I listened to some teaching the other day regarding reframing our thoughts. No doubt, the mind is a battlefield and we often experience ‘fiery darts’ bombarding our thoughts, and for those who don’t then what a blessed rest you must have to not have to contend with unhelpful thoughts.
In times of trauma or adversity, it may be very difficult to ‘reframe’ our thoughts because of being caught up in the middle of highly stressful circumstances and being in survival mode.
Yet at other times, we are often influenced by messages we have taken in throughout our lives, from the noise of the world around us, and from a variety of other sources. Sometimes the thoughts can tend to worry, negativity, depression, fear, anxiety or just be seeming ‘pictures’ or images from past experiences, and these may be things we’d rather forget.
This can cloud or feelings, our mood and perspective of our day, and it can take time and effort to overcome. We need a healthy dose of Truth to be able to ‘gird up the loins of our mind’ and to ‘take every thought captive’. Sometimes we have to purposefully look for the good in our day, or create something good in our day to help with unhelpful thought patterns.
If you have believed a lie that keeps recurring in your mind, such as something someone said about you or told you that belittles your worth or ability as a person, then you will need to hold Truth in your mind to counter that and to be ready to change those patterns and it might take work over time. Thoughts such as you are valuable, beautiful as a human being, worthy, intelligent, kind, capable, etc, and sometimes we need a ‘bridge’ to get there, i.e. doing some ground work to cross over from those lies we were made to believe about ourselves perhaps as children, to being able to gradually accept and even embrace the truth of who we really are.
In similar fashion, we can reframe the outlook of our day. The teaching I was listening to showed a giant canvas painting or photograph of a sky, where on one side there was a brilliant orange and the sun’s light in the clouds, bright and beautiful, and at the other edge of the picture were some dark, grey and almost black ominous looking clouds. Overall the picture was beautiful and in balance, but the speaker took a little frame and held it up to different parts of the picture to contrast how our outlook sometimes focuses in on either the negative or the positive and this can change the outcome of our day.
How do we look at things? How do we choose to look at things? Most of us have experienced negative thoughts that may have stemmed from lies we’ve been told about ourselves, and we also face the fears and worries of the world we live in. We don’t need to ignore the reality but we can reframe our thinking and we can look for the good in our day.
Sometimes this can be as simple as accepting those difficult thoughts and emotions, letting them pass and then grasping onto Truth to replace them with and perhaps we may have to do this over and over again until we create new more helpful and true patterns of thinking. It might be taking a moment to be thankful intentionally for the good things we have enjoyed that day such as shelter, food, clothing, conversation, and it could be taking a few minutes to reach out to someone else, to be creative to give thanks and pray or do something that adds love and joy to the world and our lives even if it is not seen by others. We can be thankful, we can praise, we can take a moment to still our busy minds and focus on the good. Sometimes this is a challenging process, and for some people it isn’t an issue, they are so positive and carefree by nature, but for those of us who do think and feel deeply and sometimes experience these challenging thoughts and emotions especially if we’re feeling impacted by what’s happening in the world, then we can do certain things to shift our focus, to change our gaze. If we can’t help one thousand, we can help one.
So take a moment today and pay attention to what may be a stronghold in your mind, find Truth to replace those negative thoughts with and also look for the good in your day, perhaps turn your hand to something creative, something uplifting, something lovely and good and see how, even if for a few moments, your thoughts and mood shift. The day will pass either way, so look for the good in your day, and be thankful. ❤ x