It’s All Up to You

As I type this blog this morning I notice how gray it looks outside and I ponder a bit.  How do I interpret this day?  Will it be negative and downcast like the weather or will I see a rainbow peeking out from behind the clouds?


Friends who have known me for quite some time know that I tend to complain a bit.  Strike that, I complain a little too often.  Sure I will toss in a funny comment from time to time and I do love to laugh, but these traits took a back seat more often than not.


I needed to make an attitude adjustment and do so quickly.  I wasn’t doing myself or anyone else a favor with this former attitude.  I was even starting to irritate myself in the process.


So I went to the Scripture and found the answer to this pesky problem.  Like many who suffer physical ailments, or can get depressed, the cure I was seeking was in my hands the whole time.  I needed to shift the focus from what I didn’t have or lacked to what I already had.


I needed a lesson in gratitude.  One could center oneself too much around what was wrong in one’s life or what prevents one from enjoying a healthy happy life.  It seems that we like that path of least resistance and shrug everything off when we attempt a much harder path to follow.  We tend to fear or hate the things that are difficult.


Choosing to be grateful is so much more that any expectation.  We have to adapt to a new “mind” game in order to progress down this new path of resistance.  It is an attitude adjustment that can become the tool needed to keep us grounded; thus thankful for what we have.  I like to think of it as Thanksgiving Day celebrated everyday, but without the turkey.


We can benefit greatly from this choice.  We can get up each day and look in the mirror and begin to see that change.  It will shine on our face and be evident for others to notice.  Our step can once again have that added bounce.  Our smiles can replace a gloomy disposition.  It can take place if you are determined to follow it.


I am not saying that we gloss over our agonies or disappointments.  They are real and they do happen.  However, it is how we deal with all of these little facts of life that matters.


It is a humbling experience as I have found out these past few years.  I was arrogant, cocky, stubborn, boastful, impatient and too many other traits that I did not like about myself.  I was also going through some pretty serious medical issues at the same time.  I gave in to the negative and complained about everything.  I centered on my pain and anger and forgot the rest of the world.  Yes, I was a fool, but then someone intervened and I saw how unhappy I was.  I desired to make a change.


I took stock of all the negative factors in my life and then set it aside.  I walked away from it for a while.  I made myself compose a list of the good in my life and pondered that list.  I suffered from painful leg wounds, but I could still walk and get around.  I was out of work, but I was still able to function and search for work.  I was able to get interviews.  I was alone, but I still had my faith to keep me going.  I found that for every negative statement I could find a positive response.  Each of these counter-responses showed me that I had a lot to be grateful for.  I was able to get around, to search for a job, to meet with others and so much more.  I had to see what I had and from that to give thanks for all that I have.


There will always be hard times and it is what we take from these hard times that determine who we are or who we want to become.  I chose to make a change.  I wanted to count my blessings.  I did not want to build a life around my ailments and shortcomings, or to think too highly of myself.


I decided to rely on a higher power to get me through this.  My faith in God was that higher power.  He always provided for me.  The storm was dark and rough, but I had friends for moral support, people who gave of themselves and rescued me several times with offers of food and gas, and postings of encouragement.  All of this gave me reasons to be thankful and grateful that I was loved.  It sparked something inside of me and I wanted to pursue a way to help others in need.  I now chose to pay it forward and continue to do what I can for others.  I am grateful that this desire was placed in my heart and that I can act on it.  It has given me peace and contentment during these trials.  God has stood by his promise and I am a witness to that.


How could I not be grateful with the evidence I have mentioned above?  Take a moment and examine your life.  Determine where you stand and how you feel.  Are you happy and content or are you unhappy?   Are you willing to make a change based on faith and forgo fear?  I know it is scary to take a chance on paving a new path, but if you have faith that change can occur then you will succeed.  You can see past yourself and focus on the whole picture instead.  You will be able to weigh the good with the bad.  You will find reasons to be thankful instead of reasons to complain.  It is a matter of choice (free will) and as I have stated, it is all up to you.

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