I went out to mow and do other yard work this morning but I had to come back inside because it started to rain. It's a nice dark dreary cloudy day outside. The type of day that makes you just want to go inside, curl up and take a nap. I find it interesting how weather can affect a person's mood. People tend to be happier when it's a nice sunny day outside or they are down and depressed when the weather is gloomy. I should not be surprised though. It's interesting how a bad mood can not only be perpetual but it can go viral.
I have no idea how many times I've taken the kids to school and they are down in the dumps and grumpy and I ask them what is wrong with them and they tell me, "today is going to be the worst day of my life!" Why?? "It just is!" They have not even gotten to school yet and they have already decided that the day is going to be bad. Then I try to convince them to go inside with a smile on their face and see what happens. It may end up being a good day.
Oh, but if I would only heed my own advice. I have no idea how many times I've gone to work thinking, "blahhhhhhh----Tonight is my first night back to work. I don't want to be here. I'd rather be at home. I can think of a million other places I'd rather be at then here." And lo and behold--that attitude carries through and the night ends up being bad. It's not bad because of anything that happens or what anyone does to me. It's bad because I made it bad myself.
Then the problem arises in that misery loves company. You go into work with a bad attitude and you tend to gravitate towards someone else with a bad attitude and next thing you know, you are complaining to each other about how bad things are and you start building on each other's bad day. You start feeding on each other's negativity. You start tearing other people down. You start gossiping. Then, like a whirlpool, you start bringing other people in who aren't having a bad day and put them in bad moods. You start creating drama.
Then, that bad morning, turns into a bad day and before you know it, morale is low and the work environment is just a bad place to be. Before you know it, no one wants to work there. Why? Because, while people will do a lot for a paycheck, in the end, they just want to be happy.
There may be a lot of outside influences that cause a bad work environment. Such as not getting a pay raise and the city is after your other benefits. There may be bosses who make things difficult for you for whatever reason. The higher ups impose policies and procedures that make your job more difficult. Things that other people do are out of your control. You can not let what other people do influence your attitude.
One of my favorite stories is told my St. Therese of Lisieux. There was a nun in the convent who was really mean and rude to St. Therese and naturally, St Therese did not have a high opinion of this nun. But she showed nothing but love and compassion towards this lady. Finally, one day, the nun came to Therese and asked, "why is it that you love me so." In reality, Therese could not stand the lady. But she let the love of Christ shine through her.
That is what we have to do. We have to let Christ shine through us. Perhaps we need to stop what we are doing and make a conscious decision to have a good attitude. Perhaps we need to actually make ourselves physically smile and put on an outward sign of happiness. It's amazing how many times that outward appearance works it's way inside and makes us happy. Maybe we need to go to Our Lord in prayer and say, "Lord, I'm having a bad day. Let your love work through me and make everyone happy." Another thing to do is to dedicate everything we do to God.
We should not go through life all gloomy and sullen. We were made to be happy. God wants us to be happy. It's the Devil who wants us sad. Don't let the Devil win. Be happy.
Hand coloured photographs of 19th-century Japan
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