Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
In the beginning there was a thought. It wasn’t much really. Just thinking about what someone said to me that I thought was hurtful. All day I tried to push that thought away, but it kept knocking at my door.
Pretty soon a friend called and I told her about that thought. I thought just having someone else empathize with me would make me feel better and I could let the thought go. But it didn’t help.
Then a few days passed and someone else said something to me that I thought was hurtful. This time I skipped past talking to a friend about it. I took that thought and tied it around my neck, as if it were a necklace, with the two hurtful thoughts hanging down the front.
Yet, as I went through the next few days, I found myself avoiding people. I didn’t want anyone else to hurt me. I thought I was protecting myself. Soon it’s what I did every time I was around other people. A week or two later, with those thoughts around my neck, I found myself angry and resentful of other people walking around looking so happy.
Everything inside began to harden like cement. I stood there stuck. My heart became hard. No longer was I known as the person who smiled no matter what happened; who could find the bright side even in the darkness. What had happened to me? Well here’s a possible answer:
Watch your thoughts;
they become your words.
Watch your words;
they become your actions.
Watch your actions;
they become your habits.
Watch your habits;
they become your character.
Watch your character;
it becomes your destiny.
--- Chinese Proverb, author unknown
I did some soul searching and prayed that I would be released from who I had become. And though it still grieves my spirit when someone says something hurtful to me, I don’t let the thought take control of even one day. There’s so much in this world that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
I can’t let negative thoughts take over my life. When something difficult happens, I acknowledge that it happened, but also try to see something else around me that can bring beauty to my life. I hope that you can, too.
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Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.