Probably the most important key to getting through this life, is getting your attitude right. You know…the old ‘glass is half-empty or glass is half full’ thing. Or is your glass completely empty in your eyes, or completely full, maybe? I’ve known some people like that…both sides of that. And the latter are much more pleasant to be around than the former.
I have myself been quite the pessimist in the past. I had to really train myself to think differently…to get out of that negativity. It came from the fact that I had in fact had some real misfortune and hardships in life, and I got to the place where I was actually afraid to get too happy, because something was bound to come along and knock me down from that happy place and the fall would hurt worse than I thought I wanted to bear. Can you imagine living life that way? You never enjoy your happy times because you’re too worried about the unhappy ones that ‘might’ come! How sad that was. Eventually I realized that was a sad way to live life, and that I was no longer going to ruin my happy times with concerns about things that hadn’t even happened yet.
And I took it even further. I learned to find happy things in the bad times…at least as much as possible. I mean, there are definitely times in life when you’ve just got to experience the pain of the moment. But beyond that, you can learn to find good in almost every situation. You really have a choice to focus on the bad things and let them completely shadow your vision, or to find good things to focus on in the midst and let them color your vision in a more beautiful and positive way. I have sometimes joked about being a sort of Pollyanna because of this…playing the ‘glad game’. 🙂 And that’s really a good description of what it is.
Through the years, I’ve had better times and worse ones, as far as my attitude goes. I admit I’ve had some bouts of pessimism along the way. So where am I right now? I am in a valley in my life, as I expressed it to someone else. It’s a rough period of time in some ways for me. I’m feeling it. But that’s not my ‘attitude’…that’s my ‘feelings’…my ’emotions’. My ‘attitude’, I think, is good, for the most part. I keep my eyes focused on God and His infinite goodness and mercy and love for me. I stay focused on my goals and do my best to not be discouraged by roadblocks. I’m not perfect at it, but I’m not doing too badly, I think.
Attitude is so important. Have you ever been around a person who was just so negative about everything that if you pointed out something wonderful to them, they could find something bad in it every time? It’s frustrating to be around a person like that. And in contrast, people who smile through their tears, and who try to find bright spots in every dark and dreary day are such a blessing to be around! I want to be that kind of person. I want people, when they think of me, to smile more than they frown. I’m afraid that’s not always the case. But at least if it’s the case more often than it’s not, I can be glad for that.
I used to pray, “Lord, bless me that I may be a blessing.” I still pray that. And I think He has done so. But some of those blessings have come in the midst of great trials, I’ve found. They are blessings, nonetheless though.
There’s nothing wrong with experiencing pain and sorrow. Even Jesus experienced it…felt it. The Bible says, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) It’s okay to feel your pain and even to weep. I get really irritated at people…especially Christians, who think you always have to smile and play like your life is all pretty and wonderful and you have no problems. That’s not reality. So that’s not what I’m talking about when I talk about having a good attitude. It’s more that, even in the midst of your sorrow…you maintain hope. You maintain an attitude that it will all be okay…and that the attitude of that is true and honest within you…you believe it and know it.
I pray tonight that God will show me areas of my attitude that I need to improve in, and that He will help me to make those changes as necessary.
Love and blessings,