Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and feeling empowered.
This week we ask:
Why Think Empowering Thoughts?
Have you ever considered that everything man-made began as a thought? Thoughts made possible every object we see, every object we use. Thoughts preceded the creation of the automobile and every advancement and improvement in its functionality. Thoughts preceded flight, and all the advancements that literally put a man on the moon. So, it stands to reason that if thought precedes creation, your thoughts are VERY important.
What are you creating with your thoughts? Our life experience is dominated by our thoughts. Limiting thoughts, no doubt, will limit what is possible for us. Empowering thoughts, no doubt, empower us. While it is easy and very popular these days to blame others or our past or our circumstances for all our sufferings, we need to own all that has happened in our lives and most importantly, how we deal with every situation.
This may be one of the most difficult decisions we make, but the alternative is living a deceitful life. The decision to own every aspect of one’s life is not an easy decision to make, except when one considers the alternative position, which is to be a victim.
Clearly, thoughts manifest. Look around you, everything material was manifested by thought. Now consider your life experience, if not fantastic, why not? Consider your thoughts.
Mildred Norman, who changed her name to Peace Pilgrim, once said that if we knew how powerful our thoughts are, we would never think another negative thought again.
How aware are you of your own thoughts? Are your thoughts more empowering, or limiting? Since thought has preceded all material creation, what are your thoughts possibly creating in your life?
James Allen said, ‘adversity doesn’t make us, it reveals us.’ I remember distinctly a period in my life where I felt I had every right to be angry and bitter because of the decisions made by another. But the bitterness affected my life profoundly, I found I couldn’t be my best self no matter how righteous my belief that I was a victim. This mantra helped me escape the pattern: “Bitterness is a poison you drink to hurt someone else.”
After being down for a while, I decided to seek out the experience’s lesson.
I wanted to work it all out as I wondered what was the adversity revealing to me that maybe I was refusing to see? And maybe, if I had the courage to face what was in my face, might I not become more from the experience? Was this really happening more for me, rather than to me? My physical life wasn’t ending, only my life as I knew it was ending. What rebirth was awaiting me that required the passing of the old?
As I reflected on the others’ decisions, why they do what they do, with the recognition of how thoughts, both conscious and unconscious influence behavior, I began to see how the choices others made really had nothing to do with me and that it was me who had chosen to take their actions personally. In the ancient text, we are encouraged to love our enemies, and I have found this possible with the deeper understanding of how our own thoughts are the primary influencer of our behaviors. With this insight, one can see that our enemies are really an enemy to themselves: projecting their hurt rather than owning it. People can become so unhappy with their painful thoughts. Often, to find immediate relief, they project those thoughts onto others - becoming dependent on others and circumstances to find relief. While it is much harder to pick up one’s own burden, it is the much more empowered position to take.
Whatever you may be facing in your life - face it! Own your thoughts, no one can force you to think what you think, in the end, you are making the choice. Are your thoughts serving you? Are your thoughts creating the life you want? Are you getting more bitter, or are you getting better? Are you thinking the thoughts of a victim, or are you thinking the thoughts of a victor? Which thoughts are more likely to serve you, those that come easily, or those that require effort and courage? Notice how easily it is to play the victim, with its added benefit of removing any responsibility on your part; but notice how it also removes empowerment, for that which we do not own, we have little to no power to affect. Live the truth, or you may end up saying such good lies even you’ll believe you.
When we choose to be a victim, we have made ourselves dependent, dependent on others or circumstances to change for us in order to be okay, whining and complaining away, hoping someone or something will save us from our misery. While all the while, it’s our own burden to pick up and carry.
Now, all of this is made even more difficult when we consider the unequal distribution of burdens; clearly, some people have much heavier burdens than others. And as much as we may want and even demand it, life is not fair, one only needs to watch the Nature Channel to be reminded that life can be brutal.
Frankly, it would be impossible to adequately measure and equally distribute all burdens as they are so diverse and numerous, not to mention the fact that our burdens are clearly made lighter or heavier by our own thoughts concerning them.
How does it benefit anyone to be a victim no matter what life has delivered? I recently wrote about a man I encounter at the Seattle Airport with no feet or hands, pushing his wheelchair with what was left of his arms. He appeared to be getting on with his life, self-propelled and empowered. No matter how hard your life is, it may be helpful to remember ICBW: It Could Be Worse!
Next time you are tempted to think, “Woe is me,” consider choosing the more challenging thought:
“Wow is me! I can do this, I can choose how to think, and I choose to live in gratitude no matter what happens. I choose to count it all as joy”. If you have the courage to choose the more challenging thoughts, notice how they will manifest for you a truly amazing life.
“A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” - Marcus Aurelius
This week, more than ever, notice your thoughts. Consider leveraging
“Wow is me!”
Be reminded of what you have already overcome. Life will bring you more challenges to reveal more of you, to you, so that you can become all-the-more for yourself and for others.
Own it all and be empowered by doing so!
Make it a great week!