The Owies of Life (Part 1)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for he testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and ityou know that t will be given him. (James 1:2-5 ESV).

The unpleasant and difficult experiences of life are what I often call “owies.”;  They always hurt, but they don’t need to permanently affect us.  The key to dealing with troubles is in seeing each as an opportunity for increased joy.  There are five practical things that help in achieving this.

First, understand that no experience comes labeled, you are the labeler. The power to choose is yours! As William Shakespeare said, “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.”; You and only you are the labeler of your experiences. Do you complain that roses have thorns or do you rejoice that thorns have roses? You have the ability to choose your reactions. Sometimes these decisions to label are not done consciously and your past habits will put on a negative label. Become aware of that and change it immediately. Realizing your ability to label is an awesome power and a great step towards success.

Second, avoid blaming yourself for making mistakes. The road to success is always under construction. Every morning we awake to a day we have never seen or experienced. Mistakes will be made and obstacles will appear. You have no control over these events but you do control your reaction to them. It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on. Sometimes we hurt in order that we may learn. Do you see a stumbling block or a stepping stone? You decide.

Third, understand that like energies attract. Like attracts like. Positive thoughts produce positive results. If you surround yourself in positive emotions, energies, thoughts, and people then positive events will be the end result. Unfortunately, the same is true if you surround yourself in negative energies. Do you know someone that is always negative and melancholy? Notice that bad luck seems to continuously follow them. They may say that a rain cloud is right above his or her head. Well, they’re right. And as soon as they realize that it is nearly always themselves who create that rain cloud they can chose to make it disappear. What you plant, so shall you harvest. If you plant rose seeds you get roses right? Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of the harvest.

Fourth, determine what you want and act on it. Imagine an archer that did not have a target to shoot his arrow at. He would fire his arrows aimlessly and would not be successful. Have a goal, write it down, and act upon that goal. Now that there is a clear target you can have a plan of action. A visible target it easier to hit. Nobody ever sat his or her way to success. It takes hard work, motivation, a positive attitude and a strong belief that you can do it. That combination produces what we call luck. Do not sit back and wait for life to happen to you. Have a plan and take the needed steps to create what you want.

Fifth, choose to feel happy. It has been said “Act as if and you will become.” Try it. It really works. Put your chin up, smile, and think positive thoughts. Remember the happy times and notice all you have to be grateful for and you will feel lighter, happier and more empowered. If you frown, groan, grumble, and focus on everything wrong in the world you will feel down, lethargic and negative. Why bother with that? Choose to be happy and positive. Take steps to insure a more joyful and positive life. Do happy things; see positive movies, read good books, be around positive people, and practice affirmations. Identify the things and people that bring you happy feelings and surround yourself with them. Cultivate your relationship with yourself and your Heavenly Father and you will be successful.