Sunday, May 8, 2011

Just thinking...

When I first created this blog, I titled it "Just thinking." I intended this to be a place for me to take my thoughts, put them to words and share them with whoever might be brave enough to tune into my though process every now and then.

Thinking. We all spend a considerable amount of time thinking. Thinking about the past, the future, what we want to do or eat, who we'd like to meet or where we'd like to go. Thinking about our goals, failures, conversations, weaknesses, dreams etc. Thinking is a good thing, a natural thing a necessary thing. After stupid mistakes or poor choices, it is normal to hear the phrase, "What was she thinking!?" Or "I just wasn't thinking." So, it's imperative that we think... but also that we think wisely.

You see, thinking (though necessary) can also be incredibly cruel and destructive. I'm reminded of a quote from Beauty & the Beast.
Gaston: Lefou I'm afraid I've been thinking...
Lefou: A dangerous past time.
Gaston: I know.
It is a silly part of the song, but I've realized that this concept holds some serious truth.

It's important to recognize which thoughts are beneficial and which are harmful. Start taking the time to identify what you spend your time thinking about. Be good to yourself. Reject the urge to think negatively. Spinning your weaknesses, failures and frustrations over and over in your mind is terribly unhealthy for the body and soul.

I'm reading an interesting book called, "EAT PRAY LOVE" by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Recently a movie starring Julia Roberts). In the book, she discusses the "impossible task" of controlling your thoughts. She makes a vow to monitor her thoughts and repeat the saying, "I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore." I love how she makes sense out of good thinking and bad thinking. I'll share it with you.

She writes, "A harbor, of course, is a place of refuge, a port of entry. I pictured the harbor of my mind - a little beat-up, perhaps, a little storm-worn, but well situated and with a nice depth. The harbor of my mind is an open bay, the only access to the island of my Self. This island has been through some wars, it is true, but it is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect the place. And now - let the word go out across the seven seas - there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor. You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts - all these will be turned away. Likewise, any thoughts that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways - you may not come here anymore, either. Canniballistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind - otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came."

Guard the harbor of your mind. Set up your own rules and regulations. Be a strict harbor-master. Protect yourself from unwelcome intruders that will only steal from your spirit, destroy your contentment and leave you wounded and alone.

One final piece of wisdom on this topic. Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

These things... are worth welcoming in to your harbor. Worth thinking about. Worth asking to stop by and stay for a while.

But those are just my thoughts... Just something for you to think about I guess.

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