Mark Twain wrote: “Life consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one's head.” Implying, we play a role in our own suffering. Our mind is the most powerful tool we have for the creation of good, but if used wrongly, can be a destructive force in our life.
My inner voice pointed out I was squandering my own peace by reminded me everyone’s dealing with something. It’s now clear that reacting emotionally is a waste of energy and forfeits my peace of mind. My destination is creating a more compassionately empathetic, loving, calmer, happier me. Life is short, and to create the peaceful life I seek, I decided to stop causing myself pain by seeing only the bad, complaining, creating emotional drama, and in its place, practice the pause, non-judgment, patience, take deep breaths, lower my expectations, smile more and let it be.
I detest the full body, joy-sucking, hormonal release of anger, so now when someone drives erratically, I shout, “I love you” and consider they may have lost their job, a loved one, their dog, or dumped by a significant other. Or, “Go ahead, I’m retired, cut in line, what’s my big hurry,” Life is quite challenging, so instead of judging, I’ve decided loving and grace wins, compassion is good medicine for my soul, and I will no longer set myself on fire.
Controlling our emotions and thoughts influences the way we live our life. Emotions are reactions to the thoughts we focus upon. Where thoughts go, energy flows. How we feel reflects what we’re thinking, therefore, we’re living in a world of thought: our thoughts create our experiences. English philosopher James Allen wrote: “As a man thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.” Stoic and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote: “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” Poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” Author Earl Nightingale said: “We become what we think about.”
We participate in creating our reality whether we know it or not. Internationally renowned author and speaker, Wayne Dyer preached, “Change your thinking, change your life…Whatever you can dream, you can achieve.” Happiness, grumpiness, anxiety, and futility can be triggered by our negative behaviors. Author and master trainer of Neurolinguistic Programming Michael Neill explains: “It’s not the thoughts that pass through your head that impact your life; it’s the one you take possession of and think about all day long. Once we agree to give our attention to a thought, it becomes more and more real to us over time and has more and more power over our life.”
Research shows most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation. Complaining is tempting because it feels good, but like many behaviors that are pleasurable, like eating a pound of bacon and “PoopTarts” for breakfast, complaining isn’t good for us. Researchers from Stanford University say, “Repeated complaining rewires the brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than positive, regardless of what's happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior. Complaining shrinks the hippocampus, critical to problem solving and intelligent thought.” Researchers at the University of California found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, experienced improved mood and energy and less anxiety due to lower cortisol levels.
To remain centered and grounded in a world gone barking mad, I’ve learned to value and protect my peace by taking advantage of quiet solitude, seeing the good in all things, obeying my gut instincts, take deep calming breaths, exhale anger, put the ‘bird’ back onto its cage, and surround myself with uplifting, supportive friends who get me. If I must filter and defend what tumbles out of my mouth, then I will no longer waste my energy. Alas, many souls don’t move forward because they’re stuck in the same thinking loop they’ve had all their life.
What life has taught us is that, with our thinking and reactions, we can create either heaven or hell on earth: happiness, joy, grace, light, and peace, or misery, stress, anger, guilt and fear. Life is infinitely more enjoyable without creating more anger. Control your thoughts and let it be, because in the end, I believe love always wins.