Be Hopeful and Trusting

I want to share a graphic that pictures a dynamic range of human states, reminding me that I always have a choice between hopelessness and hope, between distrust and trust. I've coined a few terms based on my understanding of teachings from Swedenborg. I hope this is helpful to you!

I want to share an informative chart with you, because it has been significantly helpful to me.

First, a question: Do you want to experience consistently strong feelings of hope and trust? I do. The problem is that I inevitably notice a certain amount of hopelessness and distrust creeping in from time to time, disturbing my otherwise positive frame of mind. The perspective of this chart helps remind me how to get back on track.

Imagine a vertical continuum of possible human states from healthy on the top to unhealthy on the bottom. Now add a horizontal continuum of possible states from “big deals” to “little things.” These big and little experiences can seem healthy or unhealthy depending on how we respond to them.

I’ve attempted to generalize the range of these human states with four one-word titles, one for each category.
The top of the chart represents a range of healthy, positive states of mind and heart. “Providentializing” is my word for affirmatively acknowledging the overarching work of the Lord’s providence. This is a good thing to do!

Opportunitizing” is taking the positive attitude that negative experiences are opportunities for growth, steps in our progress. Also a good perspective.
The bottom of the chart represents a range of unhealthy, negative states of mind. “Catastrophizing” is falling prey to the notion that life is nothing but a series of bad experiences driven by the forces of evil and falsity.

Trivializing” is not giving enough credit to what is good and true, and instead feeling like they are relatively trivial and powerless against the dark side.

This picture of a dynamic range of human states reminds me I always have a choice. I am not required to maintain a bottom-of-the-chart attitude. In fact, the Lord is continually urging me to lift my thinking. By affirming the real power of goodness and truth and realizing that evil and falsity are simply temporary and impotent, I can climb up into a higher perspective. I can restore a healthy attitude of hope and trust in the Lord’s influence over all the big and little things of life.

Pastor Nathan