Ann Voskamp concludes Chapter 7 of One Thousand Gifts with six principles for seeing the joy that is deeply hidden in moments of woundedness:
1. We are not required to change what we see, only the way we see.
2. Our commitment to the hard practice of seeing must be intentional. Otherwise we’re like the Children of Israel in the wilderness- angry, frustrated, empty.
3. Positive thinking won’t eliminate negative feelings. Ann cites scientific researcher and professor Rollin McCraty, who states that negative feelings can only be fought with other, positive feelings:
“In the absence of conscious efforts to engage, build, and sustain positive perceptions and emotions, we all too automatically fall prey to feelings such as irritation, anxiety, worry, frustration, self-doubt and blame.”
4. We’re only able to experience one emotion at a time. Ann says that if we express thanks, it’s absolutely impossible to feel angry.
5. Like Jacob, who wrestled with God and wouldn’t let go until he received a blessing, when we beg to see the blessings “all faces become the face of God.”
6. The secret to joy, Ann emphasizes, is to “keep seeking God where we doubt He is.”