With all the hearts that accompany Valentine's Day, I've been thinking about how key the heart is to contentment. Physical pain is connected specifically to the part of your body that has been injured, but the injured spirit or emotions is felt in the heart. A sinking heart. A broken heart. A light heart. We just seem to feel all of our emotions right in the center of our chest.
With physical pain rest is needed and some medications to speed healing. With the heart thankfulness is a great healer. I have a friend who has never known who her father is and probably never will. Instead of focusing on her loss, she is focusing on what she does have: The ability to insure that her daughter knows and has her father.
It's very easy to let the past or present pain we have experienced in our lives overwhelm the joy we should be enjoying from what we do have. I'm not saying that we should look at the pain of others and say, "we'll at least I'm not..... or I don't have...." Doing that doesn't heal the pain that you are really experiencing. But looking at your life honestly and saying, "Yes, this is happening and this is wrong, but I can do.......about it."
Learning to recognize what you do have control over and letting go that which you do not have control over is a great liberator. Honesty is the key in the ability to do that. Some blame others for what has happened to them. In many cases this is true (in some cases the pain we are experiencing is a direct result of bad decisions we have made), but what you choose to do with it is all up to you. When we say, "This has happened to me, I am a victim.", you are powerless. When we say, "This has happend to me or I created this mess, but I can/will do this...." you have just created fertile ground for a thankful heart to grow and progress to be made. Even if you can only make a tiny step forward, it is still a step forward.