Gratitude, the key to conquering stress.

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It is impossible for faith and fear to coexist within us at that same time.  Where one is, the other cannot be.

This is also true with gratitude and stress.

We cannot be thankful and stressed at the same time, this too is an impossibility.

This truth paints a harsh picture on our stressed out society.  Everyone that I know deals with stress.   I too find days that become filled with it.  Stress is the little weed that gets into our hearts and destroys our peace, our joy and our happiness.

Gratitude nourishes our souls and reinvigorates our bodies.

Have you ever known a truly gracious person?  Are they stressed?  depressed?  worn down?  complainers?  or are they always upbeat?  happy?  energized?

We have many things in this life to be grateful for.  Especially those of us living with 1st world problems, yet too many are saddled by the stress caused by an ungracious heart.

If you want life to seem happier, more joyous and abundant, then STOP COMPLAINING and start truly looking at all the things we have to be grateful for.

As we learn to be a more gracious people we will see the stress in life cease, this will improve not only our lives personally, but every life we encounter.

Live life with true gratitude and see the power within yourself unleashed as the bondage of stress is broken.

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The Power Within

Power within

Many people have fallen victim to the belief that their worth is dependent upon what others determine that to be.  We look to others for our value, our happiness and joy in life.  Whether that be a spouse, parents, children, friends or our employer, we have given them power over us with this misconception that they control our happiness and self worth.

People will often say that their spouse, children, etc….

“make me so happy”

“Make me so sad”

“Make me so angry”

We accept this falsehood that others control these emotions and feelings in our lives while at the same time accepting the value our employers place on our time.

We have given away the very control of our own peace and happiness.

Sadly too many people have surrendered themselves to what others think of them, and as such they have lost their self worth in the process.

When we take control and decide to believe in ourselves our lives can literally change overnight.   The law of attraction is real and when we exercise that correctly in our lives, we will realize tremendous power within ourselves, our self worth grows and we begin to understand the power within each of us.

If we do not believe in ourselves, then how in the world can anyone else ever believe in us?

It is truly simple to change our lives. When we change our thinking, we unleash power that has been heretofore hidden from our sight and our control.  Most people say that changing our lives is not as simple as that, they sadly have forsaken their own power to the will of others who desire to commiserate in sadness and sorrow.

Each of us have within us the power to choose.  It is these choices that determine our own happiness, not anyone else.  The power is yours and only yours!  The only question is, what will you choose?

Prides Barrier to Helping Others

Struggles are real.  Everyone has them.  Everyone at some point will face seemingly insurmountable odds which need to be overcome, yet will be daunting when faced with these challenges without support of others.

Burdens can be lightened by others around us, many times we feel alone and unable to manage the overwhelming challenges we face and are unsure how to proceed.

I have found that help is usually available to us during these times, the most difficult part of the challenge is in overcoming our pride and accepting help when it is available or  offered.

Pride stands in our way and we refuse the very lifeline that has been sent to us.   We struggle and wallow in our own misery and self pity, unwilling to move forward.  It is a choice, are we willing or not to accept the help around us.

No one can help us until we are willing to receive that help.   No matter how hard someone trys or wants to be there for you, if you don’t let them in, they can do nothing for you

Stumbled Blessings

I have spent time reflecting upon the past couple of years and the amazing doors that have been opened for my wife and I during this time.  We have truly been deeply blessed with opportunities that provide not only the ability to meet our basic needs but also allowing us to spend time together.

It dawned on me today that while I have been truly grateful for these blessings and have thanked the Lord every single day for his bounteous generosity in our lives that I have been allowing the success we have felt interfere with my worship to my very Savior.

I work a lot!  I have the opportunity to work from home, this is a mixed blessing, while getting to stop to spend time when my daughter needs me, it is also very easy to go back into the office and pull an all nighter.  This sadly happens too often.

What dawned on my was this…. I have been hiding behind how busy my work is and the crazy hectic schedule that my wife and I keep as a result of these opportunities that we have been blessed with that I have found myself using that as an excuse to skip part of my church meetings.   While thanking the Lord for his gifts, I have been hiding behind the very success that he granted us in faithfully attending my meetings.  I am too busy, too tired after an all night work session to get up on Sunday and go to all of my meetings.

What a hypocrite I had become!

How could I have allowed these thoughts to creep into my mind that we are helping create so many jobs for others and that my work needed me that this was more important than taking the time to fully attend to my worship.

I am grateful for a loving God who provides us with second chances,  to correct our errors,  and for still loving me so much that He would grant unto us such miraculous blessings in our lives while I stumbled on the receiving end of these magnanimous gifts!

The Hope of each new Sunrise

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Each morning the world awakens from the darkness to the glorious site of the rising sun.  The sun brings with it the surety of another day, another opportunity, another chance for us to leave the dark and enter into the light and allow the sun to warm us.

The rising sun brings hope and it represents that no matter how dark things seem, there will always be light, if we are patient and endure the darkness, light always follows.

Last night, my wife and I found ourselves discussing those times of deep, crippling depression that at moments in our lives we have experienced, both together and individually.  Sometimes the dark is so great and overpowering that we wonder how light can ever penetrate the darkness around us.   We need simply recognize the symbol of the rising sun that God has given us.

Just as at times our lives seem dark and dreary, difficult to see past the blackness that envelopes us, we too have learned that the light always comes when we endure. No matter the reasons we find ourselves surrounded by that fear that the light will never shine again, it does, it always does and each day the dark valleys are brightened and warmed.

I know that when life’s burdens, challenges, heartaches and despair come, the days that I force myself to wake up in time to watch the sunrise, provides a little glimmer of hope that the light will eventually arrive and I will overcome any burden before me.  The days when I stay in the dark, bring more despair.  Light provides hope.

When I speak with others who suffer from depression, heartache, or any emotional malady, I encourage them to watch the sunrise each morning, take time to watch the light as it creeps over the mountains and illuminates the darkened valley below it. Then as the valley slowly illuminates, the warmth of the sun can be felt on my face when the full brightness of the sun shines as it rises above the mountain peak keeping it hidden and the valley dark.

Take hope in the surety of a new day, a new dawn, for with each new day it brings with it a new opportunity.    Seek out the opportunities each new day brings for each day is as bright as the shining sun when we choose to see the light instead of remain in the dark.

 

 

The Positive Choice

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Negativity is exponentially increasing month to month.  The media blasts negative news stories continually, while positive ones are given little attention.  It is reasonable to believe that we as humans respond quicker to the negative than the positive primarily due the fact that the impact a negative event in our life has upon us often requires our immediate attention.

Studies have shown that for children to be emotionally healthy, they need to have 5 positive comments for every negative one.  It takes this many positive comments to erase every negative comment we hear, this just keeps us even.

When we compare a child’s needs and what it truly takes to stay level with the ratio needed, it is logical to assume that much of the increased divisiveness and hatred within our communities is directly being fueled from the inadequate balance of newsfeeds that focus primarily on negative stories. Positive ones are rarely shared by our news outlets, and certainly are vastly outnumbered by negative ones.

It would seem then logical, that if we are failing in this ratio as we are and we are seeing an increase in riots, protests, anger and divisiveness that the opposite effect would be possible if we focused our stories on uplifting positive ones instead.

I wonder what effect upon our nation we could experience if we spent 30 days focusing on what’s good and right with each other and the positive stories within our communities and gave no time to negative ones.

What change would occur within each of us?  Would we be more agreeable with one another?  Would we be happier?  Would we serve one another more effectively and help those in need?

We have seen the results when so much time and effort is given to what is negative and wrong with everything in our world, nation, communities and lives.

We attract to our lives that which we focus upon.

It is time to shut off the news and share with one another good things for there are many amazing, wonderful and uplifting stories happening within each of our communities every single day.  Let’s share these stories and uplift one another, life is worth living and should be filled with happiness and joy, not misery and sorrow.