We are continuing with are devilish themes. We began with sugar is the devil, followed by sitting is the devil. Now we ask are your thoughts from the devil. And yes I’m trying to catch your attention. I hope I’ve succeeded.
Our thought lives are extremely important. Frankly it is the one thing that separates us from the animal kingdom, the ability to think, rationalize and interpret. It is our ability to think and to choose that makes us uniquely human. Unfortunately for many our thinking (like our eating) can often become too much of a good thing.
Marianne Williamson says that ‘we are entirely too tolerant of mind wandering.’ And wander it does. We fret. We worry. We think anxious thoughts. We replay things from the past over and over. We anticipate the future often in a negative fashion. The truth of the matter is the only time you have is this very present moment. When you are living the past, as in regret, or anxiously worrying about the future, you are not present. Your thinking is getting the best of you. A plaque on the wall of many A.A. centers says, “your best thinking got you here.”
Wayne Dyer, best-selling motivational author, teaches us that we have 60,000 thoughts per day. 95% of our thoughts are the same ones we had yesterday. And get this….80% of your thoughts are negative or not self-affirming. Yet we wonder why we don’t have the lives we think we deserve. The bible says in Proverbs 23 “As you think in your heart, so shall you be.” Buddha said, “what we think, we become.” Hamlet, “There’s nothing good or bad, only thinking is makes it so.” Gandhi, “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. ” Perhaps my favorite by Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are right.”
What’s so amazing is that you are absolutely in control of your thoughts. You may not always be in control of your emotions, but you definitely are in control of your thoughts. Recently I read a book by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuro anatomist that studies the brain, entitled My Stroke of Insight. She had a stroke at age 37 that completely disabled the left hemisphere of her brain which is the thinking part of the brain. Only the right part of her brain, the feeling, present tense, peaceful, art-side of her brain, remained. While it took her a full 8 years to recover, she learned many things about the left brain that she no longer wanted to relearn, like worry and anxiety, something the left brain is very good at. One thing the stuck with me in the book is that any feeling you have, like anger, lasts as a chemical in your body for a mere 90 seconds. Once the chemical surges thru your body, after the 90 seconds, it is completely YOUR CHOICE as to whether you wish to continue to feel that emotion and relive that experience. Wow, how awesome is that.
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
(this poem has so often been used, the source is given to several authors)
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