It was a Monday morning. I was rushing to get my son ready in time for the bus and myself for work. We were both almost ready to go. The bus was about two minutes from arriving and as I am frantically prepping the final details to walk out the door, my son’s face changes. He looks at me and gives me his “I’m about to vomit” face as he grabs his stomach. He begins to feel sick. At this point my mind is processing a million thoughts per second: “What got him sick?”, “Will he be ok to go to school?”, “How late will I be to work if I take him?”, “Is this a bug? who passed it to him?”, and “Why is the house so messy?”, “How many meetings do I have today?”, “Can I take my conference calls from home?”– on and on the questions and chaos floating in my mind.
I decided it was best for him to stay home and for me to work from home to monitor him. As I made the decision, I stood there, staring at my unwashed dishes and the scattered toys in my living room. While I stood there, a thought came to my mind:
“The chaos in your home, is the reflection of your mind in this precise moment, it is time to begin a declutter of your thoughts to make room for some productive ideas”.
Some would say it was my conscience, but I would say it felt as if God spoke to my heart that morning.
How often is our mind in such a wilderness that we are not able to think with clarity? Well, mine has been in a jungle for the past months. I have cluttered my mind with a mixture of thoughts, some to which are just taking space in my mind– very similar to the unreturned shadow box sitting in my living room that I had planned to return to the store months ago. It’s there, not serving a purpose, but still taking space in my living room.
There is a verse that I love: 2 Timothy 1:7- to summarize it- God has given us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline or of a sound mind, not of fear. We have the power to control those thoughts that float in our mind.
I recently read a book called “Clearing Emotional Clutter” by Donald Altman. In his book, Altman explains that when we think of the same thought long enough, we begin to (literally) create paths in our brain, before we know it, our brain is automatically following these repetitive paths. These paths become our way of living. We act upon them and allow them to dictate our every day decision making.
In more comforting news, Altman also emphasizes that we can reroute these paths we create by simply beginning to shift our thinking and create new paths. I find this more difficult to do when we don’t know that God can help us.
Today, I choose to believe and trust in the power God has given me to change my thoughts that will lead to a different way of living. And, I invite anyone in need of doing the same to join me. I am sure a brighter path awaits those who choose to think positive and live differently.