Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Be happy for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience. Roy T. Bennett

How do some people get old and bitter and some get old and better? Some are wonderful to be around. They have the best stories, make us laugh, and are encouraging, uplifting, and kind. We love to spend time around them. When we call them we are willing to talk to them as long as they will talk to us.

Other people are like storm clouds, raining down criticism, complaints, and ready to erupt into thunder and lightning at the slightest prompt. I feel blessed that Mom and Dad were of the former, not the latter. Although as my sister and I chatted on the weekend we talked about how Dad could erupt and we were shaking and walking on eggshells when he was back to smiley and happy.

Everyone can and maybe even should lose their temper on occasion. There are circumstances that call for reactions that are more than raising eyebrows. What we don’t want to be is in a constant state of discontent.

What did we think our life would be like at our stage in life? Some people appear to get more out of life at every stage. They don’t seem surprised when winter comes, they prepared for it, and when spring comes they are prepared for that.

I have enjoyed Joel Osteen’s book “The Power of I Am.” Is there anything new in this book, of course not? It seems to me we find new ways to destroy our lives but not new ways to build good, happy, productive ones. That is old knowledge, widely available to all who will listen, search, and read. People might not think they have the choice to be sweet or curmudgeonly, but I think it’s a choice. I hope I’m making the right one.

Dad lost most of his right hand in a farm accident. He could have been bitter, but I believe he was grateful knowing he could have died. When we live with gratitude we look at things differently than when we live without gratitude. If nothing is ever good enough, no one is honest enough, or does the right thing then as Jim Rohn says, “That’s all you’ve got.” I don’t think we should overlook when things are going in the wrong direction but complaining about them doesn’t do anything.

Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart. Roy T. Bennett     

We need to know what we can do, who we can influence, and then we have to get out of the way and let them do it.

There are periods in history that would have been horrible to live through. There must still have been people who lived with a cheerful heart, and a grateful spirit. Our choice to take charge of our life with our thoughts, behavior, and attitude is what we can do.

Sometimes the only thing we have power over is how we react to things. We may have to be okay with not seeing things the same as other people. Can we be content where we are even if it isn’t where we thought we would be? We may have to be content with the person we married, not the fantasy of who we thought they were, or who they would become. We have to be content with ourselves, our faults, weakness, and foibles.

If we live with a curmudgeon, it is a challenge, and if we are the curmudgeon we are a challenge for them. They are one of our challenges in life, and we are theirs. What if living with a grateful heart and a good attitude is how we pass the tests of life? What if every dream we have were to come true, and it affected our happiness quotient by zero? More money, fame, children, grandchildren, and our party getting in power wouldn’t change how happy we are? That’s a sobering thought. If nothing changes our degree of happiness except ourselves then we could choose to be happy any time in any situation. We have to deal with what we have to deal with but does worrying do anything but steal our joy.

How much joy do we have in our life? Are we taking every opportunity to bring joy and wonder into our lives? Do we see every sunrise, sunset, shooting star, rainbow, and the Northern Lights, as opportunities to be inspired?

When we look in the faces of those we love, do we realize how lucky we are to have them in our life? Does our fear we could lose them spoil that? We don’t all have the same blessings in our lives. Maybe we all have the capacity to feel blessed regardless of what those blessings are. What if that is what is important?

Do we look at our lives and see what is right, or what is wrong with it? When I draw and it doesn’t look right I have to adjust my perspective, when I get the perspective right the picture comes together. Our attitude is our perspective. The only person that can adjust our attitude is ourselves. What if the words we put after I Am can change our life? Are we getting better or bitter?

The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are. The more present you become. Robert Holden

The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. Oprah

Let a series of happy thoughts run through your mind. They will show on your face. Norman Vincent Peale

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back again and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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2 thoughts on “Getting better not bitter. Do we declare we are blessed, talented, healthy, and strong?

  1. You hit the nail on the head Belynda. Everything you highlighted about life is very true. Being a nice person has its reward. Life is short. We should find some happiness in what ever situation we find ourselves. We must strive to bring joy to those we love and help any one when we can. I learn a lot from my brother. He is blind but kind and finds satisfaction in doing what some people (including me) with eyes cannot do.
    Keep up the good work Belynda. You are an inspiration to those who read your books.

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