The Best Holiday Diet

My title seems to imply food and some new trick to avoid eating it.  But actually it's a diet of thinking.  You consume with your mind and your spirit many more harmful things than excess calories. Are you finding this time of year to be a painful experience you must endure rather than look forward to with joy? It eats at you.

Bo Stern, author of When Holidays Hurt, offers an insightful suggestion.  If you are entering into this holiday season with dread because you are anticipating a painful experience, you can be proactive in how you live through it.

She suggests fasting.  Not a fast of food, but a fast of negativity.  This is not to deny that your losses are real and the emotions are raw;  the weight of your grief still sits on your heart.  No, all of the realities you have experienced are not going to magically disappear or change back into what used to be in better times.  However, you don't have to relinquish authority over your life to the power of your reality.  You can give it its place, a proper place, which recognizes its existence; but that place need not be at the center of your moment.

Moment?  Yes, think of it; you can only live in the moment you currently occupy.  An hour ago will not repeat itself.  There are no "do-overs"; and the hour from now can't be touched until it arrives.  But this moment-- a single moment-- is within your grasp and can be influenced by your choices.

There's an old saying: "Every cloud has a silver lining." 

I have observed that habitually negative people can find a cloud within that silver lining.  Have you noticed how negative people drain your energy?  Do you realize that sometimes you are that person?  But you can change this by deciding to fast.  Fast from negative comments.

Do you really need to say "that"?   You can avoid using negative words to describe anything.  You could just zip your lips.   Abstain from dwelling on what's wrong or what's missing.  Decide to not criticize, condemn, or complain about anything.

Instead, determine to worship.  God is there with you in that moment.  Find Him in the room and dwell with Him.  Be thankful.  Feast on gratitude.

From a Roman prison,  the Apostle Paul, wrote to a house church in Philippi: 

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness (kindness) be known to all ...  The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-7)

That'show you handle your negative stuff.  Now, here's how to think; he says:

"...whatever things are true...noble (honorable)...just...pure (acceptable to God)...lovely...of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things."  (v. 8)

The best spiritual diet affects what comes out of your mouth.