Life is beautiful, but sometimes it’s hard to see the beauty because of the things that are swirling around us.
So how do we have a peaceful and happy home when negativity seems to be bombarding us?
Sometimes life just hurts. There are seasons when it seems like no matter what we do, have, achieve…there’s always something waiting to deflate our happiness. When we begin to feel this way, how do we get back to feeling like we’re thriving instead of just surviving?
Here are a few things that I do when I begin to feel down:
- Take inventory of what’s really bothering me. If there’s something big going on – some major stressor, I need to state it, acknowledge that it’s bothering me and deal with it properly. For those stresses that are outside of my control, I need to do what I can do, and let the rest go to the best of my ability.
I don’t always get to decide what happens to me, but I always get to decide what I do with it.
- Look at what I’m allowing to influence my feelings. If I feel bad every time I look at social media, maybe I should take a step back. If the people outside my immediate family are dragging me into helpless and hopeless situations over and over, I need to set clearer boundaries. If a hurting child or parent is causing me to feel discouraged, I need to pray for them and then speak to a friend who offers honest encouragement. Most importantly, I need to guard closely the people and things I allow to come into my day, especially if I’m in a vulnerable season of life.
Wounded people wound people, but healing people heal people.
- Don’t allow myself to isolate. Reach out…encourage someone else – sometimes the best medicine for negative emotions is expressing the opposite emotion and encouraging positive emotions in others. Reminding myself of the blessings in my life…gratefulness truly is a tonic for the pains of life. Finding the wonder and the joy in the smallest things can be a quick lift, and laughter really is the best medicine!
Be who you needed when you were younger.
- Determine to find a purpose for the pain. If I’m struggling with things from my past, I need to determine to make the future look different. For example, I struggled for many years with not having parents to turn to…with not having a strong family support system. But, in more recent years, I’ve used that loss to compel me to be that strong support for others. I’ve done my best to create the family I wish I had in years past.
Everything is a lesson. If someone is trying to wound me, but I learn from the attack and become a better person, then I’m the one who wins! What the Enemy means to discourage me only makes me stronger!
- If I’m feeling attacked or criticized, I need to function by dividing my feelings into thirds: This means I need to disregard the flattery and disregard the discouragement – learn from any point of truth, then throw the rest away! Consider the source – if you’re experiencing criticism or great praise from someone who doesn’t even know you, don’t allow their opinion to hijack your entire day!
Don’t give someone else the power to affect your emotions and steal your joy!
- Don’t feel the need to engage everyone about everything. It’s very hard to not step into the proverbial ring when we feel upset by something or someone, but I’ve learned the hard way that silence is the best defense. Just determine to let your life be your answer.
“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life!” – Elsie De Wolfe
- Distraction is awesome, but I need to make sure that whatever distraction I choose doesn’t complicate the matter. It feels great in the moment to shut the world out, binge on Netflix and junk food and really steep in my hurt feelings; But, it actually feels better, in the long run, to create something, clean something, make something look beautiful, eat something that’s really good for me, text a friend “just because”…
Authenticity is what happens when the truth becomes more important than what others think about us!
- When I feel the worst, I need to turn to the One who knows me the best. Scripture is full of inspiration when dealing with the hurts of life. Becoming a student of the Words of God and with the person of Jesus gives me a path to follow. When I feel betrayed, misunderstood or even lied about, I can use the pain to cause me to resemble Jesus more fully.
“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.” – Philipians 4:8
We have only two choices when life hurts: We can just survive and become bitter or we can truly thrive and become better!
When it’s hard to see the good, I’m choosing to be the good!
Peace to you,