October 3

  

Today's Quotation:

When you are offended or annoyed by others, do not allow your thoughts to dwell on them or on anything relating to them.  For example, don't think that they ought not to have treated you so, being who they are, or whom they think themselves to be, or the like.  All this is fuel and kindling of wrath, anger, and hatred.


Lorenzo Scupoli

Today's Meditation:

In so many ways, our thoughts determine who we are and how we feel.  If I pay attention, I can usually pick out the people who are thinking positive thoughts and the people who are thinking negative ones-- their body language tells me how they're feeling, which is a result of their thoughts.  (Of course, many people are regularly thinking somewhat neutral thoughts, like what they have to get at the store or how their team's going to do in tomorrow's game).

When we think negative or angry thoughts, that's our choice.  We'd like to think that our thoughts are the result of some action or occurrence, but our reaction to it is our decision.  The more negative our thoughts, the more negative our moods and our feelings.  Do you want to be walking around feeling anger?  Does it do anything good for our bodies or our minds?

It can help us to adopt a positive anchor, so to speak.  When the negative thoughts start to overwhelm us-- or even when they just start-- we can use this anchor to bring us back to a state of equilibrium.  Is there a wonderful movie or book you can turn your thoughts to?  How about a beautiful place that you've visited, or a favorite spot to take walks?  Perhaps there's a person who always makes you smile.  If you can get in the habit of changing your thoughts to positive ones, you'll benefit now in ways that you can't even imagine, and the people around you will benefit, also.

It's definitely not helpful for us to fill our minds with negative, stressful thoughts, and the sooner we get rid of them, the sooner we'll feel much better all the way around.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Why is it so easy for negative thoughts to build on themselves and eventually show themselves as destructive emotions?

2.  What kinds of positive anchors do you have?

3.  How can we practice shifting negative thoughts to positive ones?

For further thought:

When we have painful memories from hurting experiences, we may feel justified in holding on to the resentment.  But resentment is corrosive.  It doesn't affect the person we feel anger toward; it destroys the host.

Susan L. Taylor

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