT …

Or just can’t seem to hear IT…

And the folks who live or work with them and need them to get IT!

What is the Flying Upside Down metaphor all about, and how does it relate to life and our relationships with the people in our lives and the Lord? Well, it is a flying metaphor…OBVIOUSLY!! And, before I go any further, let me apologize in advance to the flyers or pilots among you. I have found through research and picking brains of friends and my husband, Jeff, that flying offers us a powerful metaphor for some of the most important things in life. However, I am not a pilot. So, my metaphoric connections to some of the points here could lack some academics for those among you who know more than I do about aeronautics. And that’s probably anyone who knows anything about aeronautics.

So, please forgive my loose academic connections to your field. But, I hope you will gain value and enjoyment from my insights into human relations. That’s my field!

As you may or may not know, the history of flight is sprinkled with numerous accounts of tragic endings to flights by pilots who placed themselves on a collision course with disaster by flying upside. This happens when a pilot becomes disoriented from physical reality and believes that he or she is flying right-side-up, when they were, in fact, flying upside-down. Deluded by their own disorientation with reality, and no apparent means of getting a reality check, they intended to pull the nose of their plane up and instead, dive tragically into the Earth below.

This is a sad and grim scenario, to be sure. So what is a metaphor and what is the lesson here? A metaphor is something that symbolizes and parallels another situation to which we can relate. The metaphor increases our clarity about our situation and teaches us something profound as we relate our reality to the metaphor. Our lesson here, in a nutshell, is that we can be flying our lives upside down too. We can be on a collision course with disaster and feel just great about it….even proud. But, we are flying blindly, and just like pilots, if we do not take in information to give us a reality check we are very likely to make the wrong move and meet with some kind of life disaster.

For the most part, I am not talking about physical disasters, which threaten physical life like those that face pilots. I am talking about disasters of the human spirit, which kill relationships and human God given potential. People get themselves onto this collision course with disaster by protecting themselves from input that might suggest needed change.

In the pilot’s situation, there are gauges and/or the horizon and stars to give them input for continuous course-corrections. But they become disoriented in the dark or dense clouds without gauges giving them feedback.

In life we sometimes protect ourselves from feedback that might serve as a reality check for self-corrections. Some people develop self-concepts of perfection that become like armor against any incoming information to the contrary. They seemingly will choose the collision course with disaster over hearing that they might need to change. The individuals go on the immediate defense at the first sign of even gentle criticism. Essentially, their personality becomes a closed system, with little or nothing of value given or received.

Whether in families, among friends, or in the workplace this defensive protection of the ego is one of the most toxic of all relationship problems. And, it is a common problem, driven by continuous self-talk that creates anxiety, which maintains the lies and resists the truth.

Most all of our behaviors were thoughts first. So keeping good healthy thoughts going throughout internal computers is just as important to our personalities and clean healthy food is to our bodies. We live in a fallen world where that is difficult and we are inundated with negatives and fears. So how do we get unstuck if the wrong thoughts have been running too long?

Our Father in Heaven is our creator, lifter, and perfecter of our souls. He sent Jesus and the Holy Spirit to transform our lives. Jesus told us He came to testify to the truth, and demonstrated He loved us more than life itself. Our faith in Him is transforming and lifts even the most insecure person into the glow of His acceptance. Accepting and seeking after Jesus is the pathway to personal growth and truth. Pray! Read his Word! Memorize transforming scriptures. And Praise His Holy Name!!

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. And the God of all grace will be with you.

You can connect with Cheri on Twitter: @CheriDouglas or on her blog: http://www.PollyannaArt.com 

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