By Daneen James
“Live by grace, not perfection”, the words of the sign posted on the back wall of my office. I have a tendency toward overthinking and perfectionism. The sign reminds me not to take myself too seriously and to extend myself grace. Whenever I obsess over something being less than "perfect" or I'm paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake. I look at the sign and literally breathe a sigh of relief.
The Good News
Though it's taken me some time to understand. No matter how hard we try, our talent and effort aren't enough. They were never intended to be. Our role is contribution. We can choose how to focus our energy, effort and attention. But God controls the outcome, He's responsible for the results. When we try to operate in God’s territory, we get frustrated, feel stressed and become overwhelmed. Anytime I feel myself drifting into God’s realm, I laugh. It helps me release and reset. In fact, I’ve found humor to be a wonderful tool for maintaining balance in my life.
When did you last laugh?
Do you remember the last time you laughed? I don’t mean a giggle or a smile. But the kind of laughter that erupts from a place deep within. Forces you on to your side. Tears come down your face. Your stomach muscles hurt and your cheeks ache, but afterwards you feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted. Everything seems just a little better, a little brighter. Do you remember, was it recent?
The research is clear, laughter offers a host of mental and physical benefits (https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm):
Here's a little encouragement...
Explore and experiment. Do something every day that lightens your mood, then repeat.
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