With difficult times around us, families need positive energy. We need positive energy because positive energy produces positive thought. If we have positive thought, then our families are at peace even with trials upon us. Our homes can be a place of refuge, and positive thinking will push away negative energy, which tends to pull us down emotionally.
Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often mistakenly called the Mormon Church), very appropriately quoted William James in a First Presidency message of the church magazine, The Ensign, for January of 2012: “William James, a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher, wrote, ‘The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.’ President Monson goes on to say,
So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment.
We can choose peace and contentment, as President Monson says, and we can change our inner attitude. When we are experiencing great trials, those with positive energy and positive thinking will see life much differently, even though we are experiencing these great trials. We all need to be uplifted and peaceful to fill our spirits with positive thoughts. At times our lives may seem hopeless with trials too much to bear, but with a determination to keep ourselves positive, our spirits can soar.
It is touching to read quotes from those who came before us and how they feel about staying positive. From Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
The late Zig Ziglar said: “You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.”
Oprah Winfrey says it this way: “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”
One of the most amazing words came from a very surprising, unexpected source. For those who are old enough to remember Groucho Marx, originally made popular with his brothers in vaudeville and then who went on to make movies as “The Marx Brothers,” he said something amazing: “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
How can we continue to keep positive energy in our homes, so we can continue positive thoughts? A few simple tips can help us.
1. Keep uplifting music, movies and books in our homes: If we continue to listen or watch negative or adverse entertainment, including video games, then our negative energy goes up, which then translates into negative thought. That’s why scripture reading each night is so important. It counteracts the entire negative we hear and see. Keep uplifting entertainment in the home as well as reading uplifting words, and your home will feel at peace.
2. Keep watch of what we say: Hurtful words can be as swords to our spirits. If all we hear are complaints and disparaging words, then negative energy is created, which creates negative thought. Name calling and swearing is out. Uplifting words encourage positive energy. It can’t always be perfect, but if we always try, then we are moving in a positive direction.
3. Pray together as a family: Even when everyone doesn’t feel like it, prayer is important. It brings a calmness into the home you cannot get in any other way. It doesn’t have to be a long or fancy prayer. Just pray.
4. Remember to have fun: Times are tough, but we still have to remember to have fun. I remember seeing a father and son throw a baseball to each other in the street a few days after the 9/11 attack. Investing in fun time is a requirement for positive energy, which lightens the emotional load for the whole family.
Children will remember the fun times and the feeling they have when they are at home when there is positive energy. Making homes a refuge with positive energy and thought will get us through the difficult times. The power of positive thought is necessary for a happy home.
This article was written by Valerie Steimle, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Despite being born and raised a Yankee, Valerie Steimle moved to southern Alabama with her husband and nine children and have found herself partial to the south. She has always been passionate about strengthening families and despite being busy with her own, felt compelled to write about it. Starting with a column in the local newspaper, she has since published several books regarding family issues. During that time her husband passed away suddenly and she was left to raise her five youngest children alone. She has moved forward with faith however, and has found happiness in her God, her family and her writing.