I must admit I’ve had my own year of negative thought. 2020 gave itself easily to looking at the worst of a situation rather than the best. After a time, I found that it really caused my writing to suffer. I even found my characters were negative.
I looked at the things going on around me as we cruised into 2021 and realized that if I was going to eliminate what my son calls “stinkin’ thinkin’” I was going to have to take the bull by the horns. No one else is going to transform our sorrows and negativities. We must do it for ourselves.
The first thing I vowed to do was wake up with positive words on my lips. Even if I didn’t feel them, I spoke them into being. My grunting and groaning turned into praises and gratitude. I’ve heard people joke about the difference it makes as to whether wake up saying:
“Good God, it’s morning!” or “Good morning, God!”
It truly does make a difference. I started looking at ways to be positive even if was just to be grateful for a comfortable bed—hot water to wash my face—a job to go to. In 1952, Norman Vincent Peale wrote The Power of Positive Thinking, a book I have yet to read—but really plan to—someday when I have time. It sold millions, and I’ve heard over and over how it greatly impacted lives. Being positive changes things.
In my case, creativity brings out the positive in me. I decided to start a new quilt project and a new embroidery project. I also decided to watch or read at least one thing every day that focused on creativity. That could be a show on doing something artistic, or building a new house, or cooking. It could be an article like this, or a story about people working together in their community. It just needed to be focused on creating.
As a Christian, I also decided to give more time to prayer that praised God for the things that were truly a blessing in my life. To keep track of those things, I started writing them down so that when I felt blue or out of sorts, I could reference all the positive things I had in my life.
And last, but not least, I decided to do something to encourage others. Nothing is quite so energizing and uplifting to the soul as reaching out to touch the life of someone else. It doesn’t have to be a big or expensive thing to make an impact on another person. I like to send cards to folks or give them a call. Sometimes I get little gifts for people, but mostly I try to share words of love. So many people are longing just to hear that someone cares. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make.
Being positive has a healing effect. The negative takes so much away from us. Loss is everywhere, and confinement has done nothing but leave us feeling isolated and blue. So rather than giving negativity power over me, I’ve chosen to take charge, and you can too.
Again, it doesn’t have to be a big change, just start small and work your way up. You can do it! I believe in you!
Tracie Peterson is an award-winning, best-selling author of over 100 books. Having given her heart to Jesus at the young age of six, Tracie has always felt called to some form of ministry, and writing fulfills that mission field.
Tracie received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings’ Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership’s vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.
In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers.
Throughout her writing career Tracie has found time to speak at writer’s conferences where she has a special heart for new authors. She is often joined by her husband Jim, whose background in history offers new authors insight into research. Besides teaching at conferences, Tracie also at one time managed Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents book line – overseeing the production of 52 books a year. Tracie teaches at women’s conferences around the country and shares her testimony and insight for Christian living through the eyes of an author passionately in love with her Heavenly Father.
Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests, including USA “Best Books 2011” Awards, best Religious Fiction for Embers of Love!
Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family–especially her three grandchildren–Rainy, Fox and Max..