Your feelings of joy–or lack of them–do not reveal the quality of your life. They reveal the quality of your thinking.
I know this to be true. Yesterday I experienced it again.
I woke up crabby, and it continued until mid-morning when suddenly I said to God, “Why am I so crabby? I have no reason to be.” Instantly the above thought came to mind, and I realized that I had been thinking very negative thoughts.
Why? I don’t know.
I may have awakened with a headache again. It’s been happening with more regularity than not lately. Have been wondering if I’m clenching my teeth in my sleep from stress (although I’m not aware of any), or if I have a sinus infection with no symptoms but a headache.
Maybe it got to me and I started looking through a negative filter.
Normally, I’ve been going about my life with so much gratitude. I have a fabulous life. I love everything about it. With God’s help I built it.
Of course it could be better, I could be nearer my kids and grand kids, I could be retired, my books could be selling more, I could have more money…and before you know it I’m off on a negative bent.
It’s so crazy what a little thing like a filter can do to a day or a life.
“Be careful how you see…”
No wonder Jesus said that in many ways over and over. How you perceive things determines how you think. How you think determines how you feel. How you feel determines how your life looks to you, and soon what you believe.
It’s like the body’s inflammation cascade–one thing starts another, that starts another, that sets off another until you are sick or anxiety riddled. And it may have been just a thought.
If I perceive something as negative when it wasn’t, like thinking an old rope in the path is a snake, I’ll have a bad reaction. If I won’t look to see that the snake is merely a rope, then the truth can’t do me any good. I’ll walk on in fear.
However, if I stop and look and see that what I thought was a snake was really a rope, then no matter how many times I look at it again I won’t be afraid of it. I might even let the relief bring me humor and joy.
Of course, I could choose to focus on worrying if there will be a real snake down the road. That’s called borrowing trouble. And a lot of us do it. It’s easy to fall into.
Why should I ruin today with tomorrow’s fear?
If God is good, and personally interested in everything we do…
“But evil lives here too! bad things happen!” you interject.
And you’d be right. But if you have given yourself to God, only what He allows can happen to you. And if He allows it then good can come from it unless you rebel.
So don’t get angry or fearful. Take it as God believing in you–there’s a whole universe watching. It’s a complement–an honor. Who knows what He can do.
It is your choice. Check your filters often and change them if they need it.
And by the way, the rest of my day went much better after I changed my thinking.