In the wake of a tough string of days, what do you do?

For me, I grab myself a creamy, sweet cuppa joe and look for something positive to focus on. (Like the phrase above.)

There are other options, but over the course of time, I’ve realized that some of those options are far less helpful. And here’s why:

#1 Focusing on the difficulty makes it seem even more difficult. 

Have you ever heard this saying? “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” That’s what I tend to do if I let my eyes remain on the problem. Instead, I find a lot of strength when I look up and around. It helps to bring perspective when we can see other areas of life where we don’t struggle as much.

#2 Rehashing what was said and what should have been said makes me lose sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, evaluation of a conversation-gone-bad is a good thing. It’s important to challenge ourselves to always grow into a person who communicates respectfully and effectively. However, there’s a tipping point where evaluation turns into obsessive rehashing, and rehashing generally circles around the sarcastic remarks and jabs you wish you would have thought to use. And then, the focus shifts from asking yourself why things spun in a negative direction and how we could have stopped it. Instead, rehashing generally keeps the negative spin going. And this, my friends, is what leads me to lying awake THE WHOLE NIGHT living out the argument(s) over and over. Not good. I love sleep, so I hate it when I allow this to happen.

#3 Listing the reasons why I feel like a victim can re-write my identity.

So here’s the thing…I’m quickly approaching mid-life. (No, I’m not going to tell you my age.) And in all those years, I have struggled to really “come into my own skin” so to speak. It’s taken a stalker, marriage, motherhood, widowhood, remarriage, a blended family, being a step-mom, a whole lot of mistakes to learn from and a whole lot of good choices be proud of to get me to the place where I am confident in who I am. I can finally say that I actually like myself. But if I wallow around in all the bad memories and all the ways I feel like life has been hard, I will stop seeing the strong, confident, wise woman I know I am and instead see the small, vulnerable little girl I once identified as. I AM NOT a victim. (Go ahead, you can picture me yelling this to my problems.) Being a victim is a choice. We can either be a victim or an overcomer. I’m going with OVERCOMER.

So, that brings us full circle… surrounding ourselves with motivational truth truly is the way to go.

I remind myself how the hard choice to be a mother with rules and consequences really will pay off more in the long run than being the “fun” mom.

I remind myself that watering my own grass is far more effective than being envious of the green grass in someone else’s life.

I remind myself that I am truly blessed.

Life may be hard. But it’s also incredibly sweet. The bad days come. But they also go.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Learn how to overcome difficulties

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