Now that we’ve entered February you are probably well into achieving your New Years Resolutions, or you have dropped them all together! Usually I start ramping up for the New Year by spending the end of the year reflecting on all that I’ve accomplished and the weaknesses that I would like to turn into strengths. I spend quiet times celebrating the small victories in my life, and encouraging myself with strategies to overcome the failures, all with the festive backdrop of the Holidays.
This past November and December I spent an enormous amount of time working (38 days in a row!) which caused a lot of stress between my husband and I, that and the accumulation of unresolved issues regarding, health, finances, our children, and other household concerns dating back years, sent me reeling into a cesspool of negative emotions: mostly anger and frustration! I was ready to do something drastic that probably would have affected my family for years to come.
My mind was consumed with angry thoughts! I could not see anything positive or good in my situation. All I could think of was how to get out of this painful never changing predicament. This is when I started to feel a little crazy. Is this really happening? Did I make it all up? I must be losing my mind. It really got to the point where I couldn’t even remember why I was angry in the first place! I was tired of fighting, tired of being the bad guy, tired of being disappointed, just tired! So I became numb, and uncaring.
It took a Sunday morning message on mercy to jolt me out of my quagmire. The gist of what I heard was this: if you want God to show you mercy, you must show it to others. I got on my knees and prayed. I wanted out of this black hole I had sucked myself into! And then another message came, this time on the fruits of the spirit, which happen to be: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The choice was mine: choose to be angry or choose to have joy, choose to be frustrated or choose to be patient. Life is full of painful circumstances. That we can count on. How we decide to handle them is up to us.
The healing of my emotional turmoil was almost complete! God brought this scripture to me next: fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy*. You see, for months I had filled my mind with toxic poisonous thoughts! I replayed angry scenarios in my mind, old arguments, and hurtful accusations. Innocent words spoken were twisted in my mind to be negative. My thoughts became spoken words, which then manifested into actions and behaviors that were tearing my family apart.
Now to be fair to myself and to all of you, bad things are going to come. They happen! And because of the circumstances, I had good reason to be angry and to be frustrated. But I didn’t have the right to stay angry and frustrated. It’s true that whatever you think, that’s what you will have in life. Your thoughts create a belief system that become the foundation of all your actions! If you think you are good, you will say you are good, and your actions will reflect that you are good.
My growth focus for this year may have come late, but I’m so excited about the changes that will come. This is the year that I choose to think the best and not the worst, to fill my mind with beauty and truth, and to choose joy over anger. I’ve decided that those around me when in my presence would experience love, peace, and kindness. I know that all of you have your own growth goals for this year but I would encourage you all to make 2014 a time to heal your minds!
*Philippians 4:8; The Voice Bible