Thursday, March 18, 2010

Anything Positive?

Yesterday as I was doing laundry, a lady came into the laundry room. (I live in an apartment building with the laundry room on the 4th floor.) During the course of our conversation, the subject of pain came up. It usually does since I use crutches. Come to find out this lady also suffers from back pain. During our conversation, I mentioned my philosophy, "Create a positive day!". In so many words, she didn't believe it is possible to find something positive EACH day.

Can you REALLY find something positive EACH day? I say YES, YES, YES!!! But it's UP TO YOU! I can't make you see the positive, and neither can anyone else. I can share the positives I experience, but it's up to you to enjoy them with me, and find your own. 
"I just can't be positive. I'm negative by nature." That's just plain HOGWASH! Being negative or positive is a choice. If you want to be negative, you will be. If you want to be positive, you will be. You can change a negative to a positive.... by just doing it. The choice is yours. 

Steps to be Positive
1. Make the choice to be positive. 
2. Look around you. Find 1 thing which you can be positive about.
(And don't say there isn't anything!!).
 It could be that you have internet access.
Maybe the sun is shining.
Or you are enjoying a cup of tea/coffee.
Find 1 thing. 
3. Now, you are on your way...continue LOOKING for the positive.
The more you LOOK for it, the more you will find!!!

Okay, some of you are thinking, I have internet, but it's not fast enough. Or it's raining here. Or my tea/coffee is cold. HELLO, those are NEGATIVE. Let's look at those examples. 
1. Internet. If you aren't satisfied with your internet speed, is there anything you can do about it. If not, be thankful you have at any speed. Just because the TV commercials say you need the "extra super duper out of this world speed" really don't. While you wait for something to load.... look around for a few positive things!
2. Weather. It's either too sunny, too wet, too cold, too hot. You can do something about each one! Too sunny, wear sunglasses, or a hat. Shut your blinds or curtains. Too wet; wear a raincoat, or use umbrella. Or change your perspective: Rain is Liquid Sunshine! Plants can't grow without both sunshine and rain! Too cold/hot: Put on sweater. Turn on a fan.
3. Drink. Too cold, warm it up. Too hot, put an ice cube in it.  

Each of these examples have one thing in common: Contentment. It's that simple. When we are content, we happier and have a more positive outlook. I live with chronic pain. Not an "ouch" pain... an screaming, unrelenting, intense pain. Am I content? Yes, even in my pain. How? Why? Let me get one thing straight, I'd love for my pain to be less. But I can be content regardless of my pain, because I know 1. God is in control. 2. My Doctors and I have done what we can do lower the pain level. 3. That there is more to life than just pain. 4. If I'm not content, I miss too many blessings! 

Create a positive day is vital to my contentment. When I create a positive day, my focus is on the positive things, not my pain. When I choose to focus on my pain, I'm creating a negative day. I have a choice. And I'd much rather choose to find the positive each day. And yes, it is possible.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. (Wikipedia)

Why is it when we hear the word Patience, we cringe. We immediately think that we will be swamped with unpleasant circumstances to test our patience even more. "The state of endurance under difficult circumstances". State of endurance. How does one endure? What tools do we equip ourselves so that we can endure? And what if the difficult circumstances...are long term difficulties? How do we endure long term?

Enduring any difficulty, no matter how long it lasts, is best done with the proper tools. Equipping ourselves is vital to any challenge we face. We don't tackle household chores without the right tools, why would we approach our lives any differently? Yet, for some reason, our mindset when it comes to endurance and patience is "I can do it myself with no help". And that is why we fail. We need to equip ourselves with the proper tools.

The first tool to endure any situation is a relationship with God. When God is your Father, you have the greatest resource ever! He is the basis for all the other tools.

Next, you need to look a that the situation as short term. Look at how it affects you now....right now and make adjustments. The restrictions we put on ourselves, are changeable! Remember, you are looking at the SHORT term. Since, situations change, you can't see beyond this moment. (And God supplies grace for the right now! His mercies are new EACH morning for a reason!)

Ask for help! Yes, it's okay to ask for help!! For some reason we think if we ENDURE ALONE, we become "Super person". But the truth is enduring alone... usually makes enduring longer and we lose our patience quicker. Now the help you get can't change your situation, but rather can provide support and encouragement, both needed to endure.

Next, evaluate the circumstance. How did you end up in this predicament? Often, we create the very circumstances in which we find ourselves. Yes, we create the very difficulty we are now enduring! Sometimes, when you find out how you got into this position, it shows you the way out.

Now, look at what you can learn from this circumstance. This is the one step we often skip. Each time we need patience or to endure a situation... we can learn about ourselves. We learn we are stronger than we thought. We learn the areas which need work. We also learn reliance upon God.

Patience doesn't need to bring a since of dread. If we take time to learn from the situation, we become stronger and better people. Now, I know that some situations continue longer than you ever thought! Believe me, I understand LONG TERM ENDURANCE. But you want to know a secret? I don't have to have the patience or endurance long term! What do I mean..I take each day at a time. Some days I take it moment by moment.

Patience helps make any day more positive. The more slack I allow those around me, the better my day. When I lose my patience, it makes me and my day miserable, not to mention those around me. To Create a positive day, patience is just one of the tools needed.