Most of us have no idea how powerful our minds/thoughts are, which is not some new idea. It is not some fufu kind of thing, nor is it some New Age thing. It is natural and has been taught by all the great teachers from the beginning of teaching.
A Course in Miracles says in its early pages, PP. 16, “This is a course in mind training.” PP. 29, “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreation’s.” PP. 31, “There are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form on some level.”
Many would shrug this off as fufu, out there, or New Age thinking. It is not so new. James Allen wrote the book “As a Man Thinketh” in 1903. Better yet, the premise of his entire book comes from a verse in the Bible, Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”
Allen goes on to say in “As a Man Thinketh,” “A man is but a product of his thought. What he thinks he becomes.”, “A man sooner or later discovers he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life.”
Learning to master our thoughts is learning to master our lives. We are not victims of our thinking. We are the master of our mind if and when we choose to be.
I am a recovering drug addict and alcoholic; I live with bipolar disorder, PTSD, and I have had many bouts with debilitating depression, paralyzing anxiety attacks, had at least four suicide attempts, and have been homeless twice. Today, I live with a reasonable amount of peace and am living my dream, well, almost. But I had to learn to manage my thoughts, to keep them from wandering off into negativity and self-defeating thoughts. I catch them as they begin to go astray and gently guide them back to loving, gentle, positive, and even productive thoughts.
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Learning to manage our thoughts is a process; my thoughts ran my life for most of my life, in a very self-destructive, self-defeating manner. Even when I first became the observer of my mind, they (my thoughts) were much more self-loving than ever before. Hidden underneath were the very clever lies that I had told myself about myself.
I grew up in a tiny town in KY. I repeatedly heard that I was just one of those damn Calloways that would never amount to anything throughout my childhood. Along with that came the story of my family members that we were cursed. I bought it, and I ran with it. I thought it was true. The fantastic thing about how we think, no matter how self-destructive our way of thinking is, it is human nature to want to be correct. So, we seek evidence to prove our thoughts are true. In the seeking, we find the proof. Decades of self-deception will not go away in a twitch of a finger just by saying I do not want to think this way anymore. It takes a deep inner commitment to thought reversal to change the lies. With discipline, it does work.
These negative thoughts about ourselves have been reinforced by self-fabricated proof. Even false evidence is not easy to let go of. The lies become our internal dialogue. The way we speak to ourselves. That dialogue goes on 24/7; yes, even in our sleeping, it continues. Changing a life is hard work, but remember this; If you want to change your life, you must change your mind about your life. Changing the thinking that produces a life takes commitment and discipline. WE CAN DO IT!
Here is the way it works. A thought produces a feeling; a thought births every feeling you have. A feeling becomes a belief, and that belief fosters our behavior, and the behavior is our life. If we can change a thought, we can change a life.
Bruce Lee; “The aphorism as a man thinketh in his heart so is he, contains the secret of life.”