Are you a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” person? Are you more apt to see the positive in things or the negative? Are you easily deflated, brought down by what happens around you? Or even by what’s going on in the world? Do external factors control your mood or does your attitude, hopefully positive, drive your reality?
Related to that last question, I used to allow external factors, including people, control my mood (and behavior). If a project wasn’t going well or I failed at doing something (even when just a self-imposed interim goal), it would impact me negatively. The same would be true if I had a challenging interaction with someone; or if I felt I wasn’t liked or respected. The national news would even bring me down.
Path to Peace
Imitation being the purest form of flattery, I joke that I have very few original thoughts, instead often citing what I hear and read from others. As an exception to that, several years ago I began defining the Path to Peace as:
I don’t know how I came up with it, but it spoke to me then (8+ years ago), as it does now. Chapter 12 in my book is titled, Pursuing the Path to Peace. Although I think that there is a sequence to the four (possibly subject of another blog) as related to our spiritual journeys, each is also independent of the others.
Attitude of Gratitude
Specific to this blog, Gratitude has become very important to me. Central to gratitude is my understanding that EVERYTHING happens according to God’s grand plan, for a reason; not an accident, nor a coincidence.
I say the above, even with having suffered through significant tragedy in my life. I say so because I know that I wouldn’t be who I am (nor would you) today without every single one of those occurrences in my life, the good and the bad. I also know that given God’s great love for me, He has designed me with a specific purpose, which can only be achieved by me using my unique and God-given gifts….again, according to His (God’s) grand plan.
Given the above and having come to this place on my faith walk, I now (almost always) see the glass as half full. Not always easy, I recognize that all this happens for a reason, as a part of God’s grand plan.
Need to be Intentional
Like most things in life, the above didn’t just happen. It took intentionality on my part. I made “gratitude” a regular part of my prayer life, reflecting on and thanking God daily for all the things in my life, good and bad. Having done it for so long, it’s become habit. Also included as part of my daily routine is the prayer that I blogged about last week, found here, which really speaks to gratitude.
An additional, intentional thing you could do for “gratitude” is to journal about it. Whether it be an actual prayer journal, your day planner, or some scrap paper, a very good process to go through is the following:
- Write down the good things that took place in the last day or last week.
- Write down the more challenging things as well.
- Reflect on the lessons learned from each, thanking God for the good and discerning the meaning of the bad.
- Do the above, believing in God’s unconditional love for you
The above works. Try it. If you have any challenges with the above, or questions/comments otherwise, please reach out to me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistires.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!