Tuesday, July 12, 2016

SUNSHINE - It Lives Within Us ALL

Sunshine; that was the name I was given in my trek family ten years ago and the nickname a dear young women's leader gave me the first time she met me. I absolutely loved it! My ma and pa told me I was always looking on the bright side, I was always smiling, and I was always happy and it was contagious. Having this nickname inspired me to be even more happy. The first day of trek, we arrived on a beautiful sunny day. We started to walk on the long journey we had ahead of us when the rains started to pour down upon us. Every one was complaining and miserable and quite honestly I was SO HAPPY! I felt so close to Christ, I felt so much help and comfort from the peace only he could offer. I would sing songs in my heart as we walked along the muddy dirt path as it started to get dark and I just couldn't stop smiling. No storm was going to take away my sunshine.

Lately I've been thinking back to that girl. Happiness was second nature to me because I had practiced optimism over and over and over again. Somehow I have gotten out of that habit. I've realized that I got so used to the storms in my life that I forgot that's it's okay to be happy. I forgot that I deserve happiness and it's God that wants me to be happy. I've been so fearful that He's going to take away my happiness that I allowed that fear to bring even more storms into my life. 

I got in the habit of finding something to worry about in every moment, I got in the moment of looking for the bad and seeking out the storms that I didn't even notice the sun when it was shining. I've realized the more time I spend feel sad or worried, the more selfish my heart becomes. And what makes this even worse is as a man thinketh, so is he (Provebs 23:7). If we think we are sad or are miserable, of course we become that way. We are here in this mortal world to learn how to take power over our thoughts and actions and the thoughts that we dwell upon become our reality. 

Also, if we are sending sunshine out into the world whether it be in our own friendships and relationships or even in our daily interactions with the mailman and grocer at the store, it comes back to us. If we are sending gloom and misery out into the world, that also comes back. It's this constant viscous cycle which is why we can easily start to believe that the sun will never shine. But I've found we each have a sunshine muscle within us. A muscle that can be built stronger and stronger through constant focus and dedication. If you believe there is sunshine in your heart, you will definitely find it there! 

USE your sunshine muscle, if it's hard to use it for yourself at the start, use it for others. Find someone you want to build, help, or inspire and be happy for them. Practice building that muscle through positive thinking, smiling, serving, laughing, complimenting, and thanking. What you send into the world will come back to you. And what you think about you bring about! 

Don't get discouraged by the habits you used to have that have fallen out of place. If you were that once, you most definitely can be that again. Especially when you have Christ on your team, he makes all weak things become strong. and you most definitely can be made perfect by coming unto Him. 

If you want hope and joy in your life - SCATTER SUNSHINE! Cheer, bless, and brighten everyone you come in contact with. (Alma 56:17)

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