“Have you really considered how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused? (T64)”
Affirmation: “I will gladden myself today.”
1 – We Can Be Happier!
This is a message of extreme optimism. We can be happier! Jesus says that we have actually turned aside moments of joy, turning again to depressed thoughts. How wrong of us!
2 – Personal Experience
My most vulnerable time is first thing in the morning. I have a tendency to look quickly ahead to my day and not be too excited about what I see. But this is insanity. I have a good life, and it is only bio-chemicals in my brain that are leading me to see something different. So what do I do? Most importantly, I put one foot in front of the other, and keep going. I fix breakfast, I enjoy a good breakfast with my husband, I give thanks for the many blessings that are mine. Also, I get outside in the sunshine, because light helps the mood. At the first opportunity, I make a list of all for which I am grateful. And I mull over this list. It is indeed a blessed life that I live! And when the day wears on a bit, I will recognize that. The mind, with God’s help, does rise above any sense of depression.
3 – When to Seek Help
If I were clinically depressed, having short-term memory loss and the like, I would seek medical help. I would not suffer alone. If this is not the case, though, there are simple things that we can do in any given day not to be disheartened.
4 – Make a List
Gladdening is a personal experience. What would please you, might not please me. It is up to each of us to make a mental list of those things that gladden our day. And then refer to that mental list often, until the bad mood lifts.
5 – Pure Joy and Limitless Release
It would be a useful practice for all of us to look upon the day as full of opportunities to gladden ourselves. Elsewhere Jesus asks us to think of pure joy and limitless release in our daily lives. This passage is a reiteration of this request.
6 – Remember Today’s Passage
It is a serious mistake to refuse to entertain joy. We make our lives much harder than they need to be as a result. Would that we might remember this passage often when faced with a day that seems filled with woe!
May I be happy today, in all the moments of my day. May I not succumb to depressed thoughts, but choose instead to find moments in which to gladden myself.
I have sometimes withdrawn into depression rather than to seek the way out to better thinking. Optimism can be cultivated. May I do so today.