Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Winter is truly getting to me and affecting my outlook on everything. And when I get like this, I tend to become somewhat of an introvert lest I scare everyone around me off. I have learned many techniques over the years to help this situation; light is good, but I have very little control over the amount of sunlight in my world. Keeping my mind active with classical music helps, studying Scripture helps, especially Psalms and the Proverbs, but anything from the Bible really. Another useful tool is banishing all negative thoughts from my mind; this is an especially difficult one for me and it's not the same as positive thinking. Research in the area of depression has shown that positive thinking does absolutely nothing for the human psyche, but ridding oneself of negative thoughts is helpful. A fine line there, but if you think about that for a minute, there's definitely a difference. Drinking lots of fluids and especially water is a good thing, exercise outside in the fresh air is a very good habit to have, especially walking. I guess walking sets up a rhythm within the body that is one of the most beneficial exercises that a person can do. And, it requires no special equipment and can be done almost anywhere. That's why it's usually my first choice in exercise. But really, anything is beneficial and better than nothing.
But, I am digressing again. My intent today was not to discuss depression, but more along the lines of a person's thoughts and how very much they affect our relationships with other people and our whole outlook in life. I can be a very judgemental person and for some reason, I tend to focus on a person's flaws instead of their attributes. I don't do this just with other people, oh quite the contrary...I am also my own worst enemy. I find it very difficult to give myself a break and treat myself with any degree of kindness. I am not a friend to myself. I have been working on this problem of mine for a very long time, and at times I'm definitely more successful than at other times. One of my areas of most concern is what I refer to as my "self talk". I would never in a million years verbally express to another person some of the things that I will commonly say to myself, or about myself. And, I tend to say some very hurtful things to the people that I love the most. Not all the time, but when I get angry, look out. I tend to let fly with my verbal onslaught and can snowball out of control rather easily. The Bible says that the tongue can be our most dangerous weapon and I know that this is true. More harm can be done with our words than with most anything else, and once spoken those words cannot be taken back. There are some things that I have said that I wish I could take back, but that will never happen. I just need to learn to control my thoughts first, and then it will become easier for me to refrain from saying things that would have been better left unsaid.
My mom used to tell me that if you can't say something nice, then you shouldn't say anything at all. Those are very wise words and I'm still trying to learn that lesson after all these years. I truly aspire to see the good in people rather than focus on their bad, and that goes for myself too. The Bible teaches us to stop pointing out the splinter in your neighbor's eye when we ourselves have a log in ours. I've oversimplified the verse, but the point is there nonetheless.
May God be patient with each one of us and bestow us with His bountiful blessings.