I am a realist. I think it's important to be honest. You can't help someone unless you know their inner thoughts - all those sticky nasty opinions that contribute to their personality and current state of mind.
Being a counselor gives me another viewpoint. I can allow the client to play the tape of "everything that's wrong in my life" once - maybe twice. If I allow them to play it more than a few times, I can actually watch a physical change in their countenance. Their entire body language will change. If I let it continue, it will take me twice as long to bring them back to a place where I can help.
It's important to be honest about your situation and problems. But it is vitally important to your health that you find positive, uplifting things in your life. Be thankful for the little things. No matter how low on the totem pole of life, there is always something to be thankful for.
I don't remember who it was. It may have been a passage about Corrie Ten Boom, but don't quote it as such. It went something like this:
"I am so thankful." A person laying on a lice infected bed next to her said, "What do you have to be thankful for? What can anyone in the concentration camp be thankful for?"
"I am thankful that today I have meat with my rice. And look...there isn't any dirt in my rice. Isn't that wonderful." She savored her rice as if it were a luscious meal.
"That's not meat, it's a cockroach."
"Today, for me, it's meat."
It takes great courage to find something to be thankful for in that type of situation. It makes me sad when I listen to the stories of others here in America. Here where we have so much and it has been said that even the poorest American has more than some rich people in third world countries.
Jerry Parker sent me an e-mail that puts it beautifully. I hope you will enjoy this unusual way to look at our blessings.
I dreamed an angel was showing me the glories of Heaven. Our first stop was a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, "This is the Receiving Section. Here we receive all petitions sent in prayer to God."
The large receiving room was terribly busy with many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.
We continued to walk down a long corridor to the second section. The angel pointed, "This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I was amazed at the massive room and how every angel seems overwhelmed with work.
Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. Only one angel was seated idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment Section," the angel whispered. He seemed embarrassed.
"Why doesn't this angel have more work?" I asked.
"It's sad, isn't it?" The angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments.''
"How does one acknowledge God's blessings?" I asked.
"It's easy. Simply say thank you, Lord.''
"What blessings should they acknowledge?"
"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy. And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ... You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.
If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 700 million people in the world. If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.
If your parents are still alive and still married ...you are very rare. If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you're unique to all those in doubt and despair."
"Okay, what now? How can I start?"
ATTN: Acknowledge Dept.: Thank you Lord, for all your blessings and for giving me the ability to share this message and so many wonderful people to share it with.
Good reading, now go out and bless someone today with words of encouragement!
God loves you,