Maybe you are familiar with the well-known concept of rose-coloured glasses? As a girl, these were my favourite lenses through which to see the world. I was happily naive. And sometimes this served me well. Other times . . . not so much. One summer out at the cottage, a tornado came twisting near the house. Instead of running into the house’s centre for safety, I ran toward the window just in time to watch a tree get pulled into the air and slammed down metres from where I stood. Crazy! And that’s not the only story I have to share.
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So, today we are continuing the conversation around how we interpret experiences, and tying back into how our minds will often delete, distort or generalize experiences in our attempt to understand them. I’m about to share with you a story of countering adversity, and in doing so, share how removing a distortion equipped me with the ability to face a very dangerous situation head-on.
What is distortion?
Distortion: We misrepresent our reality through distorting our experience of pure sensory information. Being intimidated by certain people, frightened of a harmless situation, procrastinating, or misinterpreting what someone says, are examples of how people distort reality to their detriment. On the other hand, the process of planning, imagining or visualising something also uses distortion as a way of constructing goals and compelling futures.
What is countering adversity?
countering adversity means growing from setbacks and moving forward with knowledge from that experience. At times, having experienced adversity can even help us understand a situation or opportunity from a new perspective. It’s an element we’ve touched upon before in our conversation around Spiritual Intelligence.
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Back in 1994 I went on a family trip down to Jamaica, and brought along my boyfriend. It was a great trip, and I can remember quite vividly being in the market with my mother, and meeting a lady named Nelly. Nelly took one look at me, and quickly told my mom that I had such a big heart. She also warned that with a bright light like mine, I’d also attract darkness.
It was the first time I really stopped to consider attracting darkness. As Nelly shared this so empathically, I found myself taking off those rose coloured glasses for a moment. At this same market, my boyfriend was walking around – except he didn’t seem to be acting normally. He was flirting with women and not behaving like his normal loving self.
But my glasses quickly dropped back over my eyes as we left that market, and they stayed there until a bit later when he and I decided to row a boat out onto the waters of Port Antonio. Suddenly, he became enraged – his anger was erupting from him, and the angrier he became the more the boat rocked. We were out in the water without life jackets, in this boat that was bobbing back and forth dangerously. This might sound strange, but in that moment when I felt threatened, I didn’t become scared but instead called to him to cast away that darkness – demons get out of there!
And he calmed down immediately. Whether it was shock from my proclamation, or maybe it was a bad energy moving onward, either way it worked.
I hadn’t wanted to believe what I was seeing in my normally caring boyfriend, but nevertheless did see the bizarre behaviour – and somehow managed to scare it away.
When we counter adversity, there are often context and content reframes. You can look at a problem and ask yourself, “what else is going on here?” By changing your perception, you can change your interpretation of the experience.
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Both with the flying tree and that rocking boat, I see myself now as having been protected. I was protected by some kind of intervention that kept that tree away from the window, and I was protected through awareness when Nelly opened my eyes. For me, it feels like I was protected by God, and so it has given me a sort of confidence and sense of protection.
Even with my boyfriend of that time, terrifying as it was to see him change so drastically, something helped me find that inner power to say “no”, cut through the distorted reality, and create a different one to tackle that moment of harm.
Isn’t it interesting how these big life moments can lead to reframes and new perspectives in our spirituality? Do you have any moments in life that made you rethink a ‘why’ or take off the rose coloured glasses for the better? We’d love to hear and share your stories.
Stay tuned for more to come in our miniseries about interpreting experiences and the multiple intelligences.
Till next week,
Camille Boivin is founder of Sister Leadership, certified in EQi 2.0 and EQ360, a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), has been coaching high-level women and men for over six years, and is now opening her expertise to those emerging in business. Camille pulls her blog topics from her unique coaching approach that combines her training as a EQi 2.0 and EQ360 certified facilitator with the dig-deeper tools of NLP.
Get in touch here if you’d like to talk with Cam about group or one-on-one coaching, and EQ assessments. With the miracle of Skype and telephones – distance is no issue!