The wind was blowing so hard that, opening the door to the facility I was entering, I literally thought it was locked; that was how hard I had to pull. As I deliberately practiced reshaping my thoughts, I formed the idea, “How exciting would it be if one were back home, in a sailboat on Lake Erie, riding this wind!”
Bizarre, you say? Ridiculous, you say? You could drown, you say?
Well, except for the last statement, those really are not true. The reshaped thought makes sense, in light of the new old truth, rediscovered by every generation since the ancient philosophers. To various degrees, dependent on the context, your thoughts shape your reality.
My first thoughts on stepping from the car, fighting to keep my door in place, were not pleasant. A cleaned up version would be, “What earthly good is this wind?” Especially as I’d planned to go to the archery range after work. Ergo, I roped the thought, reined it in, and asked myself, where and under what condition could this wind possibly be a plus?
That’s when the sailboat image popped into my head.
Think about it, really; Is there a common characteristic to the people whom you don’t like to be around? Is it possible that one of those characteristics is the spreading of negative energy, by thought, word, and aura?
Yes, aura. I believe, I honestly do, that some people can spread negativity, suck positive energy, without even opening their mouths. Usually, when they do open their mouths, the negativity is reinforced.
I am not touting a simplistic or Polyannish approach to reality. I am simply asking readers to consider areas of your life, and look at how your thoughts may shape your reality. Is there truly a job for instance, where negatvity and complaining cause one to perform better? Sales, nope. Teaching, nope. Construction, won’t work.
How about family life? Does focusing on the faults of the spouse, the partner, the children, really lead to change? It may lead to compliance, if they don’t want to upset you. But compliance is not the same as change. It is something one does to placate,and usually only temporary.
By the same token, be it partner, coworker, or neighbor, many people will respond to positive thoughts, energy,and words.
Enough of this. We all know this to be true. What it requires is intentionality, akin to what I practiced when reshaping the wind. Grabbing hold of the complaint, the whime, the negative thought, immediately,and deciding what I can do about it.
There are practical limits. When I go out to my car, no matter how much I think it so, my Camry will not have morphed into an XF. But try it, put it into practice, as a discipline, for a week, two weeks. See if it doesn’t make a difference.
Anyway, in a windstorm like this, it’s a good day not to have a brand new XF.
Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian School. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org