“Life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.”I picked up Ann Voskamp's book after countless mornings of lying awake in bed, wishing I could stay there all day. I couldn’t figure out what was making me that way. It wasn’t my job, it wasn’t my friends, I really couldn’t put my finger on anything that was “wrong” with my life. One Thousand Gifts was just what I needed--A dare to live fully right where you are.
--Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
But, this isn’t a book review. This is just to say that sometimes life sucks. And you have to do what you can to make it better. And this is how I made it better for myself.
One of my favorite lines in the book was, “Above the clouds, light never stops shining.” Translation: sometimes all you need is a change in perspective. It’s so easy to focus on the bad and forget about the good. I needed to remind myself that not being happy with my life is my choice. Meaning, I was the root of my own problem. Nothing had happened to make me unhappy and no one was doing this to me. I was doing it to myself. Therefore, I was also going to have to be the one who made me happier again. No one or nothing else could do it for me.
I quickly realized the ability to stop focusing on the negative and start embracing the positive is what makes me a happier person. Being thankful for the little things add up to bigger things. Good traffic on my way into work. A delicious cup of coffee. A day without dealing with rude people. My afternoon diet coke. The leaves changing colors. Each of those things seem inconsequential on the surface, but I know that they make up a grander scheme of my happiness. These silly little things turn my days into enough.
The beauty of it is, nothing had changed except my perspective. I still have the same life I had before, but all I needed was a little thankfulness and gratitude for what I had been given. Bad things still happen every day, but my ability to point out the good, no matter how small they are, allows me to keep perspective. Perspective also means realizing that every bump in the road is part of a grander plan for your life--it's not stopping here. Maybe those days of getting up when I would have rather been lying in bed were preparing me for something down the road...
So what I’m saying is, if you ever find yourself in a funk like I was, perhaps all you need is a change in perspective. Look at your life from a different angle and you may find it is enough.