The summer goes by so quickly that I sometimes start looking forward to the fall so that I can get back into a routine again. Then fall comes and I miss the summer. The routine I think I am waiting for just seems like more of the same – chaos. Pretty soon it’s October and the ground turns brown, the air turns cold and they start counting the days down before Christmas. Really?? And then right when you are about ready to throw yourself into the Christmas craziness, they throw Thanksgiving at me. What is Thanksgiving? I know the historic rendition of the pilgrims coming over from England, which is very cool. And that in itself is something to be thankful for. But society has turned the holiday into a day to recognize and appreciate the blessings that surround us. Blessings that I enjoy every day but so many times don’t take the time to really appreciate. Which in a lot of ways I am glad, because it gives me time to reflect just how much I have to be thankful for and it gives me a time to take an evaluation and get a new perspective on life.
But what if you really don’t feel thankful? What if you are surrounded in pain, feeling lonely and don’t even want to celebrate with friends and family? I know that feeling too, all too well. So what do you do when you are surrounded with people who love you and want you to be happy but it is taking all the energy you have just to wear a smile?
Well, I have 3 tips for you. Yes, they do take a choice. Which is always where it starts, inside you. You need to be willing to make that choice. But I am going to believe that you don’t want to be miserable, you just don’t know how to be happy when you are hurting or your world around you is so full of changes.
- KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE – Keep in mind that there are a lot of people who have it a lot worse than we do. And sometimes when you are in the thick of it, it may not seem like it. But it is very true. It is easy to get so preoccupied with the things that are happening to us or around us that we take our eyes off of the whole picture. Even on my worst days I have to agree that there are a lot of other people who have more pain, more loneliness, more issues than even I do. And in fact, sometimes it makes me feel pretty insignificant in the realm of things. That is why, even in the midst of pain and confusion, we take our eyes outside of our own situations and realize that we are not the only ones who are struggling.
- MAKE IT REAL – It is good practice to keep our attitude adjusted on a daily basis to prevent us from a downward spiral. Thankfulness is more of an attitude than a specific thing. We can control our attitude by what we allow in our minds and where we allow our minds to take us. If you continue thinking negatively, it won’t take long before that thought becomes reality and then your reality becomes your truth. We need to base our thoughts on things that are true. It is too easy for us to turn situations into issues before they have even had a chance to solve themselves. So, what is the truth about your situation? In many cases, we need to seek a more objective answer to that question. Ask your friends or family members. Allow them to speak truth into your situations. And then take that truth and make that your thoughts and watch that become your reality. It’s amazing the power of our minds.
- TAKE TIME – Sometimes we get spinning in such a crazy cycle that we loose our ability to think and process correctly. Slow down and give yourself time to process and prepare. Look at the situations that you may be struggling through and take the time needed to seek outside counsel, search your heart and intentions, journal your feelings and most importantly pray about them. As you pray, release your feelings and the situations to God and allow Him to do the healing. Letting go can be one of the hardest lessons to learn. And one I seem to have to learn over and over again.
During this Thanksgiving season remember to keep things in perspective, keep this real, and take the time to heal.
TRUTH FOR THE DAY:
1st Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances.” (NIV)