In order to love life you have to live it. This is front and center here. I’m on a journey of not just self improvement but of changing the whole world. I need to be the best me that I can be in order to do so. It’s time to pull out all the stops, put the petal to the floor, give this all I’ve got. I know what needs to be done now and in Jesus’s name I’ll do it.
There are many verses in the bible that tell you to be joyful and I highly doubt that God put anything in the bible that we didn’t need to read. Much less repeatedly.
I was listening to an audio book yesterday and the main character (Kay) asked herself a question about another character (Jamie). Jamie had made some really inconsiderate and dumb moves and uninspiringly, reminded me of me. Kay’s question about this unsavory Jamie was when did she become so self centered? I was honestly shocked because I thought the stupid decisions she made were just that, stupid. Put in Kay’s words though, the decisions were dumb but they were dumb because they were conceived and played out only to further Jamie’s agenda and what she consciously or unconsciously wanted. Living this way makes you live with the guilt of living this way.
After this purely shocking thought flared up I found myself unable to push it away. I said I’m going relearn to love my job but my job isn’t my everything, just part of it. If I really want to improve the world, I have to work on my whole life including the way I feel. Logically I can’t love my job if I hate who I am.
This leads me to today, when I came to the conclusion that the next change is to relearn to love life. All of it.
And I know how.
First you have to decide that from this very moment, you’re going to be happy. Take a moment and close your eyes. You’ll have to start with a workable plate, not a whole buffet. To clear your mind, sort through your problems. I know now that I can do this by using to-do lists, setting goals, praying, journaling, and meditating. If I have a problem with a person I can close my eyes, pretend that person and I are alone somewhere (for me that place is the beach in a glowing sunset), and I “talk” with them. I can imagine a played out conversation of explaining the problem I have with them to them and then my mind will help me come with what that person in reality sees from their point of view and from this I can form a way solve almost any problem. Got your problems calmed down for a moment? Good. Still got depressing and exhausting feelings of guilt I bet. Those are even easier to clear up. Just pray. With even a mediocre amount of faith one can pray and God will forgive, will wipe your slate clean. Begin again.
Second you gotta’ appreciate. It’s often hard but it’s always possible. It’s a habit you absolutely must get into living. Your dog is annoying? She’s a great running partner and helps you practice patience though. You hate eating healthy? I’m so glad I live in the place I do in the time period I do because imagine the difficulty of eating healthy in medieval times, plus eating anything is good the end, AND talk about being appreciated if you share healthy and yummy stuff with friends and family. Hate working with angry dumb coworkers? Appreciate the knowledge that God would only stick you with those people that he knows you can find the key to overcoming. It becomes a hilarious challenge when you start psychologically testing different theories on different problems…
Third, if you really want to be happy you’ll go and move and do without holding back. You know what needs to be done so there’s no reason not to have it done already. Just push any cluttering thoughts out and keep moving forward. I want to rest on my day off but if I don’t spend all my work time focused on my want to relax, I’ll be able to see other opportunities. The more you let lesser thoughts in the more room they’ll take up and the longer you’ll be laying on the couch being philosophic.
To summarize the 22nd Change: I’m going to get my ass up off this couch and go and do and move without overthinking. I’m going to solve problems as they arrive but appreciate that good is greater than evil. I’m going to do this by using self control to keep my thoughts focused on the joy, the next step, and nothing else.