I remember back in high school when a bunch of mates and I decided to go to the show and have some fun on the rides. One of them found two of the dizziest rides next to one another, and challenged herself to go on one, then straight on the other …and then back and forth as many times and as fast as she could. By the time she finished, she couldn’t even walk a few metres in a straight line and was chucking up everywhere!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes life gets so full on it can almost make you as dizzy as a ride at the carnival.
But aren’t our thoughts like that sometimes? Going round and round like a merri-go-round? Have you ever thought …I don’t like this ride and I wanna get off! …I know I have.
Getting stuck on the merri-go-round of thoughts is not only stressful, it’s so dangerous that it even makes your brain chemistry toxic and causes changes in your brain and body to the point of becoming physically sick, and much sicker that a quick chuck up after a dizzy ride.
You see, when our minds revolve around in the past, thinking about the things we can’t change, the things that hurt us, the things we regret, the things we’ve lost, we become depressed. On the other hand, our minds can also get stuck revolving around the worries of the future. A future of unknowns and insecurities dictated by our fears and those terrible “what if” thoughts and we get stuck in anxiety.
What if I die! What if she leaves me? What if I lose my job and I can’t pay the bills?…. Sometimes it’s both.
I can hear some of your thoughts ticking over …but I can’t get off the merri-go-round! I’ve tried hard! It spins too fast, and I don’t know how to get off! So what am I supposed to do?
Here’s the thing:
We can actually house train our mind. Think of your thoughts like a new puppy. It needs to be trained to obey, and not go peeing all around the house, and ripping into the garbage. We have to set good discipline and boundaries …following through with something tangible and positive to enforce the new good behaviour. We have to refocus the puppy in the present moment! It’s similar with our thoughts. We can actually set boundaries and re-train them.
It’s healthy to visit the past to process struggles and then harvest the lessons we’ve learned -and the wisdom we’ve gained, reframing them into positive experiences. We can give our thoughts permission to visit the past with boundaries, like for good memories, something or someone of value. We can visit, but we can’t live there. And we certainly can’t afford to get stuck there.
If we do that, the puppy in our brain, never grows up, it sniffs it’s way to the garbage and pees all over the place. We end up self focused and into ourselves, focused only on the mess, and the problem grows bigger and stronger.
The same principle applies to forward thinking. We can visit the future to vision and dream, and set goals with God. We can visit and weigh up consequences, to make sensible decisions but we must not be fooled into thinking that we can live there. We can’t use it to worry ourselves sick over what may or may not be.
The enemy will have you living in the past or future constantly, to keep you depressed, stressed, distracted and exhausted. He’ll send you on guilt trips, and hurl you into black holes and panic attacks. Anything to keep your eyes off Jesus, and your mind on your mess …anything to steal your peace, and to steal your joy.
But the bible tells us how to combat all of this…are you ready to get off the ride?
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 Casting down imaginations and every high thing that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. -2 Corinthians 10:4-5
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms -Deuteronomy 33:27\
Article supplied with thanks to Brave Enough Media.
About the Author: Danni is a tv and radio presenter and the Founder and CEO of Brave Enough. It is her passion to encourage people to be brave enough to heal and find hope and freedom in the love of Jesus.
Feature image: Photo by ckturistando on Unsplash