August 8, 2011

Count Your Blessings

I am not great at processing my emotions. I forget to express gratitude, I can clam up when I am angry, and sadness makes me introspective. In all fairness this is partly because I just don't feel really comfortable spewing my feelings all over the place. What can I say I am a big fan of the Vulcans.

Therefore I have mastered two different emotional art forms fairly well;

One is the art of the big smile. Depending on a) how turbulent my feelings are and b) how much lead time I have (where the greater the value for 'a' the greater I need 'b' to be as well) I can normally develop a big grin and go about my day. In fact given enough lead time, and a long enough period of grinning I will even find myself forgetting about the sea of emotions in my heart and enjoy the day.

The second art is that of being alone. Now this has become somewhat harder since I got married and had children. It is difficult to check out for a day and get lost into a video game (or some other medium) until my mood improves but never the less I still try. Now sometimes this means I shift my workload from face time with people to office time with books. After all books rarely ask, 'what's bothering you', and I typically don't read the ones that do.

Of course both of these strategies belong to the same family of dealing with emotions; avoidance. And while avoidance may be a fine plan when the things that are bothering you are minor it hardly is an effective long term plan.

Given that the last few months have been somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster for me I thought I ought to try out a new strategy. Like the old folk hymn suggests I will 'Count My Blessings'

In that light here are some of my blessings;

1. I am in a right relationship with God
2. My wife and I love each other
3. My wife and I get along with each other
4. I have a wonderful son
5. I have a wonderful daughter
6. I have a home to live in
7. I have a good relationship with my extended family
8. There is amply food and water in my home
9. While we don't have a lot of money we have enough
10. I am skilled at what I do
11. I love what I do
12. I am in good health
13. I live in a peaceable country
14. I am safe
15. I have a number of good friends
16. I have a number of people who are my mentors 
17. I have been working with a great team of people all summer
18. I am generally spoken well of.
19. I have had the opportunity to make the difference in a great many lives already.
20. I have many personal outlets of enjoyment (this blog, gaming, reading)
21. I have more unlisted blessings...

There that is 20, sort of 21. How about you, can you list 20+ blessings right now no matter how you feel? Go ahead and add any number of blessings to the comment stream. I would be thrilled to read about even one thing that God is doing in your life and you'll be glad you to be reminded of it as well.