Inner Disturbances…


A jogger runs on a sunny morning on Sanata Monica Beach, California.

Having just traveled back from beautiful, warm southern California, I can certainly appreciate the blessing and reverie that accompanies a calm, sunny day with absolutely no weather disturbances. Far less frequently perhaps, I’ve been a part of turbulent storms deluged with rain, howling winds and general upset feelings of turmoil and unrest. During storms the accepted notion is to get through the disturbed weather and back to the calm; the sooner, the better. Our ideal state of mind is also found in peaceful, pleasant warmth of thought and as such it is our duty to track down and eliminate the sources of disturbance and turbulence that seek to assault us day by day…

You might be surprised to learn that we all have a mental environment that we maintain day by day. Our mental environment might be best represented by the weather. Our mental weather, like physical weather, is not a permanent condition but rather something that ebbs and flows depending upon where we live (mentally). However, unlike the physical weather, we have complete control over our mental weather no matter what is going on around us. The trouble is that many of you have lived in the bad weather for so long that you have resigned yourself to it being considered “normal.” You’ve accepted it like a thunderstorm and concluded it is just a part of life. You believe it is expected as a human to have persistent anxiety and perpetual worries blowing your mind around like chance wind gusts! Instead of getting to the bottom of the disturbances, you wait and wait for the sun to come back out or produce some artificial sunlight through chemicals and other distractions. You are so disturbed you are no longer aware you are disturbed.

Think back to the times when your mind wasn’t a helter-skelter of confusing thoughts and unusual sensations. Try to recall when you didn’t rashly assume your job was to think your way out of looming disasters, thereby eliminating the need for constant fret and worry. Picture yourself fondly consumed in the moment with no particular inclination to find the surreptitious beast looming behind every corner seeking to bring you woe. Do you remember? You may have been a child or even perhaps a young adult. In some cases you might have even been in middle age yet delightfully caught up in some combination of sublime conditions. No matter the time period, the age or the conditions, those times of sun-drenched days came around and persisted because you were making proper use of your mind. There should be nothing associated with adulthood that requires living amidst perpetual shitty weather! Boiling up with worry, anxiety and fear are not traits associated with maturity or heightened awareness of the pitfalls of life. They are instead just that…worry, anxiety and fear! And like any good student you learned their ways and adopted them for yourself. Someone or something sold you tornadoes and hurricanes so you might be satisfied with thunderstorms and gale force winds, while calm, blessed sunshine was not listed as an option.

The good news is that your weather forecast is entirely changeable dependent upon how serious you are about getting above the clouds. You can learn, no matter what has assailed you in the past, to develop a calm, peaceful, settled mind and experience a clarity that formerly eluded you. However, you, similar to your dealings with the physical weather, aren’t going to be able to do this on your own. You aren’t going to brace yourself up by your own bootstraps and get the job done. Do you know why? Because your limited, finite, senses logic is not capable of getting the job done. Welcome to humanity! The slippery tricks that planted the storm clouds in your noggin’, planted them there based on what you do not know! Instead, if you want to get to the sunshine, the sweet repose, the perfect day, it is necessary for you to get back to the Source of light and sunshine directly. I don’t know what it is about people that compels them to figure everything out on their own. Remember when you knew you didn’t know? How sweet that time was…

Your heartfelt conversation with the One that invented thinking is as simple as, “Lord, I read a thing today that said I didn’t have to live with all this turbulence in my head. (You know how I hate turbulence!) Help me to get back to that sweet place and show me how to do it!” With God, it never needs be any more complicated than that. You’ll discover a fantastic thing when you finally figure out how hard you have been making everything and just ask for help. Children have the good sense not to accept mental disturbances and on those rare occasions when they are troubled, they are going to let you know about it fairly quickly. You see, they are still children of the sunshine!

Today is the day to get your head to California! Now is the time to seek something better for yourself. Stop succumbing to the fear and terror that ravages the planet and your mind. Quit accepting anxiety as a normal condition and the medications that go with it. Believe to experience life as you were intended to experience it. Get to that place because that place exists and it’s not reserved for those who do anything other than believe! Ask, believe and see…

When confronted with the storms of life declare, “Peace be still…” and then go back to sleep… 😉

 

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It’s Your Fruit…


oranges-1117628_1280.jpgWhenever I see someone really living the life riding in the high places of the earth, after I change my mind to stop ‘hatin’ a little, I have tremendous admiration for them. I admire them because I know they have believed to be who they are and where they are and have received the results of their believing. LeBron James believed to be LeBron James. Sure he came from the factory gifted with size and natural ability, but this whole “King James” business was his own idea. You can apply this with breathtaking accuracy to any successful person you see. You can also apply this with the same mathematical exactness to any failure you might observe, even your own. The life that you are living at this very moment in time is the result of those thoughts and beliefs you have held dear. Your frustrations, your sufferings, your pains have all come about as a result of what you have believed and continue in accordance with those beliefs. The results in your life, good or bad, are your fruit and by your fruit you are known!

It’s such a tragedy that so many people limp through life reacting to circumstances for which they have unknowingly believed. They do not want those circumstances but their thoughts and beliefs encourage them instead of thwarting and slaying them! The world, with all of its negativity, works you over day by day, without your consent or even your awareness. It’s feeding you messages of struggle and defeat while at the same lauding celebrities famous for being famous. It looks like the things you so desperately need are too hard or too far away. The goal? Talking you into settling for less than the best and accepting mediocrity and failure. Here’s a simple experiment. Read the following statement: You deserve the very best in life. Say it out loud to yourself! “You deserve the very best in life, Tony!” Now, be honest and observe your reaction to that statement. Where did your mind trim that back a little? “Well, I don’t need the best, but pretty good will work.” Or maybe you don’t feel you deserve the best. Or is it too late now for you to receive the very best? Whatever your mind came up with in opposition to that statement, is a lie; a wrong belief, that limits your success. Why wouldn’t you as the only you, you have, deserve the very best expectations from you for you? Don’t make this about God. This is about you in the realm that you control!

While you may find yourself a bit defeated in this life or maybe you have had some wind taken out of your sails, be encouraged and comforted in this, namely that you can change your thoughts and thus change, remedy or repair your life. You’re going to need God’s help, but trust me, His first expectation from you is for you to change your thoughts. He’s really, really, really good at His job, but He isn’t going to do your job no matter how much you pray! Change your mind. You determine the speed and pace in which your life transforms. Radical life changes require radical thought changes. You see, this thought thing is so much larger than you may have imagined before. I’m not talking about thinking something positive from time to time, I’m talking about monitoring and reshaping your thoughts throughout a day, day after day, one day at a time. Find something true from God’s Word that you can use to counter the darkness. Then seriously and diligently work on it!

Circumstances are not lined up against you, they’re lined up against all of us. The difference lies only in what you will and will not accept as true. Things are not true because they look true or seem true or are factually true, they are true if God says they are true. In similar fashion, you are not who you might see in the mirror, chubby or slim, or the results you have obtained in this life, or your successes or your failures, your mistakes or your good deeds. You are who God says you are, no exceptions! The only way to break the chains of previous results and former losses is to view yourself and your life in an entirely new light. No matter how it may look, you have control over those circumstances, albeit indirectly.

The fruit evident in your life at this very moment, delightful or rotten, is of your own making and owned entirely by you. Your life is like a full feature movie with you as the producer. You are the one deciding upon the beginning, the middle and the ending. You can write a dramatic success story or you can write a sorrowful saga. But, make no mistake, you are the writer, the editor, the producer! You may choose to modify your story or you can choose to ride the waves of circumstance. If you just go with the flow, then the flow may take you places you didn’t want to go. How many times have you heard someone say, “I didn’t think my life would end up this way.” The only way your life ends up in a place you didn’t choose is by turning over the reigns of choice and control to someone or something else. No action, no directed and focused thought is also an action, a passive one leading away from and not towards your dreams.

This incredibly short life with all of its ups and downs is one vast classroom whereby you may decide to learn how it works and modify yourself to fit within the existing framework or you can continue to fight against the circumstances you created and blame God, the culture, the economy, your momma or whatever else neatly takes away responsibility from yourself! The choice is yours my friend. The choice has always been yours…

Just some good thoughts…