"Looking at life through rose gold--colored lenses makes the world look like a beautiful place" --- Lindsay Andre
per·cep·tion: 1) the state of being or process o becoming aware of something through the senses 2) a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting. something; a mental impression. synonyms: · discernment · appreciation · recognition · realization · cognizance · awareness · consciousness · knowledge · acknowledgment · grasp grat·i·tude: 1) the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. synonyms: · gratefulness · thankfulness · thanks · appreciation · recognition · acknowledgment · hat tip · credit · regard · respect · sense of obligation · indebtedness
As I sit here this afternoon on my lunch break, wearing rose gold sunglasses and thinking about my silly saying, I was reminded of the importance of gratitude, perception and the fact that joy and happiness are choices we have to be intentional about and face every day.
You see, when I wear my sunglasses, even though my surroundings seem to be more vibrant and cheerful, everyone seems to be happy and joyful, (maybe it’s just me and the way my brain associates the color rose lol) I am still looking at the same surroundings; in fact, the world around me didn’t change at all; however, my perception was changed. Once I take the sunglasses off the world as I know it goes back to normal.
Now, I hope you can follow me here….. In this world we face many trials and tribulations, heartbreak, good days and bad days. When we are faced with an overwhelming circumstance or bad news, we have two choices on how to move forward:
A) We can choose negative circumstances to breed negativity in our lives. We can stay stuck in our muck, and over time the bad news/event etc. becomes a bad attitude, and the attitude becomes a behavior or action which will lead to sin and destruction. I know because I have allowed the negative experiences, bad news, and traumatic events determine not only the course of my day but the course of the last decade or so of my life.
B) We can choose to focus on the good and see past our circumstances. Of course, it is normal to feel negative emotions or be angry when life happens, God gave us emotions for a reason, they are meant to be indicators, not dictators.
“Feelings are indicators, not dictators. They can indicate where your heart is in the moment, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to dictate your behavior and boss you around. You are more than the sum total of your feelings and perfectly capable of that little gift… called self-control.” – Lysa Terkeurst, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions
We can choose to reflect on the good stuff in our lives and drown out the negativity. Yes, you still face and go through the valleys and trials of life, but you do so with hope, joy, and determination resting in the promise that the battle has already been won and live in the victory of the cross.
Each day brings with it new mercies created specifically for that day. God knows what you went through yesterday and He knows the defeats and victories. But He also never intended for us to live in yesterday, that goes for the good and the bad. We simply can’t stay stuck in the muck of what has already been, allowing shame and guilt to guide us, but we also cannot live on the faith we had yesterday and expect it to get us through today.
I can choose to continue to dwell in my past and allow the trauma I experienced during childhood and young adulthood become my identity and keep me stuck or I can put on my sunglasses and choose to be joyful and walk in the healing and freedom I found in Jesus. I can continue to allow the loss of our baby make me angry and hurt and angry with God forgetting all that He has already done in my life, or I can put my sunglasses on and rest in the fact that His promises are yes and amen, know that He is in control and has a plan and purpose for our life, (even when it doesn’t make sense).
When I choose to look at my life through my circumstances, I become depressed, anxious, and irritable, irrationally spontaneous, and eventually my emotions dictate my behavior which means the ones I love the most feel the effects.
So for today, I am choosing joy and faith. Its not always easy, but when I am connected to God, His spirit empowers me to make the right choice!
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33