Getting Back My Joy

Our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts. Think about that for a second…

Where has my mind been recently? To be honest my mind has been very clouded as of late; I have been worried about things out of my control. I looked back on the year to see where I may have gotten off track; 2020 for some was an awful year yet for me it was fantastic! I traveled tons, met the love of my life (and married her) spent loads of time hiking, camping, working out and doing all of the things that I love to do, yet lately I have been stressed to my limits! So I asked myself – why? Why am I so stressed out? Where did I go off track? I was Mr. Happy-go-lucky for a time until something happened…

Coronavirus. That’s where it started. But specifically what pissed me off about it? Am I going to get into my political views on it and bore you to death with more information about why I think it is blah, blah, blah and we should open the gyms and the economy blah, blah, blah? No. I am going to tell you how I am pulling myself out of the stress and anger I have allowed into my life.

The whole coronavirus “pandemic” and elections in the fall pissed me off and I allowed the news headlines to control my emotions. I allowed. I have a sense of justice and fairness in my mind; I don’t like to have our freedoms infringed upon. I don’t like media censorship, I don’t like feeling shut in. See where this is going? I kind of start to feel claustrophobic and angry!

So, what can I do about it? I can go hiking like HERE and exercise. However I think that it’s deeper than that. Those things help but not for long if I don’t change more. I need to look at what I can do daily to not allow stress and anxiety to creep back in. There’s that word again: ALLOW

It’s all about what I allow to enter my mind and my life. I have the choice, I choose how I feel. How do I choose how I feel? By what I allow into my life. I don’t have to watch the news. I don’t have to scroll through my news feeds on Facebook and Instagram. At the heart of it all is control.

We as humans feel the need to control things in our life. We feel better when we know that we can control outcomes; that we can be God in a small way. In addictions, this is a dangerous thing because we alcoholics/drug addicts don’t like a loss of control; it drives most of us nuts. When I read terrible news headlines or we have a new lockdown mandate, then I realize that I have no control – zero and it ticks me off all over again!

I believe that God’s word says a lot about letting go of control to God. There were many people in the bible who were scared; who felt a loss of control. God sometimes said not to fear and other times seemed to get impatient with our lack of faith yet he never failed. He would even go as far as being tested to show he was really in control numerous times!

Scripture time! You didn’t think you were going to get out of this without getting some did you?

Here is two about renewing your mind and setting your sights on good things:

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing

of your mind, that you may prove what IS that good and acceptable and

perfect will of GOD.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble,

whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are

lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is ANY virtue and

if there is ANYTHING praiseworthy – meditate on these things!

So what does this mean in real terms? This isn’t waving my Harry Potter wand and my worry goes away; I have to actually work at it. My wife had a very good word for us: Focus smaller.

What this means to me is focus on your family and yourself first, then friends or neighbors and what you can do in your local community and just shut off the news and social media as much as possible. There’s something to be said about being informed about what’s going on but to constantly check in all day ‘err day on the news and goings on can drive you insane!

Focus on the GOOD things in your life, go on hikes or walks. Spend time with your loved ones, your animals and for Pete’s sake, get outside and live! Sunshine and fresh air does so good for our bodies and minds and I hope to see you out getting dirt under your fingernails in nature again very soon!

God bless,

Ryan

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