“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie
I had crazy negative words playing over and over in my head every single day. Multiple times a day. But I truly had no idea. They created my mood, my feelings, my happiness. They had so much power over me and my actions. Think that sounds crazy? I’m pretty sure you do it too.
I’ve always tried to focus on the positive and finding the sweetness in everything. So, I was honestly surprised when I learn I was sabotaging myself with my own crazy self-talk – unknowingly of course.
The craziest thing is that I had no idea I was even doing it until I read a book about it. I started paying attention. Sure enough. I caught myself at the kitchen sink one day. I was fine when I walked in the door from work… until I started doing those stupid dishes. My mind wondered aimlessly. I was filling my mind full of ugliness and negativity…
“Scott has been home 2 hours longer than me. I bet he’s been sitting in front of the TV for last 2 hours wasting time. He should have already had these dishes done and the house picked up too. How fair is it that I have to come home and unload these dishes when I loaded and started it before I left for work this morning?”
…and on and on and on. It was like a terrible broken record playing in my head…over and over and over. It was like I was rolling around a giant snowball and with each roll I was picking up dirt, junk and poop. Anything negative was latching on to this giant snowball and soon it was so big – all I could see was the big ugly brown snowball. By the time I was done doing the dishes, I was so mad and poor Scott got my wrath. He wasn’t even sure what the heck had just happened in only a matter of a few minutes. One minute I was sweet and loving. He was relaxing on the couch and then… Bam! He was the worst husband ever. I wasn’t even sure what had just happened but of course it was his fault.
I didn’t know I was listening to negative words every single day. What makes it worse is they were MY words. Negative words I was saying to myself. Things I had absolute complete control over. I could picture Satan smiling because of the ugliness. That image always prompts me to take a hard look and make changes.
So, if my negative words had this much power and control then the opposite had to be true – If they were powerful enough to rob me of my joy, then my words would also be powerful enough to add to my joy.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
I started paying attention and noticed that I was most likely to fill my own head with negativity when I was in the shower, doing dishes or cleaning. I would notice it quickly and flip it to positive. I started learning more and more about conscious language, declarations and the importance of gratitude. I’ve heard so much mention about the younger generations and how they have a sense of entitlement. I started looking at myself. Did I have a sense of entitlement? Was I grateful?
Did I have a heart of Gratitude? Or was I always so focused on more, bigger and better that I was ignoring the best right now?
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peale
I took notice. I intentionally focused on being grateful and feeling gratitude for important things like…
a warm comfortable bed of my very own;
a man who loves me more than I deserve;
family and friends who love me and bless me every single day;
my freedom and a choice in everything I do daily – what I wear, eat, cook, work, sleep…everything;
the gift of a husband and sons to pour into and share life with every single day;
the ability to walk, talk, and feed myself;
the ability to laugh, cry and be silly;
the ability to work and contribute to my family financially;
the ability to see life differently in a positive way because of hard junk and so much more.
I stopped seeing life from my wants and desires and started focusing on the many gifts I had that I was allowing Satan to distract me from.
Here’s the thing – anyone can be happy and show gratitude for great health, a new car, new house, lots of money and when everything seems to be going our way. The real test is – can we have a heart of gratitude when things are hard, when there’s not enough money, when we’re walking through a tough season, though a divorce, the loss of a loved one, bankruptcy, cancer, all the junk? We will all have hard stuff.
Gratitude is my word for 2019.
I want to focus more on being grateful for all the many blessings in my life rather than things I think I might be missing. My life has changed by turning the negative self-talk into positive self-talk and for giving thanks to our Heavenly Father every night for the small stuff that I used to overlook and take for granted. I want my heart to be so full of gratitude that I don’t have time to compare and focus on junk.
I’m so grateful for everything I’ve been given. I’m so thankful for the ability to see that the best things aren’t things at all – they are people, relationships, kisses, hugs, sweet moments, sweet memories and so much more.
Happy New Year my sweet friends! May your year be full of sweetness and gratitude.