Thoughts held in mind, produce after their kind.
Whatever you are thinking about, mulling over, pondering, ruminating on… will produce results. If you are harbouring in your mind and thoughts a problem, your face and emotions (energy in motion) will probably reflect those very thoughts.
If you remember a moment when you were upset with someone, and then you played the situation over and over again in your mind, it only served to upset you more. Whether you were angry or hurt or disappointed, the feeling only grew each time you replayed it in your mind. And this is true of any thoughts that you play over and over again in your mind – the emotions associated with those thoughts will simply grow. If you are complaining or dissatisfied with someone or something, and you allow those thoughts to dominate your thinking every time you see or hear a “trigger”, you will only be more negative or dissatisfied.
We read in Proverbs 4: 23:
“Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life.” (ESV)
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. (New Century Version)
A thought is simply like a seed – and when it is planted in the fertile ground of our minds, it can grow. Unless, of course, it’s a weed, and you choose to weed it out! But do you know the difference between the weeds and the beautiful and fruitful thoughts that will lead to bountiful harvests in your life? When the thought is simply a seed, in the fertile ground of your mind – can you identify whether it’s good or bad? How about when it sprouts, and barely starts to take root – do you know what to look for in weeds and fruitful thoughts?
Our minds are fertile ground for any thought to grow if we provide it with water and sunlight. It’s up to us to decide which thoughts we want to nurture and allow to grow – and which thoughts should simply be flicked away, plucked out and not given any more importance.
Apparently the human mind has some 70,000 thoughts a day pass through it, most of them completely unconscious. We don’t consciously think “in order to pass the salt I need to lift my right elbow slightly, straighten the arm, contract this muscle and release that muscle”… we just think “I need to pass the salt”. We are completely unaware of all the tiny little instructions sent from the brain to each different muscle/tendon in the fingers, hand and arm as to how it grasp the salt shaker and then take it from here to there.
But the same way that we unconsciously pass the salt upon request, our brain can harbor other unconscious thought patterns that we have built up over time. Not all of these are healthy.
Dr. Caroline Leaf says this in her book “Switch On Your Brain”,
“As we think, we change the physical nature of our brain. As we consciously direct our thinking, we can wire out toxic patterns of thinking and replace them with healthy thoughts.”
In recent weeks I have found myself working hard on weeding out “worry”, because I know that I easy tend to be a “worry wort”. I have had many moments of “anxiety” and yet, as I practice being still, I find that I am worrying less. One of the secrets of success in this area has been “weeding” the garden of my mind. When I have thoughts of worry, I can either sit and dwell on the things that I cannot control or I can turn my thoughts to things that are under my control and choose action.
This has actually been a pleasant learning experience for me: as I’ve chosen to weed out the thoughts on what is outside of my control and to focus on what I can control, I have found myself more proactive, rather than frozen like a deer in the headlights. As I replace the weeds of unhealthy thoughts with “what I could be working on right now is…”, I turn to doing. And while “doing” is not always an option, sometimes the “doing” is as simple as “I choose to sit and be still in the knowledge that I am a child of God“. And in this simple knowing, there is peace.
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. (Philippians 4:8)
As you move forward this week, and you look at the thoughts that are germinating or growing in the garden of your mind, what thoughts or patterns do you need to weed out?