April 13, 2016

3 Examples of Fighting Negativity




What are you thinking about right now? I am guessing that you’re pondering one of two things:


  • What you plan to accomplish today

  • Incomplete tasks and disappointments of the past

Slow down for a minute and ask yourself if I’m right.  

Some of us are able to celebrate even the smallest victories in life. Others insist on winning earth-shattering wars before they allow themselves to rejoice. Which type of person do you think is the most happy?

The Apostle Paul

In my last blog post, I wrote about his wonderful attitude. He wrote certain of his letters from prison. That didn’t stop him from writing words of encouragement that have lasted throughout the centuries.

Yes, he was a product of his time and culture. (Aren’t we all?) He had some attitudes that modern man might find uncomfortable. On the other hand, his writing is full of gratitude and hope. He even mentions specific names of people who deserve help and encouragement.

Cindy

She’s a cherished online friend. She recently shared that optimism is an uphill battle for her. This lady grew up in an extremely negative environment. Because of this, pessimistic self-talk comes easily to her. For instance, she might be planning something, but what she will hear in her head is: “That won’t work! What are you thinking?!!!”

Cindy could meditate on her current success and health rather than on past disappointments. She is able to choose hope and belief. The revelation that she can determine her own thoughts is working miracles in her life, but it’s a constant fight.

Jason

His youngest daughter, Jamie, a self-sufficient young adult, contracted an illness that moved to her brain.  In essence, she had a severe stroke. At first, Jamie could only lie in bed and move her eyes. Her family refused to give up hope, though.

Milestone followed milestone. None of the triumphs would have seemed difficult to many people. However, each of them was similar to winning an Olympic race for the young lady:


  • Reading
  • Watching TV
  • Talking
  • Walking with a walker
  • Walking unaided
  • Driving
  • Going back to work

What kept her going? She and her family concentrated on the small steps forward rather than the giant steps she was unable to take. They continuously pondered what was going right, instead of the many things that were not going well.



Christine

Her husband recently asked for a divorce. That would be upsetting to anyone. However, this young woman has two very young children and a time-consuming business on her plate.

What attitude has she chosen? Peace. She knows that obsessing about her many problems isn’t going to raise her children or run her company.

My Conclusion

At any given moment, we can choose to meditate on the solution, not the trials. We can also pray the answer, not the problem.

I remember an analogy I first learned as a teenager: Our mind is a stage, and we are the stage managers. We have the right and responsibility to control every object or person who passes through the performance area.

Someone must be in charge of every production. Chaos will follow if no control is exercised.

I’ll end with one of Paul’s many simple, yet profound teachings: “For we live by faith, not by sight.”—2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

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Are you successful at stage managing your thoughts?