May 23, 2016

Top Strategies for Battling Negativity, part 3

It’s storming. Well, I don’t know if I can call a mild to moderate rain a “storm”. I’m trying to make a point here.  We haven’t had a truly sunny day in my area for weeks. I think we’re getting all the rain meant for the dangerously dry west coast of the U.S.  In any case, we’re overwhelmed with rain. The forecast today is for actual thunderstorms.

What’s the result? Good and bad. We’re inconvenienced when we need to travel anywhere. Also, cloudy weather doesn’t promote healthy, positive thinking. On the other hand, our grass, trees, and flowers have never been greener.

Such a literal “rebirth” leads us to believe in figurative ones. If every plant can grow bigger and brighter than expected, why can’t we? It’s a way to rekindle our hope and belief.

Moving to New Levels

Many of us fight to move beyond pessimism. This is my third article in a series on pushing beyond natural, comfortable negativity.

In part one, I suggested focusing on our thoughts. What we think is what we become. We need to replace any pessimism with optimism.

In part two, I advised patience, hope, and determination. Healing of any kind is not an overnight process. In fact, some victories take decades to fulfill. In the meantime, we can celebrate and believe for small victories.

In part three, I will address how the inevitable tempests of life are usually necessary to take us to new heights. We have to go through the storm in order to see the rainbow, or the healthier plants. Likely, we’ll find that most of what’s ahead of us will be better than what we left behind—if we’re willing to work for it.

The Sound of Music

This iconic American musical is based on the true story of Maria von Trapp. She was a lady who lived in Austria in the decades prior to World War II. Maria planned to become a nun. She was in training at a convent. The only problem was that she didn’t fit in at all.  Maria loved to talk and sing. She was friendly and outgoing. The cloistered, quiet life of the convent was restricting to her.

The Mother Superior told Maria about a job opening for a local widower. A captain in the Austrian navy, George von Trapp, needed a governess for his children. The nun in training was reluctant. She felt completely unprepared for the huge task.

When Maria arrived at her new home, she found unfamiliar duties and uncooperative children. Her job was anything but easy. She was in the middle of a tempest.

Maria didn’t give up.  She and the children grew to love each other. She and the captain got married. The young lady who had trained to become a nun was really supposed to become a wife. Yet, she had to go through the storm to identify her destiny.

But that’s not all!!! Mrs. Von Trapp helped to lead the entire family to freedom from Nazi oppression. What a legacy! To this day, the von Trapp family travels the world, keeping the heritage of love and music alive


This friend was recently fired from his prestigious position. Frankly, he was never treated right there. Obviously, a job loss is devastating for anyone. Daryl is fighting hopelessness.

There is a flip side to this story:  numerous friends and acquaintances are informing my friend about open positions. Any of these jobs would offer much more prestige, appreciation, and money than his last one.

My Conclusion

“When God closes a door, He opens a window,” as the Mother Superior told Maria in the movie.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”—Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)

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Are you focusing on closed doors or open windows?

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