The Worldview That Changed My Life
Hellllllllllo beautiful Reader!
You might notice that I am in a GOOD mood today. As I write this, I am sitting in my writing chair with my husband strumming his guitar across the room, and my dog sitting on my feet, keeping them toasty. She has her attention fixed upon a particularly sassy squirrel taking up residence on the front oak tree, and I'm sure she is planning out the future demise of said squirrel.
In this moment, I cannot help but feel deep gratitude for where I am, what I'm doing, and what God has given me. And yes, I am sorry to inform you dearest Reader, that we are YET AGAIN going to be revisiting the topic of gratitude for this Sunday Series post.
I'm sure you've been told to "spread positive vibes" a million times: it seems like the female population is constantly targeted with the message to engage in self-love and positive vibes. But this can be EXTREMELY frustrating due to the fact that it's sometimes impossible to narrow down and pinpoint what "positive vibes" even LOOK like in the real world.
What does it mean to spread positive vibes? What does it mean to love ourselves? Is it being nice to everyone? But what if situation doesn't warrant a nice response? What if we don't feel positive? What if we don't feel like loving ourselves?
What does spreading positive vibes even mean?
After pondering this question for awhile, I have come to realize that positive vibes can really only come from within. We cannot manifest them out of nowhere, and we cannot force ourselves to be happy and positive if we don't actually feel that way. Sitting down and telling ourselves to be happy doesn't work because it's often much easier to pinpoint the things we are UN-happy about, rather than focusing on the positive things.
The truth is that many people don't even TRY to be happy; they just embrace however they feel that day, and save the true feelings of happiness for big promotions, trips to Disney World, or their wedding day. Anxiety, frustration, resentment, or jealousy often take up space in our minds, and happiness or positive vibes just aren't a priority because it can feel so difficult to manifest them.
But today I say that you CAN manifest positive vibes from within.
Firstly, I believe the ultimate way to do this is by embracing the Lord Jesus and accepting the Holy Spirit: this is the only way to true everlasting serenity. However, even Christians struggle with finding happiness and "feeling positive," and I think that's because a lot of us don't embrace the virtue of gratitude.
Gratitude is the key to "positive vibes."
Do I think the urge to spread positive vibes is a bad or empty thing? Not really. I just feel like it's a useless commandment because it doesn't come with any instructions!
Gratitude is the missing piece of positivity.
It fills us with a sense of peace as we recognize how we have been provided for. It fills us with humility when we see how much we've been given. It fills us with joy and excitement at the beauty of the human experience, and it fills us with serenity and confidence that everything will be okay.
Gratitude for what Christ did for us on the Cross, and gratitude for the gift of eternal life have given me strength in the most hopeless days of my life. Choosing gratitude in my life was like accepting a blood transfusion into my spirit and soul: it filled me with new life, a new sense of self, and a fuller realization of humility and God's goodness.
Choosing gratitude in the midst of our trials and joys is the best way to squeeze the most vibrancy out of life. The more we engage with gratitude and allow our hearts to feel thankful, the less we will compare ourselves, the less we will feel resentful, and the less we will be filled with "negative vibes."
Positive vibes are so much more than being nice all the time or happy all the time. The reality is that it's impossible to be happy all the time! We cannot control our emotions and we cannot stop or prevent ourselves from feeling bad things or from experiencing hardship. Trials and pain will naturally and inevitably bring on a sense of grief or sadness and well... negativity.
We cannot control how we feel, but we CAN control how we think.
And that's the beauty of adopting a spirit of gratitude; it isn't about how you feel-- it's about how you think! It's a way of thinking that can improve your life and even have an impact on your feelings! It permeates your soul and manifests within your actions and lifestyle.
Sometimes it feels like joy is something exclusive to those who have been pre-dispositioned to be jolly and fun in life. Sure, maybe some people are more naturally buoyant, but the amazing thing is that gratitude is NOT exclusive to the jolly peaceful bunch in the world! We can all choose gratitude and we can all adopt it into our way of thinking because that's all it is; a method of thinking.
Gratitude is a worldview!
If you are reading this blog post, you have a LOT to be grateful for.
You have somehow found access to the internet, and you have access to electricity to charge the device on which you are looking at this blog. This means that either YOU have money, or someone cares for you enough to share their money and electricity with you.
If you have electricity, you probably have money for food, and I'm sure you're wearing some clothes right now.
I know this is all very basic, but I urge you to not forget where we come from as humans! For thousands of years, humans had no guarantee of food, shelter, or even how long they would live! You or I would have been sold into marriage by our fathers for some livestock, and we would have no control over when we wanted to have babies or where we would live! In fact, many women live this life in our modern world, and most of us are not one of them.
We live in the most blessed time in life, and no, that does not mean we do not get to be sad about trial or loss. Just because we live in modern times doesn't mean we cannot be disappointed or feel pain when we don't get a promotion or when a guy ghosts us. Our emotional struggles are real and valid, even if they are not life and death.
But the reason I point out our modern living conditions is to show you that we DO have a lot to be grateful for, even if it doesn't feel like it!
So even if that guy does ghost you or even if you DON'T lose that ten pounds by next month, you still have the opportunity to live in a state of gratefulness. You can choose the worldview by which you see the things in your life. Remember though, that living with gratitude doesn't mean you ignore the hardship; it just means that you cling to reality and rationality in the face of heavy emotions.
And that's what encourage you to do toady: instead of narrowing in on the few bad things that are happening in life, try being grateful for all the wonderful things you have.
Gratitude will get you out of bed in the morning, and gratitude will add to your life a sense of responsibility. It will help you take care of your body and mind, and it will help you see your own natural beauty.
No, it will not immediately remediate the bad neurological paths you typically take when you're feeling glum or a bad thing happens, but over time, a strong sense of gratitude WILL build a resilience in you that cannot be broken.
It is essential for us to grow into maturity as we age, so that we can guide our future children down the path of righteousness. And if we fail to be grateful in our lives, we will show our children a bad example, and probably make our own lives much more miserable. Mirror gratefulness in your life by being grateful today and always.
I know it's not always easy, and yes I do think there are times in life when we can be ungrateful good-for-nothings and just wallow in tour pits of despair. But just know that when you're ready to come out of that and if you're wondering how to spread "positive vibes," the best thing you can do is be grateful.
Sending you love my friends! I hope you enjoy today and rest in the knowledge of God's eternal blessings on your life.