This journey of mine has really led me to some very interesting places within myself. In retrospect, I am seeing just how much wasted energy has been placed upon becoming my negative thoughts, opposed to simply observing them. This morning, I am thinking deeply about the difference, as well as the development of the strategies I have encountered throughout the journey that have kept / keep me out of harm’s way.
This probably sounds like a jumbled mess of nonsense to some, but personally, it is very important to me. When I say, ‘out of harm’s way’, I mean exactly that. I’m my own worst enemy, and I have always been. It has been the way I have thought about life and the way I have handled these thoughts that has led me to some very harmful places. Unfortunately, it was not until recent years did I understand just how peaceful life can truly be — no matter what the circumstances — when I observe the thoughts that come and go, instead of becoming them.
Thoughts are so powerful. From a neuroscientific point of view, they are barely understood. But, from my personal point of view, they are either negative or positive. Emotions are created by our thoughts. The negative thoughts I have personally carried (for much longer than I should have) turned me into a very complicated and unsettled man, to say the least. I have always struggled with the thought / emotion cord. A negative thought brought negative emotion, and the emotion / thought connection would gyrate and, usually, spin out of control for long periods of time. The longer that time would remain, the more susceptible I would be to its menacing grip. The thoughts would pull me down not only mentally, but physically, into the dark places where fear and sinful ways were prominent. I would dig a hole that would take much longer to escape the longer I became the thought.
Then, I began to learn how to observe the thought.
I believe the Bible helped me to really see myself as a different kind of being all together — a spiritual one. All of these things that my Creator has placed within me: the brain and its unbelievably complicated structure that science barely understands, the body and its own beauty, as well as the way I perceive all of the world and the things in it, ultimately, mean very little. In the long run, all of this will pass away. But, I believe, I will remain. The part of me that is internal; the unseen part of me that is not what I physically see within my mirror (but maybe a glimpse is caught at times within the eyes?) is the true essence of my place in the infinite. I am not these thoughts. I am not these emotions. I am not this flesh and bone — I am a spirit having an experience in a body made of the same elements that float through the eternal nothing we call space. With this mindset, I am realizing that all is nothing more than an encounter with thought, connected to an internal and external world that I personally perceive. Glory to God for creating such a masterpiece! Beyond this, I am a spiritual being that will one day return to Him.
So, I have to just remain in Him, and I do this by remaining in His love.
At least, I try.
His love to me is the positive aspects of this perception I have. The positive thoughts. It is the lovely parts of the world: His people, His nature, His creations, His animals, His splendor, His peace and the abilities He has given us to bring joy into the heart. The creativity we can embrace and share. The magnitude of His provision. The opportunity we are given — the free-will choice — to go into all of this world and be his hands and feet. It is his beauty that we can spread throughout the world in a failing, falling-apart body that only lasts for a century or less in most cases. The positives. The things not of the evil one that was cast out of His presence. That is a realm that I have dived head first into for many of my days here, and it only fuels the negative thought / emotion cord…
and I don’t wish that upon anyone!
As life (the physical) comes and goes, I try my best to just observe the thoughts that come along with it. I just try to embrace the emotions connected to them, and I, wholeheartedly, try to remember that all of this / it, shall pass. But, I do believe, I will remain. I really try to do as stated in Philippians 4:8…
“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Thinking is incredibly powerful. Thinking is what I will continue to observe, instead of becoming. The only thing that I really desire to become is more Christlike. I’ll continue to observe the thoughts that lead along the way.