Cowritten by: Yvonne Rheinschmidt Ph D, LPC & Scott Rheinschmidt MA LPC
“Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome” US Marine Corp,
Improvise, adapt, and overcome is a common slogan used by the Marine Corps as well as the other military services. But it’s more than a slogan; it’s a mindset that can allow us to deal with any physical, mental, or spiritual hardship.
How do we change our brains to have a positive perspective of dealing with a Worldwide Pandemic so we don’t end up missing the opportunity to grow from this experience? We can start with developing a new mindset which is a new way of thinking about things. One method is by developing a motto or mantra otherwise known as a pattern of set pattern of thinking.
In psychology there is a term called the Phenomological Approach. This is used as a technique by counselors to help individuals understand that each person develops their own unique perspective of any given situation. In counseling we try to understand the client’s unique perspective of what they are experiencing that may be causing distress in their lives. Usually their perspective is negative and they don’t understand how to change their perspective to a more beneficial belief. This is where the motto of improvise, adapt, and overcome can be used. With practice we can develop a pattern of thinking that will allow us to overcome negativity, otherwise known as the negativity bias.
Like the disciples of Jesus, they too were faced with the challenge of coming to terms with what just happened. Jesus died on the cross and was buried in a tomb. This must have seemed bad, negative, leading to despair, discouragement, and disheartenment. So much so that on the morning of the resurrection Mary couldn’t recognize Jesus in the morning of the Resurrection due to her despair, sadness, and grief. So what changed Mary’s perspective about the situation? What changed the disciples’ perspective? And what can change ours? Jesus had to help Mary, like the disciples, change their mindset, their set pattern of thinking of the situation. Jesus’ Phenomological approach to help them be conscious of their thoughts, of what they were thinking; they had to remember all what Jesus and Scripture had said in order to change their perspective to a more beneficial one.
We, like the disciples, are called to improvise, adapt and overcome. We can read and reflect on Scripture which is our mantra. We can find hope and be able to, like the disciples, reflect that suffering is transformed in Jesus. We can be comforted in Scripture. Daily we find ourselves able to improvise, adapt and overcome. Mainly because of our awareness of faith, hope and love like Is 43:1 state “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Scripture is rich with mind changing messages.
Pope Francis in his Easter Urbi et Orbi Message 2020 stated “Dear brothers and sisters, Indifference, self-centeredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever. They seem to prevail when fear and death overwhelm us, that is, when we do not let the Lord Jesus triumph in our hearts and lives. May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of his glorious day, a day that knows no end”. Are we ready and willing to improvise, adapt and overcome?