Get Your Eyes Off That "Flyspeck" and Live!

Have you ever looked up to the ceiling of a room and spotted a flyspeck you Blog. Woman. Anxious. 4.24never noticed before? 

Right away it's as if the rest of the room didn't matter because that FLYSPECK blotted out everything else. 

Think of that "flyspeck" as an example of how a small concern easily can become the only thing one can think about.  

Learning along the way   

I wasted years fighting the tendency to get hung up on small annoyances and faults I spotted in other people. I easily could overlook the 90 percent positive in a situation because I was fixated on the 10 percent that wasn't.

All I accomplished with that was to cheat myself of joy, over and over.

Once I clearly understood that huge flaw in how I looked at life I wanted transformation.  

I tried to do my part: I prayed and kept reading the Bible. I read good books about managing one's thoughts and staying positive. Still, I often found myself slipping back into that weakness. 

Lesson learned: Habit is a tough task-master and will not easily give up its hold on us. 

Change came, but at a crawl 

I started small, by paying attention to how I responded to the everyday ups and downs of life. I posted sticky-note reminders around the house. Some days I made lists I could check off and reread as evidence of progress. 

Silly as it may sound, it gave me a lift to say (or whisper) "'Atta Girl" to myself at any evidences of change for the good. (It still does.)

We all need encouragement, every bit as much as a toddler who is learning to walk.  

Lesson learned: Only later did I understand that prolonged effort and what seemed to be slow progress actually helped build my faith and inner strength.  

One step at a time  

It's both encouraging and discouraging to realize there is no one perfect method to change. How could there be? Each of us is a one-of-a-kind creation. Some of us work through our challenges by talking with a friend or family member, while others thrive with the help of a pastor or professional counselor. 

What I write here is simply how it worked for me. It sounds basic because it is.

First I had to promise myself I would concentrate on what is good and hopeful and not get hung up on the "what ifs" that popped up along the way.

Over time I learned how to "switch channels" and now when I slip up, it's not long before I'm back on track. 

Other learnings as time went on 

As any parent knows, our children are not carbon copies of us, which shows up early on. Most of us aim to learn and grow and adapt as we go. We made/make mistakes because we're in training. Our overall goal is to understand and work with the children God gives us.  

Before we know it our kids are adults and they appreciate being treated as such. We often want to help and share what we learned from our own lives. Maybe they'll be glad for that, maybe not. Then what?

Lesson learned: It's good to take a step back and remind ourselves what we love and admire in them and in their choices. We need to be sure to let them know this, too. Often.  

Avoid leaping to conclusions  

Thanks to the Internet we can look up every nuance of everything, including ever little twinge or ache or upset we might encounter. Once we read all the awful outcomes this might indicate we sink into fear and alarm. All this before we go to the ER or see our doctor.

How do I know? Been there, done that.

No more. Overall I try to do what I can to stay healthy and get medical care when needed. I thank God every day for my "ordinary abilities" like being able to see and hear and all the rest. I never want to take that for granted.

Most of all, I trust that God is watching over me. 

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.   1 Peter 5:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.   2 Timothy 1:7

Concentrating on what's good in life is not new thinking

Here are a few lines from a piece called "Salutation to the Dawn," written in about 2500 B.C., author unknown:

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

For me, the best advice about living in the present always is this, from Psalm 118:24: 

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

"Let us ... ." We can choose to rejoice and be glad in each day and what the day brings. Whatever comes, we have the power to choose how we look at our lives.

So let's forget about the flyspecks. The ceiling is not where we live.  

Let's live in the day we're in and decide to be glad in it!

Still learning,  

Lenore 


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