I have noticed over the years that so much in life is determined by what we choose to notice or pay attention to. Will I notice the beauty in a moment or will I focus on what displeases me? Will I seek the positive or the negative in a situation? Will I look for the blessings or contemplate what I think is lacking? Will I search for the good or will I focus on the negative?
Will my dislike of rain blind me to the beauty of the rainbow in the evening sky?
Will my body’s intolerance of even a trace amount of gluten and dairy keep me from enjoying the delightful aroma of baking brownies? Will I begrudge others the fun of brownies just because my body will not permit me to do so anymore?
Will I enjoy the blessing of my sons keeping me company at church on a Wednesday afternoon in May? Or will I complain because they make noise and talk to me while I work?
Will I focus on the flaws or will I see the beauty in the moment?
We have a choice. Our attitudes shape what we notice. Will I be positive or will I be negative? Will I choose kindness or not? What will I focus on?
Our attitudes shape how happy we will be. AND our attitudes shape how happy the people around us will likely be!
I can choose to notice the beauty or I can choose to notice the negative in a situation. I can choose to focus on what makes me happy or on what makes me unhappy.
In almost every moment in our lives there is good and bad – positive and negative.
Nothing is perfect. No moment is without blemish. You can always find something that is lacking. BUT you can always find something to rejoice in and celebrate and give thanks for too. You can usually find something beautiful and lovely and good. Or at least you can usually find something interesting or that you can learn from a situation.
I know this to be true – because I do this all of the time. I live my life this way. I experience plenty of yuck and junk and sorrow and pain – but I try not to get stuck there. I focus on the beauty and the blessings in life as often as I am able. This is very – very intentional.
Stuck in a traffic jam = more knitting time!
Another sink full of dirty dishes = what blessings because we have an abundance of food and 2 healthy growing sons!
A broken tooth (this is the one I am working on this week) = at least I will get into my dentist on Friday and we have dental insurance!
Do I always succeed at this? Nope . . . but I have noticed I am so much happier when I do. And the people around me are also much happier when I seek the good and when I look for blessings and stay focused on the positive.
What we choose to focus on matters a lot. It shapes our lives. I am seeing this again and again as we emerge from our Covid-19 restrictions.
Some folks are focusing more on what we do not have yet. On the negatives and on what we are still waiting for. On what we lost out on because of Covid-19. On what is missing. They see a lot that is wrong or troubling.
While others are focused more on the joys of what we are regaining. On what they learned because of Covid-19. On what we are regaining and not on the continued inconveniences.
I think this is so interesting. We human beings have such different approaches to the same situation in life.
We respond so differently. Some of us see the glass half empty and others see the glass half full. Some of us see the rain while others see the rainbow.
But I believe we can shift our focus. I was raised to see the world very – very differently than I choose to live now. My parents specialized in fault-finding and negativity and I was raised to do the same. My mom could walk into my home and find something to critique and criticize in 60 seconds and believe me she did! I was trained to do this from infancy – but eventually realized living this way made me sad. So I decided to quit. It has been a lengthy process. But I have spent years looking for rainbows and flowers and the good and will say I am a happier person for it.
We are on a long journey. Emerging from Covid-19 is going to take time. Life is going to look and feel different for a while.
I would encourage you to seek the blessings in these moments. To seek the beauty and the good and what is pleasing. Reemerging safely from Covid-19 is going to take time. It is going to be a process and we might as well try to enjoy the journey.
You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.
In Christ and with Love –