What we mediate on is so important to our mental and emotional health.
I spent so many years thinking about the welfare of my church that now, sometimes, the slightest mention becomes an automatic trigger down a rabbit hole. You don’t grieve over something you didn’t love.
Whether it’s the death of a relationship, a community or the severing of earthly ties, I am realizing how much death is death. Either way, whatever the separation, people mourn and grieve. I think the end of anything can be traumatic. Like when you fall in love and you think a marriage is going to last forever. You pledge your undying love to that man or woman. You swear that life could never get any better but one day, it happens. Boom! The sickness of the relationship sets in. The decline toward the grave. It’s the same with losing old friends and an entire community. At one point, you were just as happy to be with them, having a great time because of whatever brought you together and then… REALITY CHECK.
You may deeply realize things about your relationships. Things that you hadn’t noticed before, like I did. This can be like having a slow leak in a tire. You’re driving along because the tire is still working and then one day you come out and it’s flat. Didn’t even notice.
When people are no longer in your life, the mind tries to fill that void. Sometimes the mind has to catch up with reality of the circumstances.
That person will no longer be around and you will miss their presence and the place they filled in your life. I think about these things because I acknowledge that I’m in a grieving period, and if I’m going to move forward, I know I have to change my thinking habits.
People can become obsessed with the past you know. Yes, you’re walking around and talking about other things but in the back of your mind there’s this echo of another life and a different time. I don’t know that you ever get rid of it, but sometimes it creeps to the forefront and you can start obsessing — it’s over though. What’s happened has happened. The realization that nothing is going to change can take a while. Then you let that truth settle in on you. It may bring tears and it may just bring feelings of sadness.
So this week, I pulled out my life coaching chart about changing thinking habits. My goal is not to forget but I don’t want negative parts of my past to consume me or overwhelm my current life or my future.
People let that happen you know. They can allow the past to overwhelm them.
I remember watching Tyler Perry’s Acrimony. Let’s call this movie a character study in bitterness where Taraji P Henson plays a woman who sacrificed and supported her financial failure of a husband. She divorces him too soon. In the process of time, he finally gets this invention he had been working toward, patented and someone buys it from him for 10 million dollars. He’s now lives in a fabulous house and sails on yachts. For all her trouble and their time together, he offers her a check for $2 million. She doesn’t take it. Shortly thereafter, he moves on with his life, remarries. She is uber-jealous of his new life and tries to get him back. Re-insert herself into the picture. When he rebuffs her advances, she becomes consumed with the rejection and bitterness. She didn’t move on.
King Saul suffered the same mental fixation. He became jealous and bitter toward David. Too engrossed with what people were saying abo…ut him versus David, he became unhinged. When people, rightfully, shouted David’s praise,instead of thanking David for saving the country and being brave, he spent his days chasing David.
When suffering a loss, it’s easy to get into unhealthy thinking patterns. You can do it unconsciously because it becomes this constant tango in our head.
Never fear. Fortunately, like Elizabeth Warren keeps saying, there’s a plan for that.
So I resolved to work on my thinking patterns. After intently listening to people complain about our organization for years and years, so much this junk is stuck in my head. I realize that I’m free, I’m out and such problems no longer are my concern and if I linger too long on these things, I’ll be like a car stuck in neutral. I’m running but I can’t go anywhere. Got to get into driving mode. Its tough when you’re near people that are still connected to thing you want to move on from. Somethings are simply habit. Nostalgia and friendships can turn you in the wrong direction. Not truly letting go or acknowledging that the object of our affection is gone. Face forward. Move forward. Take yourself by the shoulders and turn yourself the opposite way. How?
I had to remember that I’ve consciously changed my thinking before. It won’t just happen. It’s hard work.
A Way Heal Your Mind
Write down the wrong thought pattern, focus on what you’re trying to change, catch yourself when your mind is going the wrong way and redirect your thinking. Its a process you have to do over and over until the wrong thinking fades away.
Transformation starts in the mind. When we think about something long enough, it becomes part of our heart, and out of the heart comes actions and our conduct in life. No one really lives a certain way and their heart and mind weren’t convinced first. If your a Christian, prayer, the scripture tells us will guard our hearts and our minds from getting engrossed with the wrong things.
Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.