Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Thoughts

It’s nice to know who we are, for then we have a secure place from which we can embrace life. We have no fear of missing the mark, because when we know who we are, we also know where we’re going. 'Who' we are is usually an expression of what we believe and how we behave. But what if we don’t know who we are? What if we’re not sure where we’re going in this life? Then we have a dilemma.

A wise man once said, “As a man thinks, so is he.” This suggests that we are “what” we think. Do we ever stop to listen to what we think…when we’re sad, happy, frustrated or even calm? Our minds are filled with conflicting thoughts, e.g. reassurance, correction, encouragement, as well as discouraging thoughts like; "you’re too fat, ugly, stupid," and the list goes on. We all experience negative thoughts. The important thing is…which thoughts will we believe and live by?

Stuff happens, you know? It’s how we react to the stuff in our lives that determines our level of happiness. I’m not saying that if we lose someone dear to us, we shouldn’t mourn. There is a time and place for everything. But, we can’t stay in a state of mourning the rest of our lives, or we’ll never be happy again. Everything that happens to us has a purpose. If even to build character in us, it’s a worthwhile end. Many refer to the unwanted events in our lives as stepping stones or stumbling blocks. We either step over them, or let them stop us. Hopefully we learn to keep walking.

This requires courage. Everything in our being wants to react. We want to lash out, put people in their place, stop what’s happening, or make sure it’s going to happen our way. But there’s only so much we control in this life. It’s better to act, than react. Regardless of how we think or feel about the situation. It’s better to try to do the right thing, to support, encourage and help. You only have one chance at a response, let's make it a good one.

We must first be aware of what we’re thinking about any situation, then correct wrong thoughts...and do it continuously. We have to change our mindsets and act effectively to bring about the right result. It helps to remember that everyone has down days, but it does not mean we’re stupid, thoughtless or whatever else we dish up to ourselves. Give yourself a break! To some degree, we must decide for ourselves how we want to be.

That said, our present culture is so wrapped up in themselves. We live in the “me” generation and we’re not ashamed of it. Ironically, this article addresses the “me” in us, but hopefully it will have more of an all-encompassing slant. I believe that “me” is actually “we," because although we may act alone, our actions usually affect someone else in some way. We have a responsibility towards each other. Now I don’t want to advocate New Age thinking. No, this is biblical thinking based on love. We all need to be loved and accepted, and so we need to love and accept others.

We reap what we sow…so plant good thoughts in your mind, and reap a happier healthier mind!