Sunday, November 1, 2009

Changing your thoughts can change your experiences

This delightful and timely essay by Mary Ann O'Roark appeared in Daily Guideposts.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

For years, when daylight saving time ended in the autumn, my heart sank. As every day got darker earlier, so did my spirits. “It’s depressing. I hate the dark in the winter,” I told my sister last year.

“Oh,” Jeannie said, “I think it’s cozy.”

Cozy. I’d never thought about it like that. Suddenly I saw my winter blues in a whole new light. Now when it got dark at four thirty in the afternoon, instead of feeling sad, I clicked on lamps with a warm glow and pulled a nubby blanket over me while reading or watching TV. It was cozy.

The power of words never fails to amaze me. A few months ago when I was bemoaning a difficult work project, an acquaintance surprised me by saying, “That sounds like fun!” Once during a European trip, the airline I was traveling on went on strike and I was about to panic, until my traveling companion announced, “Guess we’ll be having an adventure.” Hmm, a different way of looking at things.

Best of all was several years ago, when I was making changes in my life from a nine-to-five office job to freelancer. I e-mailed a good friend and told her several times how scared I was. When I later reread the e-mail, I was shocked to see a recurring typo: Instead of typing scared I’d typed sacred. Once again my perspective took a turnaround: from being scared to opening my horizons to a whole new sacred dimension in my future.

In fact, that’s why I sometimes write words to myself on index cards and tape them around my apartment. This morning I woke and through my bleary eyes saw the word Rejoice taped to my bedroom wall—another sacred fun adventure of a cozy winter day coming up!

Holy Spirit, keep me aware and renewed by the words that influence and nourish my life.

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