The Power of Thought
 
Sue Patton Thoele

  
The most profound agents of creation are invisible.  The three that spring immediately to mind are God, biological conception, and thought.  With enough technology, and no privacy whatsoever, we could probably monitor conception, but neither God nor thought can be made visible.  We do, however, enjoy the benefits of God's creations each moment and also reap the fruits of our thoughts throughout our entire lives.

Wisdom teachers through the ages have taught about the awesome creative power of thought.  The Buddha, for instance, said, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought."  Ralph Waldo Emerson agreed and said, "What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather, indicates, his fate."  Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, said, "Stand porter at the door of thought.  Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously."  And the great sage, Anonymous (who was very often a woman!), states, "Sow a thought, and you reap an act; sow an act, and you reap a habit."

If you wonder about the power of thought, remember a dream that affected you deeply.  Dreams are nocturnal thoughts that often cause reactions as intense as do actual occurrences.  The other night I dreamed I was waiting at a train station for friends with whom I was going on a trip.

Departure time loomed and no friends appeared.  With each passing moment, I became more anxious.  When I bolted awake, my heart was beating rapidly and I was awash in anxiety symptoms.

Usually we can slough off the effects of dreams, but we cannot so easily avoid the consequences of habitual thought patterns.  Thoughts act as powerful magnets drawing to us that which we fear or imagine.  Luckily, thoughts are equal opportunity creators, and when we cultivate the habit of positive and affirmative thinking, we also draw wonderful people and experiences to us.

Thinking Is the Birth of Feeling

More than one thought track is generally active in our minds at the same time.  Some are closer to the surface of consciousness than others, but we are constantly thinking and talking to ourselves.  These internal conversations are called "self-talk."

Listen to what you're saying to yourself in the privacy of your own mind.  If what you habitually tell yourself is optimistic, uplifting, and loving, you're certain to be a person who feels happy and energized.  If the tone of your thoughts is self-recriminating, resistant, or pessimistic, you'll inevitable feel down and depressed.  Thinking is the birth of feeling.

Negative, fearful self-talk undermines your self-esteem, creates painful feelings, and makes emotional strength difficult to attain.  One of the quickest ways to become anxious is to let yourself worry about the future.  I call this falling in the Future Hole.  Future Hole self-talk statements often start out, "What if. . . "; "I couldn't handle. . . "; "I'm afraid that. . . ."

Our minds, if undisciplined, wander easily from the here and now into projections of the future.  We need to plan for the future, but not worry.  Planning creates security; worry creates anxiety.  Planning is empowering; worrying accentuates helplessness.

Check your self-talk.  How do you speak to yourself?  Are you kind, encouraging, and upbeat?  Would you talk similarly to a close friend?  Are your thoughts contributing positively or negatively to your feelings?  It isn't circumstance that creates our feelings; it's our thoughts about circumstances that give birth to our feelings. . . .

Your feelings, and the thoughts that created them, are your own responsibility, nobody else's.  If you want to change your feelings, take responsibility for changing your thoughts.  Choosing to change your thoughts can release you from the victim role.  When our thoughts and feelings are mainly positive, supportive, and life-affirming, self-esteem soars.
   

Sue Patton Thoele continues
her quest to help readers
enhance their self-esteem and
tap into their core emotional
strength. Geared to women who
too often find themselves meeting
the wants of others at the
expense of their own needs,
the book provides necessary
tools to help readers transform
their fears into the courage to
express their own authentic selves.

more on thoughts

  
   


 
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The quality of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. . .
take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable
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Marcus Aurelius

   

  

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The biggest quality in successful people I think is an impatience with negative thinking. . . .
How many opportunities come along?  If you wait for the right one, that's wrong,
because it may never be right, and what have you got to lose?  Even if it's a disaster,
you've tried, you've learned something, you've had an adventure.
And that doesn't mean you can't do it again.

Edward McCabe