Speak What You Want To See

[Only say things you would want to see as reality in your life]

This resolve is one that I wrote down without thinking of all the implications of it. If I really want to live according to this statement that means: no gossiping, no complaining, no whining, etc. Which, actually sounds quite nice–but it is rather challenging to accomplish. And just because it is challenging, does not mean that it is impossible.

Last week I was driving with my friend Vierra. I had all sorts of negative and stress-filled thoughts running through my head. Meanwhile, she is sitting in the drivers seat light as a feather and in the best mood. I was about to verbally burden her with all of my stress, and right as I was about to open my mouth and complain, I stopped and thought for a split second about what that would do to this short amount of time I had to hang out with her. I looked over at V, saw that she was in the best mood and realized that I could either go to her level, or drag her down to mine (and how selfish that would be).

So, instead of complaining about my bad mood and all the things that were stressing me out, I chose to “move in the opposite spirit” (shameless plug for you to go read post 9). I got ahold of this bad mood and chose to laugh instead of cave to irritability. I sort of latched on to her good mood and let go of my bad one, and you know what? It transformed my entire day. In that ten minute drive, my attitude completely turned around and we ended up having one of those conversations that gets you dreaming about all of the possibilities that life holds. I got out of her car not wanting to leave because I was laughing, having so much fun, and genuinely felt inspired. Seriously.  IN TEN MINUTES. It is crazy how an atmosphere of positive words can change a day. (Can you imagine if this became a daily habit? Good days would turn into good years, and good years into a good life.) Spend each day speaking things that build atmospheres of life and joy, and before you know it–what a full and rich lifetime that will have turned into.

I’ve often heard it said that your words create your reality, and I’m beginning to experience how true that statement actually is. Give it a shot. Resolve for a week, maybe even just a day, that you would only speak words that make yourself and others feel at ease, lighthearted, full of laughter, hope, and inspiration. Not to say that you should ignore the serious conversations or issues that are bound to arise–because no matter what, tough conversations will undoubtedly find you, situations you don’t want to deal with will come up, and you have to process it. But, my premise is that you can have the toughest conversation, yet still talk about it from a stance of hope. You either create a sense of optimism or pessimism with your words. And my thought is that the world is already full of enough pessimists, that a few people who choose to speak from a place of optimism might be refreshing every once in a while.

-AA

“A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything–or destroy it.” [James 3:3-5 MSG]

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Move in the opposite spirit

[Move in the opposite spirit: pretty much, check yourself before you wreck yourself]

It might just be me who does this, but I would say that about 90% of the things that I am naturally prone to doing, are tendencies that I wish I didn’t have. I don’t always feel like working hard, I sometimes act insecure, being selfish seems to be an autopilot response in most situations, and fear just somehow creeps in to my thought patterns.  It has taken me a couple of trips around this metaphorical “mountain” to realize that just because those are my innate tendencies doesn’t mean that I have to live according to them (all because of a huge thanks to grace).

I was listening to this message by Graham Cooke a few months ago, and one statement he made resonated with me, “As a believer, you should get to a place of constant overcoming…You need to learn how to move in the opposite spirit.”  As I listened to these words, I felt a flame light within me because I knew it was so true. There is no reason that I or anyone else should have to live in a constant state of discouragement or with your joy levels being dictated by your environment. And while I felt this flame of hope within me light, I started listing all of ways I am disqualified for living with such consistency, “Maybe other people can live like that, but it just doesn’t seem like it will ever be a reality for me.”

In November I had a life altering conversation with one of my pastors. She said plainly and kindly, “Stop making a list of all you do wrong and all of the ways to fix yourself. In doing that, you completely discredit the ability for grace to move in your life. Just embrace and be grateful for the grace that Jesus has for you and allow him to take care of it.”

With all of those rambling thoughts summed together, I argue that it is possible to overcome your emotions, character flaws, apathy, depression, anxiety, laziness, etc. Simply, through grace and gratitude. And I mean genuine gratitude. When I feel in lack, a genuine heart of gratitude is pivotal. When I feel sad, gratitude reminds me all the reasons I have to be joyful. Gratitude can literally transform any situation. (Maybe you just rolled your eyes at that statement because it is kind of annoying to realize that a lot of how we experience life is on us. And, if we are being honest–as humans we love to blame shift and look for the source of our issues from outside of ourselves.) You can live your life just hoping all of the right things fall into your lap and that you wake up every day on the right side of the bed. Reality check: living life that way leads to no balance, no stability, and you become a puppet to your environment. You don’t just wake up on the right side of the bed, you have to choose to roll over to the right side of the bed and then get up and live with a smile on your face.

So here is my resolve: When I want to be lazy, I will get moving. When I want to be mad, I’ll choose joy instead. When I want to be stingy, I’ll be generous. When I want to hermit and not be around people, I will get dressed and get my butt out the front door. When I want nothing to do with God, I’ll run straight to him.

Life will either dictate your perspective, or your perspective will dictate your life. It’s all in how you want to see it.

-AA

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.” [James 1:5-8 MSG]