Compliments of Len Matthews via Flickr

Compliments of Len Matthews via Flickr

I’m selfish. I don’t allow a bad seed to take root.” My friend consciously hovers his mind’s mouse on the uplifting aspects of any person, situation, or place.

A choice to not focus on acid reflux of things gone wrong, unpleasant memories, interactions filtered through gloomy, backward looking lenses is solely ours to make. The anxiety and angst we experience suggest many of us do the opposite: using our memory banks to “Google sort” the most sedimentary elements, sifting lowest level emotions and feelings which take the least amount of work.

Directing our thoughts, attitudes, moods (and ultimately our lives) takes effort. Voskamp channels higher level thinking through a daily habit of journaling, accumulating over the course of a year one thousand things for which she was grateful – suspending time in the process. She describes each moment as a cradle for the sacred; e.g., “Make every moment a cathedral giving glory. . .” as opposed to a cup holder for pride, ingratitude, self-centeredness, or any other base emotion which slays peace.

Not all of us choose cathedrals. Inner dwellings can be rife with self-righteous proclamation, envy, anger, desire for revenge. It’s as if some people actually enjoy being in the “wronged” position – “You did this to me!” center of the universe mentality. What if solutions to our self-imposed “problems” were the mind’s first responder? Considering your role in the issue instead of adding gas to the fire? Being a bigger person by choosing non-action instead of tit-for-tat counter attack?

The individual you are really hurting with a picket sign of self-entitlement is you – because you can never be satisfied. Envisioning the best in contrary people (even before an encounter), filling conversational gaps with the positive primes and populates your assumptive world with more of the same – conceptualized blessings which manifest in the flesh, where gratitude reaps rewards in the present. Where we’re at peace whether or not circumstance modifies to our choosing.

Related link:

40 inspiring motivational quotes about gratitude

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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