A few years back I gave up my negative attitude for Lent. I made myself look for the silver lining in every cloud, made myself not say anything if I couldn’t think of something positive to say, and I gave hope a fighting chance. To say that experience was life-altering would be an understatement of epic proportions. If it takes 21 days to create a habit, then in 40 days, I’d created a new attitude for myself.
Not that there aren’t days when the black cloud doesn’t follow me around. I still spend too much time waiting for it to rain on my parade and when my life is going well, I wait for the other shoe to drop. Something is going to come along and ruin this perfect (thing), I just know it. I can’t help myself. A little bit of the negative still remains.
So a dear friend of mine (who suffers from this same perspective affliction) and I decided that it was time for the black cloud and his silly little shoe to take a hike and Lent was the perfect time to do it. We agreed to feel our way through Lent, good or bad, and live each day as if the black cloud had disappeared… and if she rained on us, then we’d feel through the rain, too.
Within 24 hours after making this choice, I was blind sighted left, right, sideways, upright and upside down. By the end of the week, I felt like a battered rag doll in a thunderstorm, rather than a victorious seeker of God. Still, I managed to keep the black cloud at bay, but not before I’d shed many tears and wondered aloud when the storm would stop.
Sunday morning, I took my battered self to God and begged Him to heal my hurts and to save me from myself (again, ad nauseum). We sang, “We are free, remind us we are free, God is good, remind us you are good…” and I just let it all go… eventually, that afternoon. I chose light. I chose to go barefooted – to heck with the shoe! I chose not to dwell on the black cloud that gave chase. I merely rested in God’s arms and let the rest go.
When I was a kid, after it would rain, I would go run and jump in the puddles barefooted and that’s what I’m trying to do now. Whatever comes my way, I’ll work my way through it and enjoy it or endure it for what it is. It’s all about how I choose to look at the situation and how I deal with it.
If it takes 21 days to create a habit, then in 40 days, I hope to create another point of view for myself. When the black cloud comes for a visit, or I begin to look for falling shoes, I’ll go barefoot puddle jumping and feel the wonder of it all.