Supposedly, your answer reveals whether you are a pessimist or an optimist. If it’s true that the words you choose reveal your true thoughts and sentiments, “half full” means the level is rising, so you must be one who expects great things — an optimist. “Half empty” means the liquid is being depleted; anyone who sees something draining away must be a pessimist.
You’re words spring from your thoughts, obviously, but I never really thought this was a fair test. One slip of the tongue and you’re marked for life. Your destiny unfolds before you one of two ways. You either walk an easy-breezy path of sunshine and flowers, or one darkened by thorns and brambles.
The words you choose every day certainly have great power to shape your future, but everything starts with your thoughts.
Mother Teresa said it so well in this quote.
I believe that God has me in His care, so I guess that makes me an optimist. Even though I may worry about little things sometimes, the big picture looks pretty awesome. It hasn’t always been this way, though. I used to get so bogged down with regret and turmoil over things I couldn’t control, I was pretty difficult to be around. Before I heard God’s voice inviting me to rest in Him, the stress and gloom would darken many hours that could have been spent in a better frame of mind.
Two Negativity Slayers That Instantly Move The Joy Needle Now
Over the years, I’ve learned to guard my thoughts and speak positive words. In fact if I hear a negative voice in my mind, I catch it quickly and push it out. A drop or two of Release also allows me to slow down enough to ask God to take any icky thoughts away. Still, frustration finds its way into my words and sounds some days. They just pop out before I can filter them! Amazing how that happens…
I caught myself saying “tsk” the other day, as I reached for a pair of my son’s shorts on the bathroom floor. Even as the sound escaped my lips I noted how much it reminded me of my dear mom, and I wondered at the ease with which I had adopted this disapproving tick. (Was it heredity? Did I have control over that?) If I could have sucked it back in, I would have in an instant, but it was out here.
Since I was alone in the house at the time, no one heard it, but for some reason the little noise stopped me in my tracks. Pastor Randy Philips at Life Austin Church had just preached an awesome message about using “frameworthy” words, and while this wasn’t a word, my “tsk” reflected disapproval all the same.
If this negative expression escaped my lips, then my thoughts were carrying the water for it. If I change my thoughts, this expression of disapproval would die on the vine, literally dying of thirst.
If I could change the thoughts that produced the negative sound (annoyance at the clothes on the floor), no one would ever have to endure that little barbed assault. I can tell you from experience, those little sounds and negative words have an effect on everyone!
“When Mom’s not happy, no one’s happy;” so true. It’s amazing to me how much what I do and say – and think! – affect my family. Every time I check in with this, the results are conclusive. Thoughts really do affect words, which really do affect actions, including other’s actions and how they in turn make everyone feel, etc.
It’s such a vicious cycle when it starts out negative, so let’s change that!Here are my two go-to negative thought slayers. It takes maturity and consciousness to swerve away from those negative thoughts, but it’s so worth working on.
To keep negativity out of my thoughts, I make it a habit now to hand them over to God. “You’ve already taken care of this for me, so thank you!” makes it a little easier to deal with unexpected disappointments. And isn’t it weird how, when the burdens of life are heavier, the undone chores either seem either trivial, or so much more devastating?
There’s so much in the world we can’t control: Natural consequences, natural phenomena, natural hair color. We can try to change it, fix it, or mask it, but we never really get to the roots (excuse the pun). We aren’t disappointed in a raincloud when it spills rain; only in the fact that a day at the beach gets postponed. We aren’t upset at the weed because it grows; only that we must weed the garden beds or mow the lawn. We aren’t upset that our skin wrinkles, per se; only that we are growing older and time is passing, and we aren’t as “pretty” as we were years ago.
In the case of someone neglecting their duties or being careless, or forgetful, you can take a similar tack. What’s done is done. Address the carelessness, the forgetfulness, the rudeness itself. But don’t get yourself into a tizzy about the actual results. Those can usually be fixed. And if we can’t work out a solution, usually the Holy Spirit can. Grace is a miracle worker.
Picking up those shorts were a minor inconvenience, but I recognized that I’d already crossed two levels (thoughts and words) of a thing that could potentially “affect my destiny.” No good. On to #2…
I nipped it in the bud right then and there. I immediately reached to my old friend gratitude. I noted that the lights had been off, the toilet was flushed, and the seat was down when I had walked into the powder room. Without over-sharing, suffice it to say that this was an achievement. Woot!
Also, blessed and reminded by the fact that my teenaged son would soon – in the blink of an eye – fly the coop, I found a tiny moment of thankfulness instead of frustration. Lucky, huh?
Changing your thoughts changes your trajectory through life, just as surely as gravity causes shorts to drop to a bathroom floor. Gratitude and perspective usually do the trick for me. How do you turn a negative thought into a positive one?