Our minds are forever pondering and traveling to secret places. I imagine that money, success, racism, God, health, love, drugs, sex, crime, charity, politics, and/or death consume a lion’s share of our private thoughts, not necessarily in that order; nonetheless, at no time of day or night are we not thinking about something. The only real question is, “What do we think about most often?” The question is an important one because its answer defines the kind of person we are choosing to become.
On the nightly television news, we often see a person getting hauled off to jail for a horrific crime but when the news reporter interviews their neighbor they express disbelief. “He was a pleasant man,” people say of the serial rapist or terrorist whom they have lived next door for years. He dressed well, went to work every day, and nodded to the neighbors even went to church every Sunday. But in his heart the malice simmered and seared. His thoughts molded him. When we are pressured, what we’ve sown in our souls forms us, and drives us from moment to moment. Occasionally, some celebrity or pillar of society is caught in a sex, drug or racist scandal. While these people seemed to be the cream of the crop, their thoughts festered and became full-blown behavior.
Too often people dwell on or saturate themselves with anger and distrust based on unfortunate incidents, real or imagined, of their past. Though their faces wear a smile, their minds are callous sour and prejudice imaginations. Such minds filled with bitterness are destined to grieve their spirits, which is the umbilical cord to loneliness and unhappiness. Malicious thoughts are ground zero for more counterproductive lifestyles, if joy is what we seek. Very few people intentionally set out to live in the solitary confinement quarters of an emotional prison; however, many are there.
We must reexamine our thought lives and ask if ourselves our thoughts are propelling or obstructing our peace of mind. What we think about during the waking hours of the day is basic to prayer. And prayer is also basic to it. What we put into our souls will shape us.
The best advice that I can offer to pave a brighter outlook is to pray often. Clear your mind of anything that leads to a place that you don’t want to go and think of God and his goodness. If you don’t believe in God then sing or hum a beautiful song.
The point is to replace the thoughts that can lead to destruction with thoughts that leads to peace, joy, love, friendships, and happiness. You can learn to control your jealousy, greed, lust, hate, conspiracy theories, and depression. It all depends on what you feed on and what you live on, in your thoughts. What you immerse yourself in, down deep inside of you, where the soul of a person lies in wait, you will become.
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