<photo by Ria … the type of party I am pressing toward >
There are some parties we don’t need to have. They are usually unplanned, always drawing us into a negative mindset.
Welcome to a Pity Party …
<Pity Party Invite … Don’t come!>
During a pity party, those attending commiserate on how life used to be … what life might have been … could have been or should have been …
Triggers … what are the triggers that ‘bring on’ the party? It is important to recognize and be able to identify them, so you can cancel the party before it starts. Be aware of the mind … How we choose to think becomes the authority over our lives.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “… For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”
Driving by the high school my children attended this past weekend, I looked toward the football stadium. Immediately there was a flood of sadness for the world I once knew, for ‘our’ plans cut short, and the shattered dreams.
‘Why? Why did Jake suffer a stroke? All of those great times … it was all going so good!’ <Do you ever fall into the ‘what ifs’ of life? Where does it take you?>
‘If only <fill in the blank> had never happened, if, if, if …,’ now, the party has begun. Beware! Before you realize it, this party is out of control.
<As I sing, ‘It’s my party … and I’ll cry if I want to …’>
My reaction to dark moments used to be more dramatic and emotional than they are now. How melodramatic! Transparency time! I’m not embarrassed because I’m human … and so are you.
One evening a few years ago, life felt particularly overwhelming and suffocating. After a dramatic exit from the family room, I curled into a perceived ‘safe place’ … a fetal position on my bathroom floor and laid there. The cold tile against my body almost anesthetized the pain. <What is your safe place? How do you choose to anesthetize your pain? Be Careful! Be wise, and know when to seek help.>
As Craig stood over me with his always practical delivery, he asked, ‘how long are you going to stay on the floor?’ Looking up at him, I said, ‘I don’t know, but I will get up, eventually. As for now, the cold tile feels good. And I put my head back down … on the floor.’
I did get up. Yet, over time, I recognized that my behavior was unhealthy for me and my family. It was an attention seeking act to show others how badly I hurt. Selfish? Absolutely, as they were hurting as well.
Thankfully, I can now claim, “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.” It has been an ongoing spiritual battle to avoid overreacting, while not allowing circumstances to determine my joy and happiness.
Purposeful actions, words, and thoughts … we must stop thinking about our losses and praising God and thanking HIM for what we do have. <Really? Yes, Really!> These two acts have been a game changer in my life. Plus eating cake!
<cake is good for the soul>
Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
Pressing Toward Joy reminder of the day: Think about what you are thinking about because how we choose to think becomes the authority over our lives.
<<Next blog … I’m travelling … in a few days>>