Heart in the Clouds

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gratitudes 2011 - #11

I’m checking in! Here I am! *waving* I haven’t gone anywhere, except maybe in my head.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the ways my attitude has affected my circumstances in the past, both for the better and for the worse. A lot of instances come to mind when I think about how it has had such an effect on the course of my life, influencing my decisions and opening or closing doors. Ultimately, I know that God is always working in my life, but I am also well aware that my attitude determines a lot more than I give it credit for.

I’ve seen it in people I know, as well. I have seen some who choose to have a terrible attitude about life and about other people, and have ended up losing much of what they care about because of it. I’ve also seen the flip side - all the good that can come to a person because of the blessing of positivity.

A positive attitude can affect change in your life. It can soften the hearts of hard-hearted people around you. It can open doors. It can be a beacon to those in your life who feel like they are in despair. Something about a positive person makes other people feel at peace, like everything is going to be okay.

Having a good attitude all the time is REALLY hard…next to impossible, really. *points to self* Still working on it…

Negative people are inwardly-focused. It’s all about them. They are often most comfortable playing the victim in all of their relationships as a means of controlling others. It’s always everyone else’s fault. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…negative people are often in denial that they are the common denominator in all their failed relationships.

I desperately don’t want that to be me. I know myself, though. I have a really bad negativity habit that God has been gradually working on. I’d love to see it gone for good. It’s got to be gradual, though, because I think God wants me to see the little victories He brings about by the lessons I’m learning. Even in regards to something as simple as an attitude adjustment. I will likely never see the end of this “work in progress” in my lifetime. But HE began the work and HE has the blueprint in mind.

I think life is a series of surrenders…We can choose to surrender to God and remain open to Him, whether He does what we think He should do or not. Or we can be enslaved by our own negativity and fear, and surrender to a victim mentality. Sometimes all you can do in a situation is surrender. Letting go of what could be, even some good things, can leave us open for the best that God has for us. Letting go of pain, of negative attitudes, of bitterness, of anger, of unforgiveness, of the desire to control, of the possibility that things could have been any different…these are the surrenders we need to make.

Negativity is a big wall made up of a bunch of old baggage. Drop the old baggage. Negative people hoard bad experiences and keep them like notches in their belts or like badges of honor, when (really) the honor is in letting go and forgiving. God isn’t hindered by our junk. But WE are hindered by it--there’s no room to receive the good things He has in store for us if we hold on to our old stuff.

A positive person is someone who continually loves despite being hurt. A positive person is someone who is able to periodically go through that pile of old baggage and get rid of the unnecessary items. A positive person is gracious and grateful. (Please, God, let that be me someday.) I am learning to let go of my bad attitudes, but it’s so easy to fall back into them. Negativity is a self-indulgent, me-focused addiction that I know God can help me break. I’m thankful that He is with me.

Today, my friend Beth posted a quote by Chuck Swindoll that I thought was so fitting and kind of spurred me on even more in my desire to write about this idea. Here’s the quote:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fac that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”

So I want to encourage you to make positive attitude choices, my friends. I want the best for you and I know God does, too.

Today, I’m grateful for…

Good choices.


Green grass.


Blossoms.


The bittersweetness of life…it’s more sweet than bitter, though.


Learning to let go.


Friends, both near and far.


Love.


Emptiness and learning to let God fill the voids.


Encouragement.



Getting my creative juices flowing again. Here are a few photos from an engagement session I did this past weekend. They were a really great couple to work with!




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