What are principles? Why do they matter? How can we lead a more principle-centered life? And most importantly, how would leading a principle-centered life lead us to greater happiness?
TO LEARN MORE LISTEN TO THE “INTRODUCTION TO PRINCIPLES” PODCAST SERIES:
- Introduction to Principles I: Natural Law
- Introduction to Principles II: First Principles
- Introduction to Principles III: Principles
Years ago Oprah Winfrey made a little movie called “Make the Connection.” It was about her journey with her weight and how she had struggled her whole life to gain and maintain a proper weight. She showed how she had finally paid the price and lived the principles and overcome all of her weight challenges and was now thin the right way for the first time. She has continued to fluctuate somewhat throughout her life but has never been near her highest weight since then.
It was such a great video because one of the things that she brings up is that she was completely capable–with her position, her power and her wealth–to solve her weight problem without having to change herself, if that were possible. She talks about how she could have paid someone to go to the top of any mountain and get any magic pill that would make and keep her thin. But she finally has to emotionally accept that it didn’t exist.
There are no short cuts.
There was literally NO WAY to solve her weight problem without living the principles of health. She saw that principles rule and no matter how powerful or wealthy or smart she was, if she wanted to be thin and stay thing, she was going to have to submit and live them.
In this movie, she interviewed other individuals who had struggled with their weight. One woman in particular talked about how she lost over hundred pounds. She said she finally put in the work to change herself because of her daughter. She explained that one day when her daughter was 4 or 5 years old, they were out shopping together. As she was walking down the street, she glanced at herself in a store window. As she saw her reflection, she had what we’ve come to call a “glimpse.” She actually saw what she really looked like and it was a wake-up call for her. This glimpse snapped her back into reality.
We all have these “glimpses” – moments where we get to see what’s really going on in our lives.
I had one of these glimpses several years ago when my cousin’s children were placed in foster care. Through a series of miracles they were handed to me very quickly and I went from four children to eight children virtually overnight. One of them was a newborn baby that I brought home from the hospital. It was definitely a wake-up call experience for me. It brought me a lot closer to God and ended up being one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
But…it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. Of course, a big part of that pain was about discovering things about myself I didn’t like and watching myself do things I didn’t realize I was capable of doing. In the end, the entire process made me much more kind-hearted and empathic. But in the midst of it, sometimes I didn’t know how I’d make it through the day.
It helped me to see why other people struggle with what they struggle with and I learned to stop being so hard on them. That’s why, although these wake-up calls, these “glimpses” can be incredibly painful, bring us to tears or even spiral us downward into depression, they’re really a gift. Because they’re an opportunity to see what’s really going on so that we can work on making things better.
This woman in the Oprah video she talked about how her glimpse, when she saw herself in that store window, was the catalyst for transforming her entire life. Here’s why: she realized that the example she was showing to her daughter was not the example she wanted her daughter to see. She wanted her daughter to see a mother and a woman who strove to be her best, who are reaching for her potential, who tackled and did hard things. She wanted to lose the weight to show her daughter that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to! She wanted to be an example of womanhood that her daughter could follow.
I think that is so beautiful!
I had another glimpse one day when Blaine and I were in a fight–I slapped him across the face. In that moment we both just looked at each other and realized that we were in really serious trouble. We knew our marriage was struggling but it was that moment that helped us see just how bad things had gotten. Yet, that glimpse became a blessing. It led us to seek marriage therapy. When therapy couldn’t help us anything, we looked elsewhere for answers. This also was the catalyst for Blaine to heal our marriage and then go on to get a Marriage and Family Therapy Degree and go into private practice as a marriage coach. These glimpses are opportunities for us to change our lives forever.
This is when principles really come to the rescue and they’re our very best friends!
That’s what Oprah was talking about when she said she had tried everything. She had lost tons of weight on Weight Watchers and did a whole TV show about it. Yet, within six months her weight was right back up not only to where it had been but beyond that.
She hadn’t put healthy habits in place in her life. She hadn’t lost the weight in a principle-centered, sustainable way. So, what she had to learn the hard way was what we all have to learn the hard way–that principles work for us or against us whether we know them or not and whether we like it or not. They are the key to unlocking those areas of our lives where we are experiencing pain and unhappiness. They are the solution when we have a wake-up call and life is telling us that we have something we need to fix.
I want to challenge you to pay attention to your own glimpses calls that may happen to you in the near future or that have happened to you recently. Ask yourself who you really want to be and what principles you need to live that will create permanent solutions in your life.
In conjunction with this challenge we’re going have a FACEBOOK LIVE this week in The Mission Driven Mom Mastermind Facebook Group. I’m going to introduce you to natural law. It is a concept that was commonly talked about in early America and in the West but is something that’s not talked about very much today. We are going to go over how it’s the foundation for first principles their principles that follow. We’ll touch on some of the 12 characteristics of true principles. I’ll help you get a very introductory understanding of what principles are and how they’re affecting your life.
I invite you to join me for that. Bring any of the questions that you might have to that Facebook live! In the meantime, take stock of where you’re at. Choose an area of your life where you’re clear there need to be changes made. Start going out and trying to find those principles that can make you the woman and the mother that you were truly meant to be. Prepare yourself live those 4 Laws of Life Mission–one of which is to put your life in line with true principles. As you do, you will be preparing yourself to receive the got the call that God has for you.