5 TIPS FOR A BETTER 2012© 2012, Vicki Hinze Warning: This is a no-edit zone…
Start 2012 with a positive and constructive message—to yourself:
1. Awaken each day with a sense of gratitude for all the good in your life. Things might be tough, times hard, but there are good things too. Focus on them.
2. Acknowledge your problems but give your attention to solutions to the problems. Solutions heal challenges. Griping about problems doesn’t.
3. Be specific about what you want and don’t lose sight of it. Put a note on your bathroom mirror so you see it when you brush your teeth. Put a photo that represents this want to you where you see it often. Keep reminding yourself what it is you want and why.
4. Choose an area of self-improvement and actively seek ways of helping yourself with it. For example, if your temper gets the best of you, then find a way to turn that temper around so that you’re taking a calm, reasoned approach to resolve an issue or a conflict. You’ll be happier and so will those who are on the receiving end of your temper.
5. Monitor your self-talk. One of the most destructive things I see is others who talk negatively about themselves, their lives, their families, their friends. They see what’s wrong and bad and broken and what needs to be fixed. But they fail to see the good. They fail to appreciate the goodness in these others and fail to see and/or appreciate what is right. Then they wonder why they feel so discontent and dissatisfied. Is it any wonder? How can you feel anything but, hauling around an attitude like that? See, appreciate and acknowledge the good. These are gems in your life. Notice the sparkle. Whenever you think something negative, automatically rephrase it into a positive. (Thanks for the added insight, for revealing the truth. Or maybe the thought is that someone is selfish. Immediately rephrase it in your mind. Thanks for letting me see what selfish looks like. I don’t want it, so now I can avoid it. Or maybe that person is selfish about this. But s/he is wonderful about something else.)
My personal pet peeve was an individual announcing that she was brain-dead. Listen, we all have synapse misfires, moments of forgetfulness. But brain dead? What a horrible thing to say about yourself. And why, I ask, would anyone wish to hear a lecture by someone who considers him or herself brain dead? So this negativity also calls any credibility into question. Is that loving yourself? Valuing your gifts? Honoring the Giver of your gifts? This comment was not made in jest, but even if it were, it’d still be devaluing something precious, and is that really funny?
Christ said to ask in His name and it will be given to you. He said to appreciate your portion. He said He came so that we might live life more abundantly. He didn’t mean we’d live with an abundance of negativity, anger, upset, oppression or fits of temper.
He said that those things we desire, to express the gratitude warranted as if we already have them. Why? Because that reaction from us expresses a trust in Him. We believe His words. “Ask and it shall be given to you.” Either we believe him, or we don’t. Either we trust God or we don’t. You can indulge in a lot of gyrations, but when you wind down to the bottom line, that’s it. Your faith in Him is expressed in your belief.
We should be content where we are but also strive to be “perfect.” Perfect, as in more Christ-like. I loved the “WWJD” bracelets and notes and, well, all the items because they were visual reminders of the ultimate aspiration.
If the whole duty of man is to love one another and the first Commandment is to love God above all, then it is essential that we know what love is so that we understand it.
We learn through experience. Our own and the experiences of others. Yet too often self-love is confused with self-conceit. They’re totally different. It’s essential to love ourselves, and this we must do to love God and love others. But conceit is to be avoided. Why?
Loving ourselves acknowledges God’s gifts to us. The glory and honor is His. We’re grateful for those gifts, we love those gifts, but we recognize and acknowledge that they are gifts from Him to us.
With self-conceit we don’t. Our gifts are ours. Our accomplishments are ours. Our wins are our wins. We don’t honor God, we honor ourselves.
Conceit falls flat every time. There’s no foundation to sustain it. No rock under it upon which its tenets rest. It’s all on us, and we’re fallible, often mistaken, flawed human beings. Our best will never be perfect. At most, we’re half-informed, often misguided works-in-progress.
But love, loving doesn’t require perfection. In acknowledging our part, honoring Him and His part, we draw on His authority and His perfection. We have His tools—all tools—all of Him available to us. And that is amazing and awesome and humbling. Humility and self-conceit simply do not co-exist.
Love yourself, honor God, and have a wonderful 2012!