Sneek-peak of Chapter Three. For complete chapters you may order Discover Your Wings at Amazon.
Weapons of Mass Distortion
Commander Critic is ruthless, and he doesn’t fight fair. There are many weapons within his arsenal.
It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.
Distortions are bad habits of thinking that are based on your beliefs, and they will keep your wings forever locked within you where they will eventually wither and die.
Distortions include over generalizing, which is seeing a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of failure. Inner Critic uses words such as:
All or nothing thinking is your worst enemy for accomplishing goals. In this mindset, you think if something can’t be done perfectly, then it can’t be done at all, like missing a day of exercise or cheating on your diet. This thinking makes you believe you’ve failed and all is lost, so you give up.
So you missed a day at the gym or ate a few helpings of double chocolate molten lava cake. All is not lost! Your body won’t forget how to stop burning calories, and your muscles won’t turn into instant jelly. Resume your goal the next day.
Filtering is when you only focus on the negative and reject anything positive that happened. If anything, you can take away a good lesson from a bad experience.
Mind reading is assuming you know what other people are thinking about you. Do you ever feel like the whole world is against you?
You’re not clairvoyant! Stop it!
Maximizing or minimizing is when you’re making a mountain out of a molehill or you’re making a molehill out of a mountain.
There may be times when your problems may appear so large they’ll swallow you whole. Are your problems really as large as the bird that tried to eat Natalie, or do they just appear that way?
Emotional reasoning is when your emotions are making your decisions for you. This form of reasoning makes you assume your distorted feelings are fact.
Since emotional reasoning distorts your thought pattern, never make a decision until you’ve had time to regroup your brain cells.
Labeling is creating stereotypes for yourself and other people. Instead of describing the error, you attach a negative label. Labels are limiting and harmful.
It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.
Personalizing is when you see yourself as the cause of some negative event or decision that was made and feel it’s a personal attack on you.
Distortions were crawling everywhere in Common Place. That’s what distortions do; they keep you crawling along in a common place in life.
One tragic accident led a former Commander to jump to the conclusion that all caterpillars would be eaten if they ventured into the clearing. That conclusion caused generations of fear. No one was allowed to travel beyond the safety of the city borders. Seriously, all caterpillars would be eaten? This statement may sound ridiculous, but how often do you have these types of thoughts?
Commander Critic labeled everyone as leaf-gatherers and convinced them it was their chosen destiny. Natalie was labeled a trouble-maker for following her heart’s desires and not wanting to conform to a limiting life.
Remember when the Queen of Destiny declared Natalie was too old to change? You’re never too old to do anything you want to do!
You’re never too old to learn.
You’re never too old to dream.
You’re never too old to play.
Age is just a number to identify how long you’ve been on this earth. It has nothing to do with your goals, dreams, and adventurous spirit.
The Commander was quick to reassure everyone of Common Place that how you were born is how you'll be for the rest of your life. You may have been born into a circumstance, but your fate isn’t sealed in that circumstance. You choose your own path and destiny.
Why was Timmy able to transform into a butterfly in front of everyone? He was young and impressionable. His excitement overshadowed what he’d been taught long enough for him to believe in the idea; therefore, he was able to transform.
Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.
What is holding you back from truly discovering your wings?
Games Critic Plays
Remember playing the game Life when you were a kid? It was fun, and if your life didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, it didn’t matter; it was all going back into the box at the end of the game. Real life is messy, and you can’t put it back in the box. You have to live with the consequences of bad choices and circumstances.
If Commander Critic can’t fight you in the present, he’ll play with your past and keep you running in circles like a dog chasing its own tail until you’re nothing but dizzy and exhausted.
ERROR! GAME OVER
Mistakes are assets; you learn valuable information from what didn’t work and why so you can move forward and discover what does work for you. What improvements need to be made?
You need to allow for a certain amount of mistakes to be made. However, if you keep making chronic mistakes in certain areas of your life, you need to find out why and possibly enlist help from friends or other outside sources to help you analyze from a different perspective why you keep making the same mistakes.
Mistakes should be called little learnings. Learn from them; don’t dwell on them. Even your worst mistakes can lead to something positive. Reframe your past failures into a positive experience.
If I hadn’t done _____________________, I never would’ve discovered _____________________.
If you stumble, make it part of your dance.
Everyone makes mistakes, even the most famous of inventors or businessmen.
Thomas Edison, most famous for inventing the light bulb, held 1,093 patents. Not every idea was a success. In 1899, he formed the Edison Portland Cement Company where he made everything from cement including pianos, houses, and phonograph cabinets.
The idea never came to fruition due to the expense of the cement. However, his idea was not a complete failure as his company was hired to build Yankee Stadium.
Edison wanted to bring sound to the silent film. In 1895, he introduced the kinetophone, a peep-hole motion picture viewer with a phonograph that played inside the cabinet. Sound could be heard through two ear tubes while the viewer watched the images.
The idea wasn’t popular and was abandoned in 1915. His motion picture camera, however, was a success.
What about Bill Gates? How many Windows and Office systems did he produce that were less than successful?
A clever man commits no minor blunders.
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Sometimes even life-threatening mistakes can lead to something good. Natalie ventured out the morning after the rain and failed to see the danger until it was too late. It nearly cost Natalie her life. But her mistake introduced her to Goldie who revealed to Natalie the truth that led her to her destiny.
Mistakes are just part of your cocoon that help you develop your wings.
If at first you don't succeed,
swallow all the evidence that you tried.
A Twister of Decisions
I should have, I shouldn’t have can leave you twisted up in knots.
No one is perfect and not all the decisions we make in life are the right ones for many reasons.
Are you judging yourself on a past decision or mistake in your life based on the current knowledge you have today? Did you make the best decision based on the knowledge you had at that time, or was it truly just a bad decision? Making a bad decision isn’t the end of the world. It can help you make better choices in the future.
When Natalie became lost in the thicket and panicked, all she could think about was how she should have heeded the warnings from the signs and should have listened to Commander Critic because he knew what was best for her.
She began second-guessing her decision to leave and wanted to turn back. There was no way Natalie could have known the dangers and challenges that waited for her. Not only had she never left the city, but no one else had in decades.
Everything beyond the border signs was new territory and a new experience for her. She made the best decisions at the time based on her limited amount of experience.
However, Natalie should have been paying more attention to her surroundings when she left the safety of the log and realized with the rain the worms would surface and draw out the birds. But she was preoccupied with her big adventure.
Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt. It’s a lesson she’ll never forget that will make her more aware and wiser in the future.
Relax. Forgive yourself for your past blunders. Hindsight is 20/20.
Happiness is nothing more than
good health and a bad memory.
~ Albert Schweitzer
The Blame Game
One of the hardest thing in life is to be accountable for your actions and take responsibility and ownership for your mistakes. It’s easier to blame someone else for them; however, if you can’t take responsibility for your mistakes, you can’t take credit for making the right choices.
As a child you don’t have a choice in how other people treated you; you may not have had control over the situation. As an adult you now posses that the power in how you handle yourself and your past.
Are you using what happened in the past as an excuse or crutch for not moving forward or for how your life turned out? Do you view yourself as a victim or a victor over your circumstances?
You can only blame people for so long. At some point, you become responsible for your actions. No matter what.
Natalie took responsibility and chose her own dreams rather than fall victim to the life that was offered to her.
When someone mentions the word forgiveness, it’s like a four-letter word that can send shivers up your spine. The reason most people have difficulty forgiving is because they don’t understand what it is and how it can set them free. Forgiveness gives you peace. Without it, there is no complete healing.
So let go of the baggage already! It’s unhealthy to hold onto every hurt someone inflicted on you. Unforgiveness is like pouring concrete on yourself; your heart will harden, and it will only turn you into an ugly statue frozen forever in one place.
So what is forgiveness? Forgiveness is a decision that purifies the heart, releases the pain, hate, and bitterness from you when you release the offender over to the Universe to correct.
It’s the antidote for depression, anger, bitterness, spiritual and emotional illness, and loneliness. These all-consuming and obsessive feelings will poison your heart, your life, and every relationship you try to form.
Forgiveness is not forgetting what was done to you. You shouldn’t have to hide your pain; however, make sure you express it in a healthy way. Revenge is often messy.
You don’t need to reconcile with that person or even let them know you’ve forgiven them, just release them.
Saying you’re sorry is perhaps one of the hardest things a person can do. At least accept what they say. Accepting the apology clears the air and helps you heal. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to trust the person again or even have a relationship with them.
Only you can decide if you want to forgive. Until you do, it’s like being chained to the offender for the rest of your life because unforgiveness holds you hostage to the past, the offender, and keeps you from healing so you can move toward a healthy future.
Imagine yourself handcuffed to every person you’ve ever held a grudge against—your ex-spouse, the kid in fifth grade, an ex-friend. The chain is real. The people are real. The weight holding you back from trying to walk forward in your life is very real. You’re either laboring forward, out of breath and tired, or you’re stuck.
Unforgiveness binds you literally, in the spiritual sense, to that person and to the offense. The act of forgiveness is an exchange of power that breaks this binding force. Do you wonder why you walk around always feeling like that person is right there with you, and you can’t shake them from your life?
Only you hold the key to your self-made prison. Break the chains holding you in captivity.
Don’t give the offense or the offender all the power. You are better than the wrong done to you.
Not only is it important to have forgiveness for others, but also to have forgiveness for yourself, so you can make peace with your past and move forward.
We have to learn to be our own best friends
because we fall too easily into the trap
of being our own worst enemies
Natalie forgave her mother for the hurtful comments and even managed to look past the repeated incidents with Mr. Foland. The things said and done to Natalie hurt her deeply. She didn’t make excuses for their behavior. What they did was wrong, but she understood why they belittled her dreams and didn’t understand her.
After seeing and experiencing the wonders of Destiny, no one could blame Natalie for wanting to stay and never return home. She wanted to give Common Place a chance to see the truth so they could decide their own fate. What they did with that knowledge was up to them.
If things hadn’t changed, Natalie would have left so she could continue to grow and not be held back by her critics.
Natalie never forgot what Mr. Foland did to her. With his transformation, he realized what he did was horribly wrong and he wanted to let Natalie know he was sorry.
At first, she didn’t know how to handle the apology. Could she trust this person after everything he’d done? Was he sincere? Natalie realized how difficult it was for him to admit he was wrong and apologize. If she hadn’t accepted his apology, she not only would have missed out on a great editor, but she would have missed out on her own continued growth.
What about Natalie’s mother? She went from believing her daughter to be a delusional day-dreamer to helping her print her books. What could you be missing out on in your life?
The Queen of Destiny had to apologize to Natalie for assuming she was beyond the proper age to become a butterfly. She even had to apologize to the inhabitants of Destiny for withholding the truth of the true meaning of Chrysalis and correct a long-held belief.
I'm not old enough to play baseball or football. I'm not eight yet. My mom told me when you start baseball, you aren't going to be able to run that fast because you had an operation. I told Mom I wouldn't need to run that fast. When I play baseball, I'll just hit them out of the park. Then I'll be able to walk. ~Edward J. McGrath, Jr.
How do I feel when I make mistakes? Am I overly hard on myself or judgmental?
Do I often feel the need to strive for perfection? If so, when did I first realize I was imperfect or somehow flawed?
How can I reframe my past failures to find something positive that I learned?
What do I need or want to change about myself and my life? What are the verbal and mental triggers that keep holding me back?
Journal about the people who have hurt you. Get out everything you ever wanted to say, but don’t send it to them! Later as you work through your emotions and can form an intelligent letter, write a new letter and send it if you still feel the need.
The Garbage Can:
Write each failure and bad experience you had on a separate piece of paper.
Wad up each failure and bad experience one at a time, say “This is garbage. It’s not benefiting me and is wasted energy,” and throw it away.
As you throw away the negative away, keep focused on the lesson, and let the incidents go.
Write down the lesson you learned in this workbook below. This is what you want to remember from your experience.