How I’ve Changed My Attitude

Life gets you down, that’s life. I’m human, as are you. We criticize ourselves, and one another. We get caught up in the details of failure and overlook the big picture successes. We seek out faults in one another, instead of inspiring and encouraging each other. Competition can be healthy or harmful. Criticism can be helpful or destructive. Communication can be pivotal or trivial. Negativity can easily over power our daily interactions, and it’s an unfortunate part of life. You have to choose to be empowering, encouraging and enlightening.

Despite the negativity that is ‘naturally’ brought into life, positivity deserves to be acknowledged and spread. Life is hard as it is, why are we making ourselves and others more miserable than need be? Don’t you want to succeed? Don’t you want to be encouraged? Don’t you want to be motivated? If you’re like me, then you answered, “yes,” to those questions. We need to make a point of uplifting our peers, family and friends; and in turn, I can guarantee your heart will be made happy and your soul will feel good.

It’s been a little rocky lately, personally, emotionally. I’ve been struggling with the idea of going to college, despite my overwhelming excitement. I’ve been worried that I’m not going to be the strong, healthy girl who I’d planned on being, despite my hard work. I’ve been over thinking a lot of random details about my future self, despite my faith in Jesus to carry me through. I’m a bit confused about the direction of this life – not just in me but the whole world, despite the reassurance that hope brings. I’m conflicted in what to believe and what to say, despite the freedom I’ve been so graciously given. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to be more than I am ready to be, despite my motivation and determination. I’ve not been giving myself the love I thirst for, despite the countless hours in a day that I have. I feel as if I need to be doing more; I need to be saying more, acting more, praying more, living more, and serving more, even though my body is exhausted and fighting for itself.

I’m doing my best to have a Godly heart, a faith-filled soul, and a love-centered mind. So, the personal negativity I’ve been feeding myself needs to end. This past week or so I’ve been challenging myself everyday to journal about what I’m grateful for, what I think would make the day satisfying, and an affirmation that my mind needs to hear and see. I’ve seen a positive shift in my outlook on all things, and I’m beginning to notice the true beauty in life, no matter the circumstance. I’m opening my heart and mind to positive words and actions, and I can honestly tell you that I haven’t been this spiritually and emotionally positive in quite sometime.

As many of you know, my battle with Chronic Lyme Disease has been tough. The past couple of years have been rough, and I’ve not been completely honest with myself. I haven’t totally allowed myself to acknowledge the struggle I’ve gone through; and I haven’t quite let myself see what’s changed and what will come out of all this turbulence. Over the last week or so of journaling and truly diving into the Gospel, I’ve found a hope and strength in my faith that’s been missing for a few years. I still have a lot of work to do to get healthy; but since the end of November I’ve been fairly cognitively clear, and my memory is progressively coming back. I’m making improvements and the progress is finally being recognized and I’m giving myself the love and time I need.

I’ve always been pretty positive, and I’ve always had a heart for others – suffering and thriving. I’ve done my best to try to find Jesus in everyone, and I work hard to maintain my faith in God. I’ve always appreciated my family, and the support and care they’ve provided. I’ve always tried my hardest to seek understanding and love in every situation. That’s the nature of my heart. And I’m so incredibly grateful for that.

Now, I am working harder to see the good in the bad, the light in the dark, and the triumphs over the trials. I don’t believe God purposefully gives us a few bad cards. I do believe that He gives us the tools, resources and connections to deal with life’s unfortunate events in the most positive of ways. I encourage you to seek Him in whatever season of life you’ve been dealt, happy or sad; and I want to be a resource or connection for you if you need. My gratitude is greater, my faith is stronger, my love is more abundant, and my heart is open wider. I am here to say that life is life, but God is so great. He provides, ALWAYS, as long as you seek Him, He is ready for you.

I’m determined to use my talents, gifts and qualities from God for a greater purpose. I want to serve others in all that I do. I’m inspired by my fellow Lymies, my friends, my parents, my brother, and so many others to use what I’ve been given and run with it. I’m ready to get creative and I’m ready to live fully, completely, in all that this life presents.

I had been forgetting about my tattoo for the last several months, and it’s freaked me out sometimes, like I forgot that I have it. However, in the last couple of weeks, the words that are permanently etched into my side have filled me with inspiration and motivation. “She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.” I’m never alone, and life can hit hard, but I always have a way to stay afloat. Thank you, Jesus. Those words have begun to resonate with me again, just as they had for a couple of years prior. The gospel continues to guide me, and shape my heart and mind. My yoga practice/teacher training continues to strengthen me, both physically and emotionally. And lastly, music is once again playing an uplifting role in my continuous faith story, as well as my journey from sickness to health. I’ve been listening to quite a bit of music in the last several weeks, and I want to share some songs that have really hit my soul hard. I encourage you to listen to them all, and really take in the lyrics. Take the music for what it is, love it or hate it, it’s truly helped me find reason and purpose in this trial.

Chain Breaker – Zach Williams (Motivational, inspirational, encouraging, uplifting, reassuring, positive.)

Breathe – Jonny Diaz (This song is a great reminder, and I hope you can take something out of it.)

Shoulders – for KING & COUNTRY (I love this band, and they have a sister who battled Chronic Lyme, and their music always seems to radiate through me.)

From the Day – I Am They (This song will make you dance, I promise, your heart will be singing.)

Hoping – X Ambassadors (This is a recently released secular song, but the message rings true to what my heart needs to hear.)

One Of Us – New Politics (Another recently released song, that hit me. *note this isn’t a completely clean song)

I know that I’ll still mess up here and there, life may hit me hard once in a while, and I may falter against my own will. But, that’s okay, because I’m human, and Christ is my healer, protector and savior. ALWAYS. I’m not going to quit living the life I’ve been living, I’m just going to enhance the way I act, move, love, speak, think and forgive.

Live your life to the fullest, because you have no idea when it’s going to change. As cliché as that sounds, it’s true. We are all in the right place, for the right now. Take what you’ve got, use it to the best of your ability, learn from it, and run with it.

Be gracious, have faith, remain hopeful, love hard, and uplift yourself and others in His name and glory.

Xoxo,
Elise Hendrickson

“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”

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