By Tiffany Chartier

Special to the Prosper Press

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” - William Shakespeare

We are surrounded by changing circumstances and personalities – some universally thought to be decent or dreadful; others, subjectively interpreted. Either way, our thinking sets the stage for how well we handle ourselves and others. And the quality of our thoughts today echoes into the quality of our future.

Look at the last month. Where or with whom did you divvy up the bulk of your emotional energy? Did you overinvest in worry and underinvest in prayer? Did you give another too much authority in determining your peace?

This week I became aware of two separate incidents where someone took exception to how they were being treated. Both understandable. The first person was upset that someone went behind her back and spoke ill of her, attempting to discredit her accomplishments and character. The second person was miffed that someone did not value her input, pushing her aside like an ignorant child.

During this same time, my daughter was busy practicing her flute for a state competition. I heard the same piece of music played so many times that I was consciously and subconsciously humming the tune throughout the day.

One thing I noticed: I did not hum my daughter’s mistakes. The tune in my head was fluid, not messy. Yet, I heard her make mistake after mistake while practicing. Why was the song in my head complete, beautiful and graceful?

Here is my answer: When I think upon my daughter, I see her as complete, beautiful and graceful. I do not see her mistakes. I see the child whom I love.

“When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad.” – Miles Davis

Wrong notes in life are real and often felt as much as heard. We can become bruised by the hit. Yet, hearing of an offense or listening to another criticize us has no power until we give power to the emotion it evokes. What is most important is the next note.

When we put into practice the song of our soul, we soon realize we are part of something greater. We are not a solo act trying to be heard or understood over the clamor of life’s chaos. In the surrender of self, we give harmonic support to the main theme: God’s love. By His mercy and grace, we begin to see people as God sees them – a child whom He loves.

Wrong notes do not define. We know they are often messy (just like us). Yet, God uses our flaws and frustrations to demonstrate His power, making our next note bolder and brighter. He does not hum our mistakes. Instead, God sparks echoes of love and strength into our future – gifting us grace.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May we take inventory of the way we spend our emotional energy. Are we repeatedly humming our mistakes or the transgressions of others? Or are we focused on the quality of our thinking, knowing God is the composer?

Play your next note. Give it a life of courageous love - give it soul.

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian Author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.