Everyday when we wake, we have a choice: to expect powerlessness or greatness. We get to decide what lens we will see the world through with each fleeting thought, every encounter, and every hiccup in the road. Each of these moments are opportunities to shift a victim mentality to that of a victor.
Being victorious doesn't mean our day goes as planned, though. In fact, most days we spill our coffee on our way out the door, forget to pay a credit card bill, can't find time to wash our hair, and give in to sugar cravings. Someone cuts us off in traffic, we're late for work--again, our flight is cancelled, and we didn't get that promotion we deserve. Little Johnny isn't doing well in math, our marriage is strained, we're consuming entirely too much alcohol, we didn't get a good nights sleep, and we can't seem to lose that baby weight. To add fuel to the fire, we get into a car accident, Little Johnny breaks his arm, a family member is diagnosed with cancer, and a childhood friend is killed in a senseless act. Can you resonate with any of this? Sure, we all can.
I began writing this post yesterday and as soon as I wrapped it up for the morning, my day went downhill. Yup, either God has a sense of humor or the enemy was working overtime because I was tested--big time. An unexpected vet trip for a sick pup, running late for an appointment, an unexpected injury in the family, etc. About an hour into this circus, it dawned on me--here's an opportunity to practice what I'm about to preach!
Sometimes it feels like life is compounding and we are being crushed beneath it. We are tired, angry, sad, confused, scared, and feel defeated. We find it more and more difficult to expect greatness in this life because we feel powerless to the happenings around us. However, we do not have to maintain a spirit of doubt, fear, and defeat. You see, while our power is minimal absent of God, we do have the blessing of free will. Yes, I consider free will a blessing, but many argue it's a curse because the flesh is so strong, y'all! We are free to incline towards either positivity or negativity. If we look long enough for that diamond in the rough, we will discover God is in the details. We'll see all of those blessings in disguise with each shift in perspective.
God shows up in our lives in various ways--big ways--but we are often blind to it. We're so hyper-focused on what went wrong, that we believe nothing goes right. No one is immune from this internal struggle, but some are just better at practicing gratitude. The more you practice, the more it becomes effortless. I challenge you all to give it a try!
A few months back, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. A rarity, but my cancer treatment caused my immune system to attack my pancreas leaving me permanently insulin dependent. Talk about another blow! Similarly to the cancer diagnosis, once I processed this happening and began reflecting on it, I decided to make a list of the good things born from this occurrence. First, I don't have time to really think about cancer because I'm so busy pricking my finger, charting, bugging my endocrinologist's staff, and researching all things diabetes like a psycho. Second, although I had already drastically improved my diet, it's now more structured and disciplined. Who doesn't need structure and discipline in the kitchen, right? Third, I get to tote snacks around like a toddler everywhere I go. Last but not least, diabetes is manageable and a price I'm willing to pay to live.
It's not always easy to make the internal shift from victim to victor, but just like the difficulties, greatness can build upon itself too. With each conscious shift in perspective away from powerlessness, that foundation becomes stronger. Our powerlessness becomes empowering, and this life becomes much more tolerable and beautiful.
As I sit on the edge of what's next, you can find me over here expecting greatness. Why? Because God is good, greatness is all around us, and miracles happen everyday.
Love & Sunblock