Originally written July 2010
Are you living the life you want? Do you spend more time thinking and expressing negative thoughts instead of positive ones? Do you find yourself frustrated easily?
I certainly was in a negative mindset not too long ago. There were a lot of painful experiences I had simply swept under the rug instead of really dealing with them. Because of this, I found it easy to complain at the least little thing that dared to irritate me. As I have found out, these things were merely symptoms of my soul being held captive by my past pain.
It wasn't until I set out to uncover the root of every negative aspect of my life that I discovered these horrible lies I believed. It wasn't until I identified these lies, brought them into the open, and replaced them with the truth that I was able to be truly free. What lies do you believe that is keeping you from experiencing love to the fullest?
When you are truly free you experience love in a whole new dimension. It expands in your life and you view people through the eyes of love. You see past the hurt or meanness they might inflict and understand that what they do is not directed at you. It is an unhappiness within them that is projected onto others.
Joy becomes real in your life. You find joy in even the simplest things of life. It's a joy that goes beyond an emotion or feeling but becomes a state of being. Even if others attack you or put you down, you find this joy within you that is unshakeable.
Ah, the sweet smell of peace. Do you find peace within yourself, even when the world around you is falling apart? Are you able to trust God when he says that he works all things for good for those who love him? This is truly where peace comes from. It is the ability to know that no matter what happens to you that God loves you and will bring you through it.
And along with that comes patience. When we can look beyond what is happening at the moment and realize that this moment is a piece of a larger picture, we find patience. It sits there, just waiting for us to realize it is within us. It gives us the strength to recognize that this too shall pass.
Kindness comes from a heart that is so filled with love that it shares that love in whatever form the situation presents. When we are kind, the things we do flow out of us without much thought. We don't do these things in order to get anything in return. Kindness is like a river that just flows. Nothing holds it back.
Goodness is what surrounds us as we move through any situation. It is the natural result of the love living in us, unhampered by pain or lies. Goodness knows that love conquers evil. Evil simply cannot survive in the presence of goodness.
When we are faithful to the Truth, it becomes easier to see what is evil and we have no desire to be part of it. Faithfulness has the ability to not let anything be an excuse for not loving. It is through faithfulness that we have the power to overcome anything. Even if our world falls apart, it is faithfulness that strengthens us.
Humility is realizing that we are all in the same boat. It means recognizing that we all have past experiences that influence who we are. Humility also means that we don't elevate one person above all others. It's the ability to realize that we do not worship each other.
This last one is perhaps the hardest because we all have areas of weakness. There are things that we have convinced ourselves are okay to do or to do in abundance. Self control means that because of the love that fills me, I am able to consciously be aware of how my decisions impact me and other and I do what is best.