In my conversation with my friend over lunch yesterday, she reminded me that I need to set boundaries. She suggested that if there is too much drama, conflict or stress in my life, it is because I have not set my own boundaries. I have allowed those elements to invade my peace.
Do you have drama, conflict, or stress in your life? Is there a way to eliminate those negatives and invite only positives in my life? What choices do I have?
Sometimes the stress and drama come from family, dearly beloved family. Does setting boundaries mean I should eliminate them from my life? Would that make me happier? Does having a cozy home, good food, and limiting my contacts to only “Happy People” mean I would have a better life?
No, my choice is to love those family members unconditionally – and invite them into my “cozy home” and share with them my “good food” and if they are not “happy people,” then pray that my patience, generosity, and love offered unconditionally can bring them some joy.
Sharing what we have is what the “Christmas Spirit” is all about. You may not be able to eliminate the drama, conflict, and stress in your life. Not unless you want to alienate those people God has placed in your life … those people who create troublesome circumstances in their own lives as well as yours.
Is that what Jesus teaches? Only deal with happy people? Is that what He did? Think about it.
Groucho Marx was one of my favorite comedians. He and Red Skelton always made my dad laugh. I can still remember him sitting in front of our black and white picture on the TV back in the late 40s, laughing til his eyes were teary at Groucho’s jokes. As I recall a few I am reminded that humor really is a way to share kindness because when we laugh, the “endorfins” brighten our spirit and feed the corners of our brains.
As I grow older, I remember it’s important to Lighten up and laugh more often! Groucho said,
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend, inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”
“Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.”
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”
Don’t you love that Santa picture? Reminds me that everyday is a gift… And we shouldn’t wait for once a year to open it. Keep the sparkle alive as you grow older – And make every day a day of … kindness … gratitude … and remembering why you walked into that room!
Here are a half a dozen suggestions that work for me:
1. I Pray –
My faith in the Lord, knowing the Holy Spirit always is with me, is my first line of defense. I simply ask for His Peace to overcome the distress that is causing my stress. Usually that works if I just sit quietly long enough… and smile as I wait for His peace and confidence to flow through me. I know He is in charge – and He has my best interests at heart.
2. Take a walk or a ride
Go into nature and while I’m out and about, notice the beauty. Let the peacefulness of nature wash over me.
3. Reach out to friends.
Share my concerns with others and solicit their help. In the process, look for ways I can help them. Nothing makes me feel happier than being able to help another. My own stresses dissolve in the process.
4. Count my blessings.
Take my mind off the area that’s causing stress and remember all the areas of goodness & success in my life. Rejuvenate the “I can do this” spirit in me.
5. Put on some crazy music 🎶
… and let the theory of Music Therapy (the ISO Principle) wash over me as I gradually change crazy to rhythmic to slower, peaceful music. Watch … wait, and feel my mood change with the mood of the 🎵 music 🎼
Let the act of changing black and white to joyful color succeed in changing my stressful mindset to one of colorful positivity instead.
Which of those half a dozen ideas might work best for you?