Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Renewing My Mind: Day 1

on May 4, 2014

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.                      ~Romans 12:2

A smile is nourishment for the heart, and laughter is medicine for the soul – but sometimes, amid the stresses of the day, we forget to take our medicine.  Instead of viewing our world with a mixture of optimism and humor, we allow worries and distractions to rob us of the joy that God intends for our lives. (pg. 53 of Simple Blessings – Author Unknown)

I don’t know about you, but this is the single most frustrating aspect of my personality – my uncanny ability to hand my serenity over to the highest bidder, the circumstance or person who is trying the hardest to steal it.  You would think that by this time in my recovery, I would recognize a “serenity sucker” a mile away!  And, if I recognize it – it would make sense to avoid it, right??  Like, if a baseball is flying at my face – you’d think I would move out of its path!

It’s just not that simple, I guess.  It all has to do with my thinking – my focus.  Sometimes I just get so distracted by the multitude of things demanding my attention, that I become vulnerable.  Cracks become apparent in my defenses, and I find my character defects start popping up more often, with increasing intensity.  It’s a slow process, but a progressive one too.  It might start by an innocent choice not to follow through with something seemingly unimportant…. like, maybe I put off laundry for yet another weekend.  Then, I might find myself not following through with something a little more important, like canceling a planned outing with a friend (usually for a valid reason).  The next thing that I know, I am rationalizing my way into and out of a multitude of things, I’m procrastinating, I’m avoiding issues, and I am feeling all sorts of uncomfortable in my own skin.  It is a slow fade, but the progression seems to always be the same.

I follow the path until I am uncomfortable enough to make a change.  It usually takes someone pointing it out to me in a loving, but firm way – before I really see what is happening.  With awareness, typically comes willingness to change the behavior.  With awareness and willingness, there is usually a level of increased discomfort that ensues, until I take action.  It is in the action step that I can finally escape the prison of self-pity, and I can finally enter into freedom!  Freedom to take my eyes off me and put them back on God and others.

The thing that is coming to my mind right now, is how to avoid continuing in this emotionally destructive cycle.  And this is where this book, Simple Blessings comes into play.  A beautiful and timely reminder of how something a simple as a smile and a positive attitude can keep my focus on the right things.  I have to admit, changing my thinking has a powerful way of changing my attitude.

For the next week, I am committing to one action step per day which focuses on positive thinking.

Action step for today:  I will spend time intentionally thinking about the good things that the Lord has placed in my life.  I will make a list of things I am grateful for.

 

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