I told someone recently that I feel blessed if I am “walking and talking” and I don’t understand why so many people are always so down and depressed and discouraged and distressed. As many of you know, my mother was bipolar, so I have been there, done that, seen it, lived it. She was very open about her condition and wrote about it in order to help others. She would not mind in the least that I remind you of it now. And she would not want any of us to be depressed about life.
The past few years, and the experiences of several friends and family members have provided me with all the impetus I need to be aware of my blessings and to be grateful for my life. And I’ll be totally honest with you…it’s not always easy for me and I know it isn’t always easy for you. Relationships, work, finances, illness, pain, unexpected problems, national disasters, weather and a million other things can wreak havoc with our plans to be positive and peaceful even for a day. However, in order to live a happy, productive life our overall attitude has to be optimistic. We must be able to see the good in something. We must be able to find joy somewhere. We must be able to feel hopeful about our ability to handle and even overcome whatever obstacles and problems come our way. Many of us do this with the help of the Lord. If you choose something else I would simply ask Dr. Phil’s question, “Is that working for you?” If not…
I find several things help me stay generally positive about life: my faith in God, family and friends, knowledge, and work. My faith in God continues to grow and change as I get older. The more I understand about God and his purpose for my life, the less I care about the priorities of the world and the silly things that others worry about. I’m more aware now of the value of family and friends and the hazards of being alone in the world. I used to be more competitive and I worried about being the best and being recognized for whatever I was doing. Now I find myself more concerned about encouraging others and finding ways to help those who are struggling with problems that I’ve already faced and conquered. I find that knowledge is power and the more I understand about a person, problem, or situation the more likely I am to make wise decisions about it. I try not to rush in and get all excited about something until I’ve analyzed it and considered several options. And finally, work keeps me busy and happy. I know that isn’t the case if you haven’t chosen your work wisely. Oh, and don’t think I don’t have some of those “pull my hair out” days, too. You can’t leave your house and work anywhere without those…but overall, I think to have a joyful life you must enjoy what you do for a living. It takes up so much of our time that to be in a miserable job is like slow death. If you are stressed out daily by your work or co-workers it is taking a toll on your health, whether you are aware of it or not.
Walking and talking are two of our most important activities, yet we all have friends and family members who have great difficulty walking because of pain, disease, accidents, amputations, and other problems. We all know people who can’t talk easily because of cancer and respiratory problems. So I just think that those of us who can still do both should count ourselves blessed and keep everything else in perspective!