We know that our thoughts determine our emotions, how we see the world, how we react within it. We know this. From just about every source we trust.
All the way back to the origin of printed words, we have sage after sage telling us so. Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) says: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so he is . . .” In the 2000 + years since, and into modern day, we have not only this sentiment, but also so much anecdotal evidence to back it up.
Maybe they’re all wrong. The ducks can all be flying in the wrong direction. But it’s pretty unlikely.
And even if they are, they right themselves soon enough.
So often I hear from folks saying positive thoughts don’t work for them. And you know, if you think a few, go right back to all the negative, Prozac won’t help either!
We all struggle at times. Especially when in the midst of a bad go of things, keeping the mind trained proves pretty danged difficult. We all wade through that. Being human can be a minefield, and just like traversing one, the only way through is through; to keep putting one foot in front of the other, with intense focus.
The intense-focus part is the key. Because sometimes a few positive thoughts to start your day just don’t get you very far. You know the times—when your gratitude list centers around the electricity still being on! I’ve had them. We all have.
And during times of roiling seas, it may just seem easier to give up and wallow in sadness, frustration, sorry, anger, self-pity.
Wallow. Sometimes you just need to.
But once your set time to do that is done, then one key works for how to change your mindset.
The tougher the sledding, the harder you have to work to keep your chin up. It’s true. On those days (or weeks—but if it lasts longer than that, seek some therapy), pulling all of your healthy resources together is vital.
Back when I started meditating, I had the hardest time understanding how afterward I felt so peaceful, but then lapsed into negative emotions as the day went on. “Those gurus were wrong!” my ego has always been good at shouting J
And then it dawned on my wee brain that 30 minutes of spiritual practice would not trump the other 23 and ½ hours through the rest of the day.
Oh! Now that was a revelation. I tell ya I can be thick!
And it’s the exact same with thoughts. There are those times when a mindful practice in the morning just won’t get you through the day. And that’s quite okay. During those times, it takes mindful thinking every hour. Sometimes minute by minute. And even those days where ‘prayer without ceasing’ is the only remedy.
But work, it does. We all have a few demons still stuffed away in our closets, and oh how gleefully they spring out when our guards are down. The antidote is to get right back to spiritual practice, to mindful living, to facing head on and knowing that whatever is occurring, this too shall pass.
Because it will. Nothing is permanent or pervasive—unless you think it is.
And it will pass so much quicker if you have said practice to fall back on. Once you’ve committed to this journey, to changing your life for the better, your toolbox becomes filled with these practical tools that help you to swim the turbulent seas.
The oddest thing happens as well—if you keep at it, the practice itself becomes as second nature as breathing.
And even in the midst of the true horrors, you can still see that light shining, illuminating your path.
How do you choose happiness?