Thoughts and action


My posts recently have all centered around my sickness. I absolutely hate this sickness and hope it is over soon, but it has not been without its lessons.

The most recent lesson concerns thoughts and actions. This sickness has been incredibly painful and very very long. This is my first experience with a long term illness and the depression snuck in unexpected and uninvited. It was a deep depression that was taking its toll on my body and mind.

I went to see a counselor because the depression had become too much for me to handle alone. She talked to me about thoughts and action. She said that the longer I dwell on negative thoughts, the more they will gain strength, and when they gain enough strength, I will act upon them. She said that I must stop the negative thoughts in their infancy when they don’t have much strength, and I must not let them get to the point where I would act upon them.

Luckily, I had been meditating for a few years so I had some experience with controlling thoughts. So I put her advice into practice and began nipping the thoughts in the bud. I won’t say it was easy — I used all sorts of distraction techniques as well — and I won’t say that I was always successful, but I was successful enough to not go spiraling out of control.

And then one day — a day that I was feeling well — I thought, “I’ll write a little today.” Immediately, all the negative thoughts came crashing in: I’ve never been successful; I don’t know how to write; I don’t know what to write. But I had just spent the past couple of days nipping negative thoughts in the bud, and my mind immediately did it again. Snip snip, the thoughts were gone. And every time they tried to crowd back in, snip snip and they were gone.

And I could move. I could write. My negative thoughts had kept me from writing for so long, but I had learned from this illness that if you allow negative thoughts to become a runaway train, they will gain strength and you will act upon them, as in this case to never write.

And I wonder about the flip side. Can you allow positive thoughts to become a runaway train? Can you see the love and beauty that exists around us, and nurture those thoughts into full blossom and action? Can you see your own talent and worth and nurture those thoughts into full blossom and action?

I have learned from this illness that your thoughts are your power. Thoughts, when nurtured and strengthened, are your actions. So clip the negative thoughts when they are young and weak, and encourage and nurture the positive thoughts until they are so powerful that your actions reflect the very best part of you.

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