We all know those someones who lighten the atmosphere wherever they happen to be. Something about them lifts you when you are with them. Rather than a chore to be around, they energize you, almost relieving your own burden of cares. Just thinking about people like this makes me want to take a deep breath to breathe in the fragrance of delight they exude.
However whether or not you are one of those people who lights up a room, you still have the choice to be someone who is vitalized or drained by existence, who is an energizer or a drag to themselves and others, who delights in life or chases happiness with discontent. We make choices with each thought we allow to cycle and recycle through our minds. We recycle thoughts more than we think new ones. And much of what we rethink is negative.
Knowing that about one’s thinking empowers and helps one to be more attuned to one’s inner self, to identify what is undermining one’s successful direction, and to make different choices. One need not be stuck in a malaise. We can adjust our thinking and change our condition. One of my husband’s frequent one-liners to recalibrate our children’s thinking is, “It’s not what happens to you, it is what you do with it.” This is key to delight-directed living.
I think that concept is the reason my favorite books brought to screen are Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea. In the movie Anne epitomizes someone who delights in living no matter what comes her way. In one scene, Anne invites a boring, unhappy, spiteful schoolmarm to come home with her to Avonlea for the summer. Sure that Anne must not be sincere, the schoolmarm spews out about her miserable existence, then taunts Anne, insisting Anne can’t possibly understand since she has always had it so easy. Of course the miserable spinster doesn’t know the difficult rejection and trials Anne has experienced, yet persistently overcome. What happened to her made her stronger, wiser, better, because of what she did with it.
I am constantly in the middle of the process of gauging my own responses and evaluating my own mental rumination. Am I letting myself get bogged down in the muck and mire of negative recycled thought? If so, I have a choice; I need not believe the lies; I can change directions. If I am to live a delight-directed life, then I must be actively engaged in my responses, my thinking, and my living.
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:5)