I’ve been having kind of a stressful month (just so much to do — and realizing I really need to scale back), and so dwelling on the good has really helped me keep a (generally) positive perspective. Though the verse doesn’t mention “good” specifically, I kept the spirit of Philippians 4:8 in my mind while trying to dwell on the good: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
Actually — all of those things are good, now that I think about it.
Anyway, I’ve tried to apply this state of mind to several different areas of my life. I’ve been trying (not sure how successfully) to keep my conversation and words more positive and focused on the good. A friend actually called out my complaints about a certain thing earlier this month, and since then I’ve really made an effort to be more positive and concentrate on the good, even in difficult situations. I think I’m getting better, and I definitely need to concentrate more on curbing my complaining. I was filling out a questionnaire the other day, and it asked what one thing I would change about my personality if I could, and I answered that I complain too much. It’s something that I’d really like to tackle more — I think that’ll be one of the things I’ll concentrate on during my month of self control.
I’ve been listening to my iTunes instead of audiobooks for the last couple weeks (this is unusual for me — I’m almost always listening to audiobooks or NPR). I’ve been cycling through a couple different albums, all of which, to me, focus on goodness in one way or another. For example, I’ve listened to NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, Nickel Creek, and Gungor. There have been several lines in Mumford & Sons songs that I’ve really been dwelling on: “Where you invest your love, you invest your life” and “Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free.” All five of these bands make me want to concentrate on living an authentic, life. Of making sure I don’t slumber through my days. I just want to make sure I’m investing in the right things in my life, in the good, in love.
On a somewhat related note, I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve found myself randomly smiling this month. Just driving down the road, not thinking about much, and all of a sudden I’ll realize I’m grinning and that I’m really thankful for all that I’ve been blessed with. I have always been a grateful person, but I think there’s something about this project that is changing me from not only being aware of my thankfulness, but also embracing it as a state of mind that I’m I have a thankful heart even when I’m not actively thinking about it. What a great side effect of my project!