a wonderful life
to view the world through a better lens
Have you ever noticed how it feels to be around a person who gripes? The world is never on their side, and life is never enough. Some people might get stuck, unaware of their poor me syndrome, always waiting for that better day until they run out of days. If you or someone you know is “never quite happy,” then at what point will something make a difference? This lens of not enough is both sad and frustrating, but there is a solution. So, in this holiday season and beyond, what is the key to a wonderful life?
We find a wonderful life when we view the world through a lens of gratitude. In fact, the decision to be thankful will change lives. Get a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie before you react. Honestly, I get it. You are a good person.
You are thankful, I’m thankful. We say thank-you.
But, beyond surface thankful and good manners is the understanding that you or I are not the center of the universe, but just one or two among billions. Acknowledging that no matter what is going on in your life, someone is always worse off gives us greater perspective. I call this the “but for the grace of God go I” perspective. If you walk that out every day, then you are one step closer.
However, there is even another level of gratitude beyond our surface thankyous and but for the grace of God go I. In a true come to Jesus moment, when we allow the joy of life to come to the surface and color everything we do, we are transformed.
We get a new lens to view life through, like a new pair of glasses. We get the wonderful life lens.
Our lens takes our view from oppressed and burdened to lifted and life giving. When you or any other person finds a genuine humble thankfulness for life, it is transformative.
In fact, this transformative humility is why the 1946 movie It’s A Wonderful Life is still so popular especially during the holidays.
Through a playback of how life in George Baileys town and for his family would be different had he not lived, our hero is humbled and transformed. Instead place of brokenness and hopelessness, God sends help. He sends an angel to help George find gratitude for life again; his joy in being alive is restored.
Full disclosure: a goal in my life and with this post in particular is help someone lose their poor me syndrome and have their joy restored.
In case you doubt my credentials, let me explain. If anyone understands how you or someone you love is overwhelmed and in danger of the poor me syndrome , it is me.
I won’t go into my story, but trust me, I have endured some difficult things and lost my joy occasionally along the way. I never stopped believing God loved me, but I was overwhelmed with pain. At times, just like all of us have, I wallowed for a time in the tragedies that seemed to keep coming one after the other until I was so tired, I almost quit my whole life.
It is clear that your life is up to you and my life is up to me. However, God cares how you feel about it. He cares how it all goes. He said in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Undeniably, God loves you, but he also wants you to have the joy that makes this life not only livable, but one that spreads and touches everyone around you with life.
An abundant life is a wonderful life.
He wants you to never feel the need to one up or compare yourself to anyone else.
You know this deep inside. I imagine you have moments of sparks that leave you wanting more.
Remember, the next level, your key to a better more fulfilling life is found in your lens. To view the world through a lens of gratitude, a decision to be thankful will change your life.
Any wonderful thing in your life is polished by genuine thankfulness. If you think about it, an attitude of gratitude opens doors and creates opportunity. It also creates a more invested recipient. Humility, a genuine spirit, and thankfulness create success. These habits of the spirit spread success. They promote good health, spiritually, mentally, and physically.
On the whole, appreciating the good things about your co workers, your country, your parents, your job, your life, your health or any good thing in your life will result in a better life. Period.
Adults with an attitude of gratitude and humility will get back up, dust themselves off and fight another day. They will do what it takes to succeed, because they know that their greatest downfall is either between their own ears or comes out of their own mouth. Further, people with an attitude of gratitude don’t seek credit. They don’t compete with others constantly and try to one up you. As an attitude and with humility, they walk around seeing the world through a lens of thankful.
Do you know someone like that? These people are balms to the spirit.
You feel better when you are near them. Their joy seeps out of their pores and into the air.
We naturally gravitate to the realness of a genuine thankful humble person and we want to be around their wonderful life appreciation.
They feel like angels. Their spirit lingers when they leave, because the holy spirit is involved in real joy.
On the contrary, a spirit of victimhood suppresses a persons power to change his or her lot in life. It says “Why even try? The system is rigged against me!”
To see life as out of your control and something that just happens to you before you die is a yoke of lies. That is a true burden. Hopeless and powerless is no way to live.
Truthfully, poor me syndrome not only depresses the one carrying it around, it spreads like a poison.
With that in mind, those who teach people they are powerless victims are spreading the poison of hopelessness. Who would want that? Why would anyone teach that?
Teaching victimhood handicaps every single person who latches onto the explanation of why things aren’t going their way.
In my opinion, it is disrespectful to grown adults to tell them they are the victims of something beyond their control or that optimism is a cultural construct.
Have you heard this recently? “The system is broken. There is no way to succeed in this system as it stands.” I contend that this characterization is a lie designed to imprison and handicap the ones who accept it.
Go watch the movie, read some biblical truth, and let go of all that burdens you carry. Let go of the right to be troubled, hurt, angry and embrace forgiveness instead. Truth be told, what you do from this moment forward is up to you. You don’t get to blame someone else or whine or cry about how cruel the world is. Yes, it is cruel, yes it is difficult. But today starts with you, so go to it.
Don’t waste any more time on poor me. Instead, embrace your wonderful life.
Stop talking about why things don’t work and find a way to make it work. If you don’t like where your life is going, then it is up to you to turn it around. Don’t let anyone tell you there is a barrier and you have no power to move it. You have the power in the name of Jesus.
You are important and you matter to God. He is hope and life and you do not need another person, another race, another anything to validate you.
The key to life is being genuine with an attitude of gratitude and humility. That’s it. I promise.
Barefoot and writing,
You might also enjoy: External change won’t heal inner wounds.
or Why I Write