“As someone thinks within himself, so he is” – Proverbs 23:7
I believe the greatest battles we fight are waged within our minds.
What we think, we become. We can choose what we allow our minds to meditate on. The key word here is choose. It is your choice. Yes, you can decide right here and now, that you will make the conscious decision to think on things that are “pure, lovely, and of good report..”- Phil. 4:8.
When we allow negative thinking to overtake us, something happens. We become fearful, withdrawn, absent from the present, anxious… we allow our thoughts to overcome us and steal our peace. I have first-hand experience with this. Let me tell you a story.
When doctors discovered this year that my cholesteatoma had returned (a benign tumor/cyst that grows and acts like acid (eroding away important structures) in the mastoid and middle/inner ear–you can google for more info!) I immediately became fearful. My thoughts swirled. It had come back with a vengeance and was going to require another 3-4 hour surgery (my 5th operation) but this time it would be more serious (called a “canal wall down mastoidectomy”)– the drilling away of part of the temporal bone of the skull (to remove the mastoid process), removal of my hearing bones that were left (the cholesteatoma had ruined my prosthetic hearing bones as well as wrapped around and eroded away the protective covering of my facial nerve)..etc.. I was afraid.
During the time leading up to my surgery, I made a conscious effort to “hear” the thoughts within my mind. I listened, but as the fear-filled ideas swirled, I gently pushed them aside and replaced them with truth. I was re-wiring my brain to come into the surgery and recovery with positivity and love for my body, mind, and spirit. I soaked in scripture, worship music, and spoke kindly to myself. Even as they were wheeling me back to the OR on the stretcher, I had a bible verse written on a tiny piece of paper on my lap, to remind me that I was never alone and God would see me through, as he has time and time again.
Two months later and I am here, still in recovery, but feeling blessed. Day by day, I try my best to have gratitude, talking to myself as I would to my best friend. Even as I write this blog, I am still learning how to have life-giving thoughts about myself and situations. How can I fully engage and show love to others if I don’t love and care for myself? Self-care is not selfish, and part of my self-care is taking every thought captive. Recently I started imagining a room that I put my negative thoughts into. I lock the door behind me as I leave them.
We must try on a daily basis to think on things that give life, not death, to our bodies, minds, and spirits. We were not created to be a “negative Nancy”, but instead full of hope and expectation for good things to come our way.
What do you think?
Keep loving & learning!