"A belief is not an idea held by the mind; it is an idea that holds the mind." Elly Roselle
A Prisoner of our own thoughts.....
The power of thought invades all cultural backgrounds, religious denominations, and vocations. Professional athletes can attest to the power of thought and the discipline one must cultivate to overcome mental challenges for top performance. Likewise, surgeons and other helping professionals can attest to the importance of being mindful of one's thoughts. Even pagan practices dedicate a great of teaching on the fundamentals of thought and "disciplining one's mind." Clearly, the cultural and evidence-based research reveals the power of our thoughts. But, do we realize this power.....individually? Do we even take the time to pause and become aware of what we spend hours thinking about?
Cognitive Behavioral Psycho-education teaches:
"Our brains are constantly using thought to make interpretations about the world around us. When we see, hear, touch, smell, or taste something, our thoughts tell us what it all means. Without thought, we would be hopelessly lost.
Part of thought involves making assumptions about our surroundings. For example, if you see a stranger walking toward you with a weapon, you don't know that they're dangerous, but it's usually a safe bet. These sort of educated guesses play a clear role in our survival.
However, in some situations, these same sort of assumptions can be harmful. For example, someone might assume that anyone who walks toward them is a threat, even in a totally benign situation. Interestingly, people with mental illness such as depression, tend to have a higher number of unfounded negative thoughts, which we call irrational beliefs.
Because we're constantly encountering so much information, we can only pay attention to a small percentage of our thoughts at any given time. Many of our thoughts become automatic and occur outside of our awareness, as if they are a reflex. These are called automatic thoughts.
When a thought occurs automatically, we aren't able to assess it for accuracy, because we don't even know that it has occurred. We simply accept the thought as truth and move on. Sometimes, thoughts that are both irrational and automatic can lead us to experience a negative emotion without us ever becoming aware of why."
You can see how easily we can fall into traps of deception through our thoughts if we are not mindful. People can often turn to therapies and other forms of "help" negating the fact that Scripture first addressed human thinking and what to we are to do.
"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2 ESV
and many more....
So what are we to do if we find ourselves battling thoughts or just now realizing we should take inventory of our " stinkin' thinkin' ?"
Develop self-awareness, ask yourself what you are thinking about and why, where that thought originated from? Childhood belief? Experience? DO NOT JUDGE YOUR THOUGHTS, the goal is not to label them as good/bad or right/wrong. The goal is AWARENESS, you can't change what you're not aware of.
Finding a trusted and safe person is a must to begin untangling these thoughts as we become aware of them without the threat of being shamed or judged.
Replace the lies with truth.
I have created a worksheet to help you in this process, you can download it here.