April 28, 2019

How Pessimistic Thinking Drains our Energy

 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”--Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

The apostle Paul must have had an easy life at the time he wrote the scripture above, right? How could he write about light and virtue, if his life was difficult? In fact, the great man could teach us all a lesson in attitude.

The book of Philippians was probably written in 62 AD. Paul was in prison in Rome at that time. In fact, he was in the most notorious detention center in the city: Mamertine Prison—a holding cell before trial or execution. It was a former cistern (reservoir for water—possibly sewer water). Prisoners were lowered through a hole into the lower dungeons. There were no other openings or windows.

The Pitfalls of Negative Emotions (Ideas taken from charminghealth.com)

 Negative emotions are counterproductive. They mold our entire thinking pattern in the wrong direction. Further descriptions include the following:
  • Energy wasters
  • Self-deceit that gradually destroys the mind
  • Persistent way of wrong thinking
  • Form of self-torture comparable to hari kari (aka seppuku, suicide), which was practiced by samurai in Japan. It was ritual suicide by slashing through one’s abdomen with a sword.  

It’s easy for some of us to imagine the worst-case scenario. Thankfully, many things turn out to be less of a problem than expected. Here are two examples:

Bullets or Biscuit Dough?

Joel Osteen shares a story of a lady who had severe negative imaginations. She bought groceries and placed the bags in her hot car. After a few minutes, she heard a loud pop. Then, she felt something gooey on the back of her head.  She started screaming hysterically right away. The poor woman was sure she had been shot, and her brains were oozing out.

Police officers arrived to investigate. They yelled at the distraught woman to open the car door, so they could help her. The lady said she couldn’t; she had to hold her brains in. She refused to take her hand off the back of her head.

The officers were forced to break her car window. They had a hard time remaining serious when they found the cause of the commotion…

A canister of biscuit dough had exploded in the overheated back seat. The driver had dough all over the back of her head.

How Serious is my Car Malfunction?

My family and I have had major system failures on most of our cars.  We have also been in a number of auto accidents. My kids and I see plenty of mishaps on the road. It’s accurate to say I’m cautious, even paranoid, when I drive. That’s probably why I get honked at quite often.

I must have been particularly confused and paranoid when I started my car one morning. An alarm started beeping immediately. I panicked. The first question I asked myself was, “What’s wrong now?”

I hadn’t fastened my seat belt. The seat belt indicator light was blinking. I didn’t have to pay hundreds more dollars in repairs; I just had to buckle myself in. Problem solved.

My Conclusion

Quotes taken from Goodreads

“Your mind is a ship; it can sail across the universe as long as you don't allow negative thoughts to sink it.”― Matshona Dhliwayo
“Remember, what you "feel" and what is "real" are often very different.”― Eddie Capparucci, LPC

Maybe you’re fighting biscuit dough, not bullets…think about it.

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