“As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.” – James Allen –
Recently, my husband received a rejection e-mail from the jury of an art show he’s participated in several times before. Doubting thoughts rose to the surface and threatened to influence his self-esteem.
He had a choice.
Would he allow those thoughts to take root, or would he move on and trust that something greater was ahead?
There was a time when a rejection notice would spark worry. He’d wonder if he could provide a decent income, and whether he had what it took to make it in such a competitive field. Now he allows rejection notices to be a learning opportunity.
He looks at how he can strengthen his work, and how he can hone his presentation for future juries. He chooses to quickly move on from the bad news and focus on having stronger displays at the shows he’s invited into.
It ends up being a win/win.
Do you ever find yourself moving along with positive thoughts, only to be sidetracked by a worry worm? Are you able to stop it before it becomes full-blown?
Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Isn’t that true? Our thoughts often take us to places of conjecture, yet we hardly ever see those things come to pass.
What if we choose a better thought instead?
According to research, our thoughts are the springboard that affects everything else in our life; body, soul, and spirit. For most of us, we start our days with a measure of optimism until a worry starts working its way into our mind. Things can quickly spiral downward from there unless we grab hold of a better possibility and re-frame those thoughts. During trying times, our thoughts are what make or break us.
As a woman living in her 5th decade, I know what it’s like to encounter daily trials, along with season-long ones. I’ve had critical moments when I could choose to believe the worst about a situation, or I could grab onto a better thought that would ultimately affect my heart and the outcome.
I’ve done both and I prefer the better thought.
When I first heard about my mom’s bladder cancer, I had a sense of peace come over me. I was convinced she could beat it and keep her bladder in tact. I don’t know why I had that sense, but I went with it. Maybe it was my belief that God could heal her, or maybe it was my belief in the alternative therapy she was choosing. Most likely it was both. As we walked through the months ahead, there were times when her fear threatened to suck the life from my belief and in those moments, I could choose to give in to that fear, or stand strong. I found myself saying, “Mom, you can beat this. God has given you a strategy and you will experience healing.”
Months later, no cancer was found.
When a different trial was under my own roof, positive thoughts were harder to grab hold of. It was a process. Some days, my faith rose to the higher perspective, others were a battle. Eventually, I realized it was a choice. My emotions could run me or I could run them.
That choice is still there—daily.
I’m not an ignore the pain and it will go away kind of person. That’s not a good thought at all. I’m more of a, let’s get it all out on the table and see what other point of view can bring peace, hope, and rest kind of gal. I personally like to bring God into the equation because I think His thoughts are brilliant. He never says, “Oops! Don’t know what we’ll do about THAT!”
Thoughts are the garden I’ve been given to tend. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate.”
But why should we tend it?
The medical world, Jesus, and even sports authorities all agree: what we think about heavily influences how we feel and perform. Thought-life greatly affects our quality of life. According to Psychologist Betty W. Phillips, “Science tells us that our thought fields extend far beyond our bodies into the quantum universe.”
Our thoughts are powerful indeed.
Ultimately, thoughts end up in two categories: negative or positive. According to research, negative thoughts lead to narrow, focused thinking. Positive thoughts lead to the ability to think on a grander scale and see above circumstances.
Tending the positive facilitates growing past the negative.
Is it hard to change our thoughts?
Sometimes. Especially if we’ve been in the habit of living like a negative Nelly. Negativity can be the bad house guest that refuses to leave, but if you don’t feed it, eventually it finds another place for food. Fight for the positive and a new habit can be formed. I believe we were created with the desire for the better thought. When we land on it, the world opens up and hope enters the room.
I’m excited to take the adventure together.