Waking up that morning, Renie heard dripping outside the house. Opened the blinds of the bedroom window and saw a soggy lead-gray sky. Immediate reaction? “Oh, NO! A horrible, gray, depressing, endlessly rainy day. I’m going to sink into depression. In fact, I’m already there.”
Then the thought hit. ‘You do have a choice, Reeno. You can be gloomy and depressed all day about the cold and the rain, or you can remember that the grass and flowers need and love this.’
How we choose to look at a situation makes a huge difference. It determined why Renie turned on all the lights, put on happy music, and went to work feeling grateful for the heaven-sent automatic watering system. Rather than spiraling downward emotionally into a dark quagmire of unhappy childhood memories of black, lonely, freezing, drizzly days.
If you are anything like the rest of us mere mortals, you have weaknesses, fears and emotional struggles. And if you don’t wrestle with any of those attributes, then I would love to spend a few weeks tapping into your Super-Human-ness. Or, more likely, have the opportunity to look you in the eye and call you a liar to your face.
‘Cause the fact is, as human beings who live on planet Earth with all its pain and problems, everyone of us have bad experiences. Those days leave their mark on our psyche in the form of painfully uncomfortable memories. And when something happens to trigger those memories and the feelings that result, then we have to make a choice. Wallow in the negative emotions, or realize we can deliberately choose to find a positive.
Difficult to do? Yes. Worthwhile to try? Absolutely.
After all, living through the actual situation that created the pain was bad enough, why make yourself relive that pain, anger and depression again and again? Much better choice? To somehow find gratefulness in that same memory.
Yes, I realize many of you reading this are hurting badly. And that grief and pain is not something to gloss over, but to walk through at your own pace. But your future peace and happiness will depend upon how you handle the memories of this depressing time.
Do yourself an enormous favor.
Accept that you have hurtful memories. Deliberately acknowledge those memories – don’t refuse to admit they exist. Realize they have an extreme impact on your current emotions and thoughts. If possible, when the pain hits, find gratefulness in that memory. And dwell heavily on that gratefulness to change your mindset and your emotions. You can’t change memories – only your perspective.
If you are not at the point in your life to be able to do this, then I beg you to seek out someone whom you can trust with your thoughts, and TALK. A friend, a counselor, a pastor, or a person on the other end of a H-E-L-P Hotline.
You are worth it.
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