The Power of Thought
Here is where you should be if you are someone you know has ever lived with the hurt and pain that only a dysfunctional childhood and emotional trauma, whatever the cause, can breed. The seed is planted and grows from family life— no matter its makeup—that does not provide the nurturing, caring, and protection to produce a healthy mind.
Childhood must be a safe and loving place for a child to grow strong of mind and character. And to change how you feel about your past or any other issues causing you concern, you must change how you think. All that we say and do is preceded by thinking. And how we think determines—to a greater extent, the outcome. How we see others act and the impact of their actions is the result of how they think. And this applies to all occupations, positions held, authority possessed, or not. No matter the station in life, age, gender, or any other characteristic, it is about thinking and how you do it. Here we will explore thinking and thought as it relates to our lives and events on the local, regional, national, and international stage.
I suffered what felt like a lifetime of living while trying the best that I could to last through the day. Through hurt and pain, I tried with all my might to understand the meaning of it all. My question was, who am I? What is my role and purpose in life. My road had been long and weary, and the answer came to me when I was not waiting for it nor expected it. I was ready for the first time, and I knew it. I had found what I was not aware I was looking for: my Self. What I once could not see is clear to me now. I understand and must move what I have learned forward.
Though I had taken years of university courses in Psychology and studied the field extensively, that is not what did it for me. It did not hurt, indeed; I learned a great deal. But, no, it is much deeper than that. It is about telling what you know. Letting it come out when it has hurt too long from keeping it in. What I have written came to me as naturally as the flowers that grow and the birds that sing. It is a process that flows easily. I wrote the words as they appeared to me. My whole life is the reason that I am, and what I now know is the foundation of my beliefs. In this life, you and I both have a role to play.
When I say to think a thought, I mean that thought and thinking are not always the same. Stay with me here; this requires a new way of thinking. Your life will be better off for what you can digest from what I have to say. A thought is just a thought until you think about it. You cannot think of a thing until you have a thought to think. And our thoughts are based on how we perceive what we see, hear, and feel. A thought just is until it is not. Think of a thought as being inert, not doing a thing from when we have it until we think of what we want to do with it. The time between the two is quick. There is no way to measure it. We are yet to know when someone has a thought or what they are thinking.
Thought is not only what we had. It is also what we have. You thought, and you have a thought. It is what we have thought and what we have to think. You cannot force a thought—trying to do so is called thinking. Once we have a thought, we think it, or it moves to our memory. It will not be undone. It is the same as it is with life. We cannot change the life we have lived; it is what it is, forever. Think about this. What exists to us is all we know. And we decide what we are going to do with it.
Say you are walking down a big city sidewalk, and along the way, you see me in the distance coming from the opposite direction. You will have a thought based on your perception of me and my presentation. This is the first thing that will happen. You will then think about possible scenarios and interactions. If you feel at ease, you will continue on your way. If you do not feel safe for some reason, you will go in another direction or proceed with caution. Or you may not have strong feelings either way. No matter how you feel, your feelings will be based on what you think. And you will act according to how you feel. We perceive, have a thought, think, feel, and act. That is the course of an action process, as I believe it to be.
We are taught how to think and must decide what to think. You should not think in a way that tells you things you do not need to hear. Your thoughts belong to you. No one can think for you, though many will try. Everything I say about thought, thinking, and how we perceive the world around us has just one purpose. I am not trying to tell you what to think. I am merely giving you something to think.
We are all born to think but must learn how. One of the most challenging things to take as a child is that I could be told what thoughts to think. I did not want to be hurt, and what I heard did just that. We must decide the thoughts we choose to think. No one can do this for you. But, when we are taught from the start by someone who cares, we can. Thinking is what feeds the mind and tells it what to do.
“I had a thought but don’t remember what it was.” Have you said this to yourself? The reason is that it was not a complete thought. When this happens, it is not a thought that held the mind’s attention. (I did not think it was important then, maybe later.) I believe that there are two kinds of thought. Have you been asked by someone what you think about a thought that they have. As in, I had a thought about us going shopping today. What do you think about that?
Their thought is the first thought. You can answer but should not until you know what they think. You could ask, what do you have in mind? What do you think? Your thought, then, is pending. A pending thought is still just a thought. As a reminder, there is nothing that we have the sole responsibility for than when, what, and how we think. It cannot be talked about enough; it determines how we live, if we live and what is done with us when we do not. It also determines whether we win or lose, go or stay or just be in the way.
Now back to the question, what do you do with your pending thought? You do not know what you think yet. It is a thought that has to wait for the first thought. Someone is yet to think and act. It is the person with the first thought. When asked what you think about a thing, if you do not think about it, you will think nothing. Therefore, there is nothing you can tell them. On one level, they may want your help to make up their mind. They must think first. Otherwise, they are asking you to think for them. This you cannot do.
To try to think for someone is not good thinking. One can let another decide for them. But it will not be their decision until they decide. To think is a process that must end. The power of thinking is in when you act. Before you do, you can feel happy or sad, good or bad. How you act, how I act, is the best that can be known about how we think. This is true no matter what.
Wait until you know all that you should.
You should not act on what you think someone is going to say. That is, to the extent that you have your say before they do. It is a fault that I had during my early years. I did not see it as a problem. Though I could tell there was a problem. It was not well received. I was this way because I was always on guard. I was trying to protect my feelings the best that I could. This was my stance and my ready mode. Wait until you know all that you should. What you think may not be what you think it is. That is because what we perceive and think we know may not be true. Perception can be real or not. What is to us is not always what is.
Thinking is a process; there is a start and a finish each time we think a thought. Once you start, you cannot stop until you are done. What we expose ourselves to will be the source of the thoughts that enter our mind. It is then up to us what we do with them. You should not let thoughts that are not wanted stay where they do not belong—these kinds of thoughts you should refuse to have anything to do with. No matter the source. Let them go to your memory and let them stay there. Do not think them. They are of no value; no good can come from them.
You must open your mind to allow what is outside to come in. Only then will you know if what you hear is what you want to keep. So take some time and think along with me here. You will undoubtedly have to think in a way that is different from how you have before. What you have thought to be may not be that way at all. And what you have been taught to believe does not always look the same when you learn to think your own thoughts better. This, of course, many thought they already knew.