Is your cup half full or half empty?
This is a tough question and truthfully can vary from day to day. However, an attitude of thankfulness can make all the difference in our relationships. What we ponder on, reflect on in our families, our work places and friendships has a way of coming home to roost.
For example, consider the parent of a teenager who is messy. There are only so many times you can walk by that towel on the floor or see that cluttered room (you've asked them to clean 100 times) before you can only see that child as messy, unorganized and ungrateful. While yes, this behaviour needs to be dealt with, a thankful heart also balances that frustration with the knowledge that this same untidy child is at times polite, has some good friends, is active in his/her youth group or extra curricular activity and is trying to make good choices. When you add those factors it changes the whole scenario doesn't it?
Do you spend the day thinking about the vacation you can't afford or feeling thankful for the warm and safe home you return to each day? Do you focus on how uncreative your job is or on the thousands of people who would feel like getting your job was like winning the lottery? Just a simple change of thinking can make such a powerful impact on every day of your life and every single relationship you share.
I'm not suggesting we should just swallow our troubles, but thankfulness can change the whole attitude of one's heart making those troubles much easier to face. Why not try making a list of what you are thankful for today and see what changes.
For those of you who are Christians think on this: One of our reminders comes from the Bible in Philippians 4:8. "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.? What great advice.
Written By: Winnie Visser in collaboration with Sharon Osvald
Principles for Real Living:
I am responsible for my own attitude
My attitude affects my actions
I can not change others, but I can influence others
My emotions do not control my actions
Admitting my imperfections does not mean that I'm a failure
Love is the most powerful weapon for good in the world
Desperate Marriages by Gary Chapman, Northfield Publishing, Chicago 1998, 2008