WHen you can be anything, be nice

It is so hard to look in the newspaper, go on Facebook or even Twitter without being bombarded with the negativity going on in the cities around us. Why, when we can focus on the good do we so often get drawn to the negative like flies to a fly trap? When we give the bad images, and activities a spot in our lives the bad guys win! The human race is built to have a selfish mindset, it is engrained into us from the time of Adam and Eve. We look out for ourselves and those in our family and circle, and even then we give the best to ourselves and then to those around us. This is not to put down people, it is just what it is and that is why there are rules and laws that we have to follow so that we can live in harmony with each other. When we add in extra stressors and injustices the will to act out becomes stronger and for some it is strong enough to do something that doesn’t do anyone any good. To be selfish is easier compared to being selfLESS. Thankfully there are people (me included) that disagree with the selfISH way of life. These are the people that:

  • work hard so that others can have a better way of living
  • believe that what you do when there is no one watching is way more important than what you do when you are being watched
  • go out to clean up after those who decided to act out in rage and ignorance, risking their own well being in the process (Eugene, OR)
  • stand up for what’s right even if it means they can loose everything
  • spend all afternoon baking to share with their neighbors a sweet treat
  • go to the store for those who can’t leave their homes
  • risks their lives daily to keep us safe
  • Help others who otherwise can’t help themselves
  • selflessly give of themselves even when they don’t have much
  • follow what is in their heart, and reach out to just say hello with a smile and a handshake

The list can go on and on, in fact I would love to hear some of your stories or examples of people that you know that are selfLESS. What would our world, our cities and our towns look like or even be like if we focused more on the good than the bad? What if newspapers, new stations, Facebook etc decided that on top of reporting news stories, they reported on the random acts of kindness happening around us? I know I would start paying attention to what they had to say.

In order for things to start to change you have to gain control of the thoughts in your head. Romans 12:2 says “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind”. Too often we become victims to the thoughts we have rather than fighting through the negative thoughts to become victorious in changing our thought process. Jennie Allen in her book Get Out of Your Head writes about a pattern we all seem to fall into that led to healthy or unhealthy thoughts. The pattern is as follows:

Our emotions were leading us to thoughts, and those thoughts were dictating our decisions, and our decisions were determining our behaviors, and then the behaviors were shaping our relationships, all of which would take us back to either healthy or unhealthy thoughts

The greatest battle that is taking place right now in our lives is the one going on in our heads. Our brain is a powerful tool that can be used for good as well as bad. If we start to work on taking every thought captive we can start to change the negative thoughts we have to good. Being kind, being selfLESS, being the good in the world is not routine and normal, it takes a lot of hard work and the willingness to change our thought processes. I have this friend who is the kind of person that just makes you smile just thinking about her. She is smart, and sassy and oh so very sweet. Last year when my husband left to work out of the country for a few months I really needed someone to encourage me and tell me that I could handle being a “single mom” for 5 months. I would tell people I could handle it, I would put on a brave front but if you were able to hear the thoughts going through my head you would send me to the crazy farm. My friend could sense I needed some encouragement, some time to process the change in my life and so she “forced” me and the kids to her cabin in the woods.

cabin in the woods

That was exactly what I needed at that moment. If I had to spend any more time with the thoughts in my head I would have had to start my anxiety medications again. Instead, the peacefulness, and talks I shared with this friend grounded me and set me on a course that allowed me to see I wasn’t alone and that I was stronger than my thoughts allowed me to believe. I allowed my emotions to dictate my behavior which had I not stopped the downward spiral would have made the relationship with my husband get filled with resentment because he was gone and I had to take care of the household on my own. By recognizing that I was on a downward spiral I was able to step back, confide in a friend and change the outcome.

If negative thoughts cause so much harm, why do we tend to keep going back to them? Research has even shown that the toxic thoughts we have in our heads are in direct relation with the vast amounts of illnesses that we deal with. The more negative we feel and the more negative thoughts we have directly correlate with the way we act and present ourselves. We all have been around the person that can bring the whole room down by just walking into it. On the flip side we have also been around that person who seems to have sunshine just follow them wherever they go. We might assume that the happy person hasn’t had any hardships in her life but that assumption is usually wrong. They have usually been able to rise above the hardships and have seen the good that is still out there. This person has been able to take control of there thoughts to rise above.

In the following weeks I will be going through the book Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen and hope you will follow along on the journey with me to getting past the toxic thoughts in our heads. If you want to go on this journey with me you can clink on the link here to purchase the book. In a world where it is easier to be selfISH, taking the harder path of being selfLESS is necessary. It is vital that people change their mindsets to be the kind of change the world needs. Until next time:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Matthew 6:34

God doesn’t want you to carry the weight, the heaviness, the pressures of the world on your shoulders. You have to choose to throw your cares, fears, worries, anxieties, and doubts over to God.

Vance K. Jackson

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