Last night I promised something.  I promised I would do it today.  It was a promise I should not have made.  I promised I would be funny.  I promised I would write a blog that would be entertaining.  Today.  Not next week.  Not next year.  Today. There is only one problem.  I do not feel like being funny today.  Not that we go by our feelings.  Now, I am a highly emotional person but I force myself to emote myself into certain feelings.  So, let’s see if I can emote myself into “funniness”.

Seriously, think of something fun, joyful, excited, happy.  Think of yourself on the beach, with a great tan (yes, everything comes back to having a great tan, because this is the pinnacle and epitome of life,  tan-ness).  Think of fun people, laughing, frolicking, jumping in the water, making jokes, sand between your toes, 95 degrees outside, very light breeze, and a bright sun in a blue sky.  Think of having no problems, no worries, plenty of lemonade, everyone smiling, giggling, your bathing suit fitting perfectly, good conversations, perfect hair (in this imaginary scene, the ocean air doesn’t mess with the hair).  Think of  a barbecue with perfectly seasoned 100% grass-fed beef cooking with some corn on the cob grilling too, plenty of plates and root beer to feed an army.  And then the army does show up…ready to have fun!  Ok, I just added the army because there are plenty of men in the army, clean-cut, shaven, fit and I thought we needed more men than women at our party on the beach…I could ask them to leave but these army guys are totally cool, not drunk, not swearing.  And all tan.  All good-looking.  All perfect teeth and no bad breath.

Don’t you feel happy right now?  I feel great-hello Mr. GI Joe!  And yet, absolutely nothing changed in my immediate setting, current circumstances.  The only thing that changed was my thoughts.  I got myself smiling because of some thoughts about a party on the beach…actually it was the thought of the sun actually shining…July 3 and I am wearing a sweatshirt.

Now think of something sad.  Think of your friend’s teenage brother committing suicide and going to the funeral.  The parents in the front row, sobbing and though you are in the back, you can hear them weeping.  The slide show rolls picture after picture of this lovable boy who looked so fun, energetic, and full of potential. The casket is in the front with his lifeless body inside.  The pastor says some words but nothing that comforting.  He’s Dead! There is nothing comforting about that.  It’s over.  His friends fill the room, confusion, listlessness, tears.  My own tears falling down my face, emptying the kleenex box.  What do you say?  You didn’t really know him but you knew the family.  Really, he really thought no one cared?  He really thought this was the best way out?  Really, his problems were too overwhelming?  A lot of words fill my mind to describe this selfish, insightless boy who is putting his family through hell with grief…And right before Christmas.  Are you kidding me?!  How could you do that to them?

Now, I am sad!  And nothing changed, only my thoughts.  Only my thoughts changed.  One scene imagined, one real.  But truly, all just in my head today.

Feelings come and go.  Feelings of happiness and feelings of sadness.  They don’t stay forever and they all are from our interpretation of the thoughts going on in our heads.  If I lost a thousand dollars today, I could be sad, mad, angry, frustrated, confused, fearful.  I could feel those feelings but I could also then change my thoughts to, instead of, “This sucks! I will never get that $1000 back, my life is ruined, do you know everything I could have done with that money, now I have to eat top ramen for a month and beg for an extension on my rent! What if I get kicked out? What if I become homeless? What if all my friends leave me? What if I end up with nothing? What if I never get married? What if I have a heart attack because I am eating Top Ramen and all that salt increases my blood pressure and I die?  I am going to die!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  or I could think, instead of those paralyzing thoughts, I could think, “I don’t like losing 1000 bucks, but it’s not the end of the world.  God can help me!  God can find it! He found me, so he can find $1000.  I will ask for an extension on my rent.  I will ask and even if I don’t get it, I am going to be okay.  I am going to be fine!  I am more than fine!  I have  a great job, great car, great family/friends, great clothes.  God will help me!  I can eat Top Ramen.  I love the Teriyaki flavor.  I will be fine.  This is temporary, not permanent.  God’s helped me before, and he will help me again!  I am more than a conquerer, I am victorious!  God does work all things out for my good!  The future is bright!  My future is bright !”

Your perspective, your feelings, your thoughts are all controlled by you.  You can give in, be angry, be depressed.  But honestly, it’s all in your head.  So, think happy thoughts!  Happy thoughts from the Bible are better than some imaginary beach scene with buff army men…So, forget the Army men, read your Bible.  🙂