4. I am happy and grateful.
Yes. I can absolutely say this, and I hope you can, too. I used to have a friend who would blog "Friday Felicities" every Friday where she would make a list of, say, 10 things that she was thankful for that week. I always loved that... and while I don't blog it regularly, I find it to be a good practice to do on the side. It makes you really aware of what you have, and that's important.
It's so easy to get bogged down in what isn't good-- money that's tight, kids that won't behave, friendships that hurt, a marriage that needs work it isn't getting, on and on. When we focus on those things, my GOSH, no wonder we're all grumpy all the time. But, when we switch gears and look at what we do have that's wonderful-- a home, food, a car, a job, a marriage to work on, kids to feed into, friendships that support, books to read, entertainment to enjoy, music to soothe-- it becomes increasingly easier to find reasons to smile.
I don't know how to tell you to be happy. I don't always hit the mark, either. I get bogged down in the hard things. They take up my whole mind until they've clouded out all the goodness and I cry and I get frustrated and I wonder "Why me?" in a classically pathetic pity party.
There is a verse in Philippians that says:
"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. " (Philippians 4:8, NLT)Whatever your religious affiliations... can I tell you it works a lot of the time? It doesn't fix what is not right in your life. Those things are there and they are things you will have to find a way to address and deal with. But when you are focused and aware of the good things that do exist within your sphere, it makes it a lot easier to have a positive outlook. I would even say that it makes it a lot easier to deal with the not-so-good things when you have some happiness in your heart, as opposed to melancholy and defeatism.
So, give it a try... Let's make it easy. Today, write down 5 things for your Friday Felicities. What things are you grateful for?
- Becoming more aware of the direction I want to go
- My husband. I can hardly remember a time that he was not a part of my life, and I am very glad of that.
- My three children. We are entering the spring, which is always a period of time where we rediscover the outdoors after a winter spent avoiding the rain, and I remember that they're pretty cool kids when we're not all on top of each other!
- My friends. I love you more than you know.
- Changing. I am grateful for the ability to change and become someone I like better, even when that goes against the grain of expectations.