- “Most people struggle unnecessarily.” This gem came Monday morning when I was watching Enjoying Every Day (Joyce Meyer Ministries). She was talking about how we should depend on God all the time and not just when we’re desperate, but this quote really struck me. We’ve all heard that most people are as happy as they choose to be, but it’s not often that we’re called on for creating our own struggles. Sure, hard times come. We have to adapt and adjust, and we do struggle through these processes – but how many of us continue to struggle long after the battle is over? I could see in my own life how I’ve prolonged “hard times” simply by holding on to the mindset that I was in a fight, when the truth is that I was battling demons that weren’t there. It was a good reminder that we need to stop boxing with the wind and take stock of where we’re really at in life. It could be that we’re at a better place than we realize, and we’re ruining it by creating unnecessary suffering.
- “The sun is always shining. It’s just a matter of whether you can see it.” A friend said this last weekend. It was a statement of fact that the sun was out the whole time we endured grey, dreary winter weather, but I saw how it could be applied to a statement of perspective. It’s not hard to see the black cloud in every silver lining, but it takes a special level of awareness to see the opportunity in every challenge. Why is that negative is so easy to slide into, but positive takes effort? I’m not sure, but positive is better for your overall happiness. It’s hard to change how you think, but sometimes it’s worth it to keep from struggling unnecessarily, as I mentioned above. It could, in fact, be the key to changing your life. You can’t change the world from the outside in, but you’d be amazed at what you can change from the inside out. And when I remember how happy I was to see the clouds roll away and the sun shining overhead, it reminded me that I’d rather choose to see the sun than the clouds anytime.
- “No matter what battles wage here, I look out there and remember that in most of the world, absolutely nothing is happening.” What a shift from Joyce Meyer on Monday to Game of Thrones, Season 3 on Tuesday! I’m not sure exactly which character said this, but it certainly adjusts your perspective when you realize what a small place in the world we occupy. Now certainly, we all wish that we were anywhere but here when those battles rage, but it helps to realize that this too shall pass, and that the world is a big place.
- “Most people think it’s the big things that defeat evil, but I’ve found it’s the small things done by ordinary folks that makes a difference.” This quote is from The Lord of the Rings, but it was reiterated in my devotional reading earlier this week. It reminded me of what Tolkein’s friend, C.S. Lewis, wrote about every action taking us one step closer to Heaven or one step closer to hell. The direction is ours to choose, but everything we say and do moves us closer to one or the other. And it certainly is true, because most of life is made up of the small things that we too often underestimate.
- I’m currently reading a paranormal mystery titled Clean, by Alex Hughes. The lead character is a telepath working with a police detective, and there’s a scene where they get into conflict. He was upset about it and pried into her mind, which she sensed and hit him (literally). At that point, it occurred to him that “She is not going to let me protect her. Not at all. Not even a little.” This got me to thinking about when a relationship is really and truly over, because I was pondering a plot point for both of my works in progress, and I realized that the character’s point was that it wasn’t over until the other character no longer had a use for him in her life. It occurred to me that it’s not anger, arguments, or ultimatums that end relationships – it’s the simple decision that “I’m better off without you.” When one party is tired of fighting and makes this decision, then hope really is gone, and reconciliation is pretty much not a possibility anymore. It’s a powerful point, both in fiction and reality.
That’s all today. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a great weekend.