I recycle a lot of my thoughts.
And not the life-giving, emboldening ones.
There are grumpy ones: What kind of an idiot drives/talks/acts like that? Dispiriting ones: I just finished eating. What’s there to look forward to now? And self-condemning ones: I ruined that for everyone.
These habits of thought are stale, stubborn, and smash the spirit. I just can’t get on board with having them around all the time.
So if I’ve got this ability to recycle thoughts – and I think most of us do – why not change to recycle bigger, bolder ones instead? Evolutionarily, of course, we’re better primed for fear. But evolution is by definition change; we come from a long line of changers. Why not try changing some thinking habits?
I’ve got a little storehouse I’m building of greathearted thoughts: You’ve got this; What’s another way to make meaning of this? Take a long breath, now another; Remember, joy’s an option, too; Move towards compassion; You can find what else is possible.
When spirit-smashing thoughts slip in, I’ll reach into the storehouse and grab for something more nourishing, enlivening.
Sometimes it feels small, almost pathetic. Like trying to put out a bonfire with thimbles of water.
But I’ll keep at it. And why not? The alternative is a head full of stale thoughts. Plus, change is slow. Slow and possible.
And the possible I can get on board with having around all the time.