At least that works for me when I’m feeling lost and need to get “back on track.” The right music rights my ship. Every time.
These last few months have been rough on all of us. I’ve had some great things happen – and definitely some not-so-great. And in the midst, I may have gotten a bit off course.
Well, maybe that’s not true. Maybe it just FEELS off course because I’m not as focused as I’d like to be – not as certain where I am right now – or what’s next.
You too? I guess we’ve ALL felt this in various ways in 2020.
But the thing is, GOD knows just where we are. AND what’s next. And because He loves us, we can trust and rest in that knowledge.
And be grateful. EVEN in the challenge.
Argh. I keep forgetting that.
So “getting back on track” for me means…remembering.
Remembering that HE is good and that it only feels like I’m off-track.
Remembering all the times that He’s shown me this in the past. When I thought I was lost…HE is never lost or confused or even concerned about what’s next for me.
And remembering that I can create a new thought. I can build a new belief. I can choose the thoughts and beliefs I have about God, myself and others. And then, I can choose what I will focus on. Even in the challenge!
God is not controlling us, but He IS in control of our bigger picture. And He is safe. And good. And loves us crazy outrageous amounts.
What we do with that knowledge is up to us. WHEN I remember it, I can feel peace.
I can be grateful. I can even feel, dare I say, JOY?
Yes. I CAN feel joy. Even if I don’t know what tomorrow will look like, even if I don’t know when I’ll get to see mom again (c’mon vaccine, we’re rootin for you!), even if I don’t know (____fill in your blank). He knows. And He’s got it. And
IN THIS PRESENT MOMENT I am safe, warm, loved, I can move, I can call a friend, I can love someone else. IN THIS MOMENT I am ok.
And I can be grateful.
So how do I keep myself in this mindset when it seems scary or bleak or confusing? I do what fills me up – so my mind doesn’t even have the opportunity to take me elsewhere. And I look for things to be grateful for. Did you know gratitude has been proven to improve physical, psychological and emotional health, sleep, relationships, self-esteem, and resilience to name a few? The bible is filled with examples and encouragement to praise even in the midst of challenge.
But, what about when it’s too late and I’ve already gone down that negative road?
I listen to some amazing music. Really loud. It’s the one thing guaranteed to get me feeling hopeful again. And I dance. And I sing. In fact, I have a playlist on Spotify I’ve created for just such a time (here’s the title song). It plows into my ears, grabs hold of and empowers me all at once. Then I’m more able to see the way forward – or at least trust that it will become clear in time.
My childhood dream was to be a singer.
In fact, I think we were supposed to have a family band. We used to have dinner jams and sing made-up songs around the big kitchen table. Alas, the only ones to ever hear our amazing creations were mom & dad. But they were a very enthusiastic audience.
So. Music is kind of like CPR for my mood. What’s yours?
Maybe it’s to paint.
Or play with your dog.
Have a tea party with your grandchild.
Take a walk and discover a new path through the woods.
Lift some weights.
Try a new recipe
Read a mystery novel
Take a bath
Look through magazines and dream of redecorating
Trim your beard – (yes, I knew a guy who felt really zen when he got it all evened up…no judgement here)
The point is DO SOMETHING. Be proactive. Stay ahead of the negativity game – and when it happens (which it will) and you find yourself feeling off course? Jumpstart your mood and heart with music, exercise, humor, etc. And then remind yourself that you’re still ok in this present momen, you are alive and you CAN find things to be grateful for. And the way forward will become clear again when the dust settles.
If you want some help with this, check out this daily gratitude diary full of encouraging prompts.
Oh. And I’ll be sure to save you some backstage passes to all my concerts when I’m a big-time singer in heaven. Unless COVID shuts down the big shindigs there too .
In the meantime, I’m grateful for you!