I tend to have deep thoughts, most specifically when I am alone or when I am annoyed with something or someone. Sometimes, my long-lived thoughts become my attitude, which develops as my thoughts are repeated and reinforced. My thoughts are my mental awreness—my ideas, opinions, and beliefs about myself and the world around me. It includes the perspectives I might bring to any situation or experience that color my point of view (for better, worse, or neutral).
I am aware that my thoughts are shaped by my life experiences, genetics, and education (the little I have!) and they are generally under conscious control. Because I am aware of my thoughts and attitudes, I know that I can choose to change them….. and that’s probably my problem, I know and I dont want to do that!
Then there is this problem I am always having to deal with – my thoughts trigger emotions!
- I think of my dad frequently, he has Alzheimer’s disease and is totally helpless. I cannot talk to him, share with him so many stories, I think of my growing up days with him, how much we used to talk. I miss him super. I desided to post about him on Facebook, I believe it is always a good thing to remember and acknowldge people when they are alive. After doing this, my emotions were triggered, 235 people liked it and another 95 commented. Some of those comments hit me too hard. A friend then added a different post of his Rugby days in the Ceylon Police, and this too triggered many responses. Oh Lord, I just cannot talk with my dad, I can see him, he is alive, I know he is around, yet I cannot talk to him. My prayer is for his healing.
- I think of a specific weakness I struggle with, ‘quick to speak’ or better said, quick to bark! I know this is not the expectation, I know this is ongoing and I know this must be fixed. So, I keep thinking about it and working myself towards improving it. I begin to develop an attitude where ‘less talk’ is better. After a few days of waiting, I still must correct situations that are slowly drifting towards getting out of control and that’s when the emotions get triggered. Why, because I am reminding others not to repeat what was already said before or, reminding others of similar circumstances. My long-lived thoughts are now becoming an attitude.
- I think of the time I was working at Alcon Labs and the acquisition by Novartis. The goal was to merge Alcon and make Novartis a company that captured greater treatment options for significant segments of the human body. Whilst the goals were realistic, things did not turn out the way it was meant to be and many individuals either left their jobs or were terminated, causing so much personal agony and pain. I too was a victim of this. As the years progressed, I began working for a small distribution company and over the years, I was made aware of plans that we would be aquired someday soon. I thought further, dwelt on it with great thought and shared my thoughts and ways to avoid possible damages, if we were to be aquired. The day came, my ideas were not considered, my long-lived thoughts have set in motion an attitude that I must not allow provoke any emotions.
It is the emotions that always cause the problems, leading us down the rough narrow road. We may think that emotions are all ‘part of us’ or was ‘meant to be’ and that they cannot be changed. Research, however, has established that emotions can be worked around and changed. In my thoughts, I am confident that they can be changed by:
- Altering an external situation (seperating yourself from a situation)
- Shifting our attention (choosing to focus on a more positive aspect of a situation)
- Re-appraising a situation (ahead is an opportunity for learning, not an assessment of my personal worth).
How we choose to live our lives has tremendous power over the way we feel every day. However, we must never forget that our thoughts must be aligned to the one above, if we do not think with Him, our thoughts can surely destroy us:
God doesn’t think the way we do. We get into a lot of trouble when we expect that He should think as we do. Because we are made in the image of God, we can relate to God’s thoughts, but we cannot master them.
God doesn’t act the way we do. He does things His way, and His ways are often not our ways. We get into a lot of trouble when we expect that God should act the way we do.
The difference and distance between God and man is revealed, not to discourage us from seeking Him, but to keep us humble as we seek.
“You may conclude that it is not intended that you should understand the infinite, for you are told that his thoughts and ways are far above you; but you are required to seek him while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near.”Charles Haddon Spurgeon December 2, 1877