Not Feeling Joyful this Year

Dear Friends,

On Sunday I received an email from a long time FlyBaby who lives in France. She grew up in the United States and had just returned home after spending time with her family. She was saddened by the division that she saw and felt during her visit. She seemed to be upset with me because I was touting Joy, happiness, and Peace on Earth.

I talked to my sister about this. Paddi has studied this for many years to get her PhD in Counselling. She said, our members are more affected by negativity than others in the world because they are so kind and sensitive. Some become horribly bitter and angry from the negativity, that it clouds their vision of anything that is good, or lovely, or kind.  They seem to have become infected by it rather than inoculated and trying to make the world a better place they begin to be a part of the negative that they once despised.  It is so sad to see this happen because one person can make a difference.

The month of December is all about taking care of you. Perfectionism is “All or Nothing” thinking. When we don’t see anything good, the negative takes over our lives. We have to look for the positive. I like to call it the Pollyanna way of living. It is an attitude of gratitude.

I know from experience that travel is exhausting at any age and being in transit for twenty-four hours can weigh heavily on our emotions. There are some things I have control over and there are things I have no control. Here are some rules that I live by. I almost typed “Love” and it may be the most appropriate word here. It is because I Love Myself that I have instituted these rules.

1.    When you travel, take time to rest when you get home. Travel is supposed to be fun but when you are exhausted it takes a toll on your emotional health. Take breaks.

2.    If something bothers you, like the news or a Twitter feed; declutter it. I moved my Facebook app to a second screen on my phone. I only see things that bring me joy. Negative people I unfriend.

3.    I can’t change others; I can only change how I react to things.

4.    Live by the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

5.    When I feel my patience getting short; I HALT! I examine if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired/Thirsty.

6.    What doesn’t matter, just doesn’t matter. This goes back to the Serenity Prayer. If I can’t change something, then I have to let it go. It is my perfectionism that wants to fix things.

7.    I limit my consumption of news from the television. If I want to know something, I find the source and read a transcript instead of listening to a talking head or reading a commentary that is trying to influence my thinking.

8.    My home is my sanctuary. I don’t pollute my personal environment with the outside world. I keep it pleasant for us; decluttered and orderly, aroma of a meal being cooked, and the sound of beautiful music instead of talking heads.

9.    Every night I thank God for the blessings in my life. This is my Gratitude List.

10.    I laugh every day! Most of the time it is at myself.

11.    And the last rule I live by is to love like there is no tomorrow. I close out conversations on the phone with Love You! Love is all we really have to give. It is our actions that show love. Loving even the people who do us wrong can change our attitudes!
These simple rules help me to not get depressed by the state of the world. We can only change what is in our control! We can control the CHAOS by cleaning our own corner of the world.

Here is a message that needs repeating.

Dear Friends,

Every day we are confronted by disaster, negativity, and terror in our world. Our hearts go out to all the families who have been hurt. There are no words to explain this senseless act. There is evil in the world.

Most of the time evil works in small ways to take you away from your family. If you have ever read the Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis; you understand this. I try to listen to this book at least once a year.

We have survived terrible tragedies from human hands and mother nature. The loss of lives never gets easy to stomach. I do know that I have to turn off the television. Listening to the news go “on and on” does nothing but hurt me. I can’t kiss the boo boo and make it all better. All I can do is pray! and give blood!

I know many of you are hurting. It is time to focus our energies on making our homes a sanctuary. Evil wins when we give into the pain we are feeling.

Many years ago, we got an amazing testimonial from Israel. I have sent it out several times in our history. I love you all!

Dear Dear FlyLady,

I live in the part of the world characterized right now by violent conflict, armed struggle and terror.  Lots of terror. So, what a gift to have found you and to have found you now.  You have helped me to create a haven on the inside to where everyone can enjoy a welcoming and loving place to come home to.

Used to be, as soon as anyone walked in the door, they were greeted with a long list of complaints and chores to finish up, get on with and do better.  Thank God you taught me that housework done imperfectly still blesses your family.  I’ve learned that I can do fifteen minutes a day, and develop healthy and effective routines to lighten our load, and make the day to day life around the house less stressful, no, even nice, pleasant.

There is no need to pressure anyone else to do the chores, because most days I get them done myself.  In fact, they hardly feel like chores anymore.  And when I get up off my franny and stop yelling at everybody else to get things done, they pitch in far more than I expect.  I have six kids, aged 3 – 19, work at a demanding payroll job with ridiculous hours.  I came home the other morning after working all night and found my sinks shining??!!

But what I really need to thank you for today goes even further than all of that.  In our current situation I have grown to regard my enemy with hate. Nothing more nothing less.  I saw this message, and thought how could I possible begin to pray for my enemy.  I want to hate them.  They are horrible.  But then I thought, if I continue to hold on to hatred, my kids will probably hold on to hatred, and their kids will, and so on, and it would never end.  I figured that everything else that you say makes sense, I’ll give this a try.  So I began to pray to God to soften the hearts of my enemy.  To make them see my good side, to endear me to them.  To let them want peace.  I don’t know what its doing for them, but Suddenly I find that MY heart has been softened.  My hatred is melting, I am able to see their good side.

Thank you sweet FlyLady for helping me let peace into my home and into my heart.
Starting to get off the ground in Israel.

FlyLady here: What can you do right now to focus on making your house a haven of peace?

Get Dressed to Lace-up Shoes!
Start dinner!
Make your bed!
Set the table for dinner
Swish and swipe the bathroom

If you are suffering with hatred toward someone, I can help you learn how to pray for them. If you will send me an email to FlyLady@flylady.net with PRAY FOR SOMEONE in the subject line. I will automatically send you my essay on this very important subject.

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