Meditate on What Is Good
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” –Philippians 4:8, ESV
There is an anonymously-written book written in the 1920s called Fascinating Womanhood (to be distinguished from the book of the same name by Hannah Andelin in the 1960s). Quite an interesting and useful read. One of the lessons is that women should make it a habit to refuse to dwell on any negative thoughts. It really doesn’t even matter if the bad thought is technically true. Only think about positive, encouraging things and thing that make you feel happier. And if there are hard truths that must be dealt with, then think about them in a way that is ultimately positive and affirming, i.e. instead of worrying about whether you will have the finances to cover next month’s bills, you put energy into thinking about what you are going to do to make things work.
In many ways, “positive thinking” has gotten a bad rap. When I say positive thinking, I don’t mean magical thinking. I don’t mean believing whatever will make me feel good. I mean simply focusing on the genuinely good and true things in my life and in the world around me and paying no mind to the rest. God’s world is full of so much good that even on the worst day there is something to smile about.
It takes some effort, unless that’s your natural disposition. Changing our mindset is hard work. But it’s very worthwhile. I was telling someone the other day that she is the most good humored person that I’ve ever met, and it’s kind of amazing to me how nothing can ever really get her down. Nothing. The most I’ve ever seen her be is irritated for a little while, but that passes within hours. Even when she’s complaining about something that is a prolonged issue, she doesn’t internalize it.
I think that there’s a lot to be learned from that. It’s a perspective that sees that whatever is going on today, there’s no reason that it has to negatively impact tomorrow. (this person is also someone who doesn’t keep negative people in her life. if you are a drain on her, you get the boot!)
So ladies, I have to encourage you to try it. Seek out the most positive things that come across your path. Don’t fill your brain with all of the media’s junk, much of which is designed to elicit fear or insecurity because if they tap into your anxiety, then you’ll buy the magazine to read the article, or you’ll keep tuning into the station to see if they have the answer. They don’t, but to make money they have to keep putting out info that generates an emotional response.
If you like music, find the songs that uplift you and keep them playing. Watch out for lyrics that only glorify negative things like envy, revenge, etc. Maybe try more instrumental stuff, if you like it. Whatever inspires you, do more of. Whatever makes you anxious, melancholy, irritated, etc., avoid as much as possible.
Spend your day thinking about the good things you have, and figuring out how to have a brighter tomorrow. Even if it takes some work trying to see how tomorrow could possibly be brighter, thinking about the possibility is energizing, whereas focusing on the disappointment of the present is draining.
Godspeed in your positivity!