It is truly possible to be joyous within the midst of tragedy. No, not happy, but positive even when the most horrible situations have enveloped us.
This is a process that takes time, not a quick-fix pill. Five ways to develop a positive attitude that resonates regardless of circumstances include:
- Understand that the current moment “is what it is” and the immediate moment can’t be changed. Accept it. You don’t have to like it but acknowledge and accept it. This will help melt anxiety away in the present.
- Recognize that worry is not beneficial, of no value, and is actually useless, worthless, and needless. This is much harder to believe internally than to agree to logically. But understanding and really getting a grip on the fact that worry provides no benefit, and is useless, is a very liberating truth. Someone might say, well this just means “you don’t care.” No, the actual reality is different. This truth won’t make someone a slacker. It is more likely to increase performance, since they are no longer hindered by their worry.
- Understand that cheerfulness is the best life strategy for dealing with all circumstances (including tragedy). Again, this is something that must transcend intellectual belief into heart-felt belief, through consistent repetitive action. We can mourn while still choosing to be hopeful and cheerful. It is a conscious choice to focus on better things.
- Pay attention to your thoughts and take conscious control of them. Reject the automatic negative thoughts that come up and replace them. Work at it. Don’t let the easiest, most automatic thoughts and responses rule your mind. Make a deliberate change. It will take effort. Be aware of your thoughts then redirect them. Repeat over and over daily.
- Take action in positive ways. Do good things for yourself and others. Don’t expect repayment or anything in return. Work toward a goal. Resist the temptation to be stagnant or frozen in inaction.
People can be positive and still be realists. Being positive doesn’t mean fairy tales and lollipops, or that everything goes your way. No, the goal is to be positive regardless of what bad things come your way. Because, face it, bad things do come to everyone. You can’t count on your positive thinking to create good outcomes. Being positive regardless of circumstance is a more carefree lifestyle, but it is not careless or uncaring.
There are a lot of motivational speakers out there that talk about positive attitude with an emphasis on the results you get from it. This is wrong. It creates an outcome based scenario where bad things make you stumble or reassess what you know you should be doing or thinking.
Most importantly, I believe our Elohim intends for us to live this way, rejoicing in Him regardless of circumstance.
For even if the fig tree doesn’t blossom, and no fruit is on the vines, even if the olive tree fails to produce, and the fields yield no food at all, even if the sheep vanish from the sheep pen, and there are no cows in the stalls; still, I will rejoice in Adonai, I will take joy in the God of my salvation. ~~ Habakkuk 3: 17-18
Always be joyful. Pray regularly. In everything give thanks, for this is what God wants from you who are united with the Messiah Yeshua. ~~ 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Regard it all as joy, my brothers, when you face various kinds of temptations; for you know that the testing of your trust produces perseverance. ~~ James 1: 2-3
Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these trials is so that your trust’s genuineness, which is far more valuable than perishable gold, will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua the Messiah. ~~ 1 Peter 1: 5-7
Rejoice in union with the Lord always! I will say it again: rejoice! Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are. The Lord is near! Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua. In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy. ~~ Philippians 4: 4-8