To say that this year has been challenging is quite frankly the understatement of the year; I won’t delve into specifics as I already tackled them in the post I wrote two weeks ago… As I look back on the year (yes I know…very cliche) my take home is simple ” your attitude during the tough times determines how you’ll ride out the wave“. I think this is something we’ve all heard at one point in time… “your attitude determines your altitude” or “a positive attitude really can make your dreams come true”… There are numerous quotes, sermons, podcasts, testimonials and even communities that all emphasize the importance of having a positive attitude. Frankly I wasn’t having any of it, I just used to nod along or roll my eyes if it got too much until 2017 just came and smacked me around so hard.
Suffice to say I don’t remember having to tackle so many challenges back to back and in such a small amount of time. At first I really went through the motions: anger, frustration, self-pity, anxiety, demotivation, depression and of course the water works…there were so many tears you guys (the tear thing is especially significant because I rarely cry). Anyway I think I just got tired of feelings, “catching feelings” and “being emotional”. I also got tired because none of those things changed my circumstances in fact crying or being anxious and angry made me that much more fatigued.
It’s not until I started rereading a book I stopped reading early on this year Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer that I realized how powerful I actually am and how much I am capable of controlling my emotions and thoughts even in the darkest of times. I also got reacquainted with two concepts contentment and intention. You have to be intentional in everything you do, think, say and even feel. The significance of being intentional is being purposeful. Do things with purpose, say things with purpose and even feel with purpose. I know it sounds daunting and quite frankly impossible but it isn’t; firstly because all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us (Matthew 19:6) and also because He who is in us is greater than He who is in the world (1 John 4:4). So guys it is within us, it is within our reach to be intentional despite the negative feelings, thoughts and circumstances that surround us.
Dictionary.com describes contentment as “the state of being contented“, “satisfaction” and “ease of mind”. Over the course of these past 12 months I have learnt that contentment has a lot to do with outlook or perspective i.e. how you perceive things in the present, past or future. I have also learnt that how you perceive things has a lot to do with your mindset i.e. your attitude. Your mindset is totally dominated by your thoughts which in turn govern your feelings. It is an intricate web that we all have to master in order to ride out the waves that life at times presents at very unprecedented times.
So I want to encourage you today. I don’t know what your storm is; it may be a failed relationship, a broken marriage, bankruptcy, being absolutely broke, being fired, loss of a business, death, a bad health condition, loneliness, low self-esteem, unruly children, toxic friendships whatever it is. I truly believe that it is within our reach to be intentional in taking our thoughts and feelings captive during the storms of life to ensure that we have the right outlook/perspective and attitude to ride out the wave!
I also want to encourage you and remind you that God does not waste pain; be it pain from something that He has allowed in your life or pain from the consequences of your wrong doings. A friend sent me the video below and it really ministered to me. I hope that you will be blessed.
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