One major obstacle I had to overcome after the divorce was the uncanny ability to see things that I didn’t want to see, things that would tend to bring me down rather than lift me up.
For example; sitting in church minding my own business I just happen to notice the couple up front snuggling next to one another, looking at each other lovingly, and enjoying the service. Or being at the park with my daughter and I notice the families enjoying the day together. Or as I am driving home I pass a nice house with people my age standing in front of it, and it must have cost $500,000.
Damn it! This was supposed to be my life… I had the wife and child, and we were well on our way to having a good middle-class life. After my wife left, I felt like I lost everything. Things simply weren’t happening the way I had planned, and for some reason, it was all I could see. I was coveting in a major way and boy was I jealous.
I know coveting is wrong and I know jealousy is wrong, and I know I did not want to live like this. I could envision the bitter old man that I would turn into while missing out on my relationship with my daughter. I wanted to make a change in my life and not be intimidated when I left home worrying about what I might feel or think, so I did something about it.
I changed my FOCUS! The old me was focusing on my loss. The new me was going to focus on the abundance that God had provided me. No more was I going to be a “cup half empty.” From, here on out it was a “cup half full” attitude. When we focus on the things we don’t have or that we desire we can tend to get caught up in either unhealthily pursuing them or obsessing about them in our heads, which only drives us crazy. It can make it hard to want to leave the house. This is no way to live, and it is no way to allow God to fulfill the desires of our hearts.
A great way to change your focus is to make a list of things that you are grateful for. At work, I have a list of 50 things that I am grateful for and these are the things I think of when I get into this kind of mindset. As Christians, our lives are not about living the American dream. I have seen people with far less than I glowing with the love of God and gratitude that God has provided them. It is amazing to meet people like this because it puts things into perspective.
From time to time you may feel this way, I know I do, but with a few deep breaths, a quick prayer of things I am thankful for the feeling usually goes away.