Are you breathing in wonderful?
Remembering to look at your day through a lens of grace?
I can easily make a mess out of the present by looking to the past with a heavy heart. But the truth is a good pity party has never really done me any good. All it does is give my emotions the freedom to decide my thinking and occasionally my behavior. It doesn’t change my past or help the present.
The truth is self-pity puts a strain on relationships, affects productivity, and threatens future happiness.
Getting caught in a pattern of negativity simply sucks the joy out of life.
I am not recommending playing Pollyanna. Part of God’s for us as we live in community is that we would help and encourage each other. If we are always “pie in the sky” unrealistic, we prevent friends and family from encouraging us with His love and kindness.
The question… What’s the best way to be real when life is hard?
First – Be honest . . . say the truth, but limit yourself to the facts of the situation and the emotion. Don’t embellish. Simply share what is going on and allow people to reach out with compassion.
I’m feeling worried because…
I’m afraid that…
I’m anxious about…
You don’t need to report every detail and you definitely don’t need to give specifics about anyone else involved.
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” ~John C. Maxwell
“Don’t mix bad words with a bad mood. You will have many opportunities to change your mood, but you may never get the opportunity to replace the words you have spoken.” ~Author Unknown
Second – Keep your eyes open and your heart tender . . . don’t focus on yourself and your problem. Pay attention to things going on around you. I always feel better when I’ve helped someone else.
“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.” ~Daniel Goleman
“You change your life by changing your heart.”~Max Lucado
Finally – Remember your blessings . . . dwelling on the don’ts, can’ts, and haven’ts will only makes you feel sorry for yourself. The opposite is also true, focusing on your blessings and helping those around you will make you feel better.
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many–not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” ~Charles Dickens
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie
That’s how I started writing Counting My Blessings.
It began as my gratitude journal. I was having a hard time letting go of sadness. I knew there were many things to be thankful for, but everything good was viewed through the gray filter of grief.
I knew it was time to change. I needed accountability to document and remember my blessings.
Breathing in God’s wonderful. Writing down the ways He was working in my life, and looking for ways He wanted me to bless others with an overflow of His love.
And gradually my gray lens of grief turned to the lens of God’s grace.
Life is still not perfect. The past is still the past. I still get discouraged. The enemy still attacks me memories, doubts, and regrets.
It doesn’t last. Because I’ve learned to be real and breathe in God’s wonderful by:
Keeping my eyes open and my heart tender.
And by counting my blessings.
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