The Spin Cycle of Error


spin_cycleHave you ever found yourself caught up in a negative spin cycle of error that ever picks you up and drops you off at the same place repeatedly, eventually draining all the life right out of you? Have you ever found yourself plagued by the same issues year after year? Have you ever decided to make a journal entry and as you read some of your former entries from ten years ago realize you are writing about the exact same crap? If so, you might be trapped in the spin cycle of error…

It goes without much thought to recognize that error is always complicated. At its base it is simply a lie you’ve been talked into believing and subsequently experiencing day after day. However, its simplicity is masked and befuddled with extraneous data like the Tax Code rendering its victims unaware of what is going on or how to ever change it. The only way that error can gain a foothold in your life is by getting you to cooperate by repeating and rehearsing certain thoughts, words and behaviors.

As a person thinks in their heart, they are, whether their thoughts are good, constructive and useful, or wrong, defeated and debilitating. Wrong thoughts or thoughts containing error hide alongside many other thoughts. In the milieu of thought, it is very difficult to discern what is going wrong or to isolate rogue thoughts that bring negative results. However, if you find yourself experiencing negative results i.e. all mashed together in a damp heap, spinning and spinning amidst an ocean of the same crap, you have got some error going in your thinking that you must repair.

You can almost always tell what thoughts you are harboring in your mind by the stuff that spews out of your mouth. What negative views of yourself can your friends predict you will say? What line of self-deprecating humor is your go to laugh line? Are you disappointed with yourself or the person you have turned out to be and as a result say bad things about yourself to yourself? Those harsh views, jokes and negative self-image all point to some errors you have been holding onto inside.

Although always preceded by thoughts, certain behaviors serve only to thwart you and retard your progress. Certain pleasures conceal the poison contained within them which is only discovered once the poison has taken effect. Some activities promise you fulfillment in one area only to pay a heavy tax in another. Behaviors the run at cross purposes with the Laws of Love always demand payment in pain and suffering.

In order to stop the murderous spin cycle of error, you must attach yourself to something that doesn’t move around day by day. You must affix your purpose to something that is true and immovable. You finally find the hidden error by focusing on the truth. Focusing on the error; the why didn’t I see this coming of the error; the how did this happen to me of the error; leads only to, and trust me on this one, countless journal pages dedicated to and salaaming error, inadvertently and unknowingly worshipping the evil one! You are not going to see your way out playing that game. The treachery isn’t in presenting you with wrong choices and getting you to choose them. The deception is in what you’ve been talked into focusing on! If you’ve lived a little you already know that stepping aside or missing a step is easy. Everyone you have ever met has come up short in some capacity. The test for success is in getting back up, dusting yourself off and walking in a new direction leaving all of the past behind you.

Error holds sway by wearing you out on the inside. In order to wear you down and eventually out, it must have access to your head and heart. It doesn’t flourish by mistakes you have made here and there, even the egregious ones. It flourishes and tightens its grip   by getting you to shift and keep your focus in the wrong place. Maybe you made a heinous mistake twenty years ago that ended up defining the life you live right now. How can something that happened twenty years ago define your present existence? It does so because you have held onto the damn thing like a cherished guest for twenty frikkin years. The fact that you did something wrong twenty years ago and still insist on bringing it to mind is the larger error.

God’s way out of these mental prisons that thwart and defeat you is by you making the decision to no longer hold onto and cleave to the error! If your life isn’t what you want it to be today, get busy changing it into something you like. Lamenting on what’s wrong with it is just getting suckered into more of the same! If you’ve made some bad mistakes, you have beaten yourself up enough already. Jesus Christ paid for the sins, not your insistence on suffering and self-condemnation! (Do you really believe God wants you to suffer?) If you have some gnarly thoughts concerning your self-image, it’s up to you to change those concepts and start seeing yourself like God sees you.

At the end of the day, just know and understand that you are doing it to yourself. Sure, there is an evil one and yes, life can be very challenging at times, but you are only responsible to live this life one day at a time, forgetting all that is past and refusing to be afraid of the future. Change your life by changing your subject of focus! Get out of the spin cycle and move on over to the warm dryer where life is oh so good…

Just some good thoughts,…

 

 

 

Making Your Mind a Friend…


Different emotionsYears ago I wrote a book called, “Making Your Mind a Friend.” It was an amateurish project at best, but at the time I penned it, it helped save me from a world of suffering; suffering mostly self-imposed by wrong thought with a heavy, heavy dose of religious bondage. Somehow, in some imperceptible way, I had morphed (or had been morphed) into everything I hated in life. I became sickly religious and when you get religious enough, everything you do or say or feel will be wrong. It’s wrong because you have set up for yourself an impossible standard. And, before you know it, your worst, most pervasive enemy will be your very own mind. Thus, making your mind a friend isn’t about splitting yourself into two separate entities and having positive dialogue with each part. It’s about learning to extend kindness and forgiveness and friendliness to your own self in the same way you might extend it to your friend.

I remember years ago when my brother had agreed to watch our boys. When we picked them up he explained incredulously, that one of them was throwing rocks in the road and when he told him to stop, he threw another one! He couldn’t understand how that could happen. Of course, he didn’t have his own children yet. He now knows that disobedience happens but it is the parent’s job to correct it. So here’s a thought. Disobedience happens with adults also. But, just like when you correct a child, no matter how satisfying the chastisement feels, all a parent is really after is an acknowledgement from the child that they did something wrong. There’s rarely much to say after the apology occurs.

How many of you have spent years and years chastising yourself for some event that has long since expired? It’s gone from life and is in the books. It only shows up again when you re-read the book. Stop re-reading the book! The things you do wrong and have done wrong were committed to the history book just as quickly as they happened. They are no longer a part of your life unless you allow them to be. The egregious errors, the scarring hurts, the bruising slights all have vanished from the present reality. You make your mind a friend by not subjecting your friend to the same old, tired story. Like your friend who might tell you it’s time to get over it, it’s time to get over it. You don’t magically transform bad behaviors by punishing yourself, you know that! You transform yourself the same way your child transforms, by receiving your forgiveness. And don’t you think for a second that God is bringing it up. God forgave you the FIRST time you were sorry. You have to “accept” His forgiveness also. Beyond that it’s all a bunch of egotism and you can take that to the bank!

Once I heard a father say how dumb his kid was and that he didn’t think his elevator went all the way to the top. How sad is that? To think that a father would say that about his own flesh and blood, astounded me. All I could think was, he’s your own kid! What the eff is the matter with you? Your child will be about as smart and talented and good as you can teach him he can be. You, horrible father, are outrageously defining his limit. Now as bad as I guess that made you feel, how about the things you say to yourself? Would you so easily tell your good friend that he was an idiot? Would you be so quick to focus on and point out his every weakness and fault? Oh sure you would see both, but out of love you wouldn’t bring them up, would you? Do you know anyone on earth that gets better at something after repeatedly being told he sucks at it? Weakness is never overcome by focusing on the weakness. You win at life by focusing on your strengths; what you can do the best! Strength is built from strength! All you accomplish by acquiescing to an endless stream of negative chatter about yourself is to weaken and severely limit your true capabilities. And, the worst part? You are saying those things to yourself! You aren’t just being honest! You are treating yourself like an enemy and not a friend. If you don’t love you, who does? Well, God does and He disagrees with your estimation of yourself. Again, beyond that, it’s all just a bunch of egotism…and your insistence on self harm.

Making your mind a friend is about choosing what you will and will not think about and choosing what you will and will not say to yourself. Your mind is your mind and you may use it in whatever fashion you see fit. You may say, “I can’t stop thinking about it!” But, oh yes you can! Like a lifelong smoker, the longer you’ve been engaged in the habit, the harder it is going to be to stop. The new non-smoker has to say ‘no’ to himself one hundred times a day at first, but the next day may only require seventy-five. Eventually the thought comes up ever so rarely. The same with negative talk and condemnation, once you break the habit, it happens less and less. And like the smoker that quit, you brighten your prospects for a long, happy, successful life.

At the end of the day, you my dear friend, are the only you, you’ve got! And, like your heart would seek in earnest to console your sad, defeated child, you must learn to be good to yourself. You aren’t serving God by behaving that way, no matter what some preacher may have told you, you are serving your enemy by your refusal to believe what God has already said. You aren’t the evil one, but you just may have been listening to him. Be kind with yourself. Be forgiving with yourself. Learn to accept your imperfections and just be. It’s okay. God knows all about you and loves you anyway!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Be Good to Yourself…


imagesHave you ever had the experience where you think you are doing something the right way only to find out later that you’re not? We humans get so caught up in our systems about how things work and it seems to get worse as we get older. We already know, ya know? It’s like we stumble into a methodology that worked a couple of times and start replicating it out over a thousand situations. That’s all gravy if you got it right, but if you didn’t…life gets crappy in a hurry.

One such system, well rehearsed and approved as right, is the universally accepted notion that one can improve on his weaknesses and faults by analyzing himself. While ‘thinking’ is always encouraged (another forgotten aspect – smile), I’m talking about that dreadful analysis that only leads to one thing…the conclusion that you are not okay!

To understand this better, you need to understand certain realities. Everything that man does and is, is flawed. Not by design, but by some things you can read about in your Bible sometime. The more closely you inspect man’s accomplishments, even masterpieces, the more imperfection you will discover. In stark contrast, everything that God does is perfect. You can put it under the highest power microscope on Earth and the intricacy and perfection just multiplies. But, I don’t have to tell you that, right? It is literally (and beautifully) all around you!

So, how does this have anything to do with you and what you are doing to yourself? Well, almost everything really. In life you cannot really progress beyond what you think about yourself. If your opinion of yourself is poor, your results in life will be poor. Conversely, if you think highly of yourself and respect yourself, your results will be off the charts. So, what is one of the chief components that faithfully and regularly holds people back? Not being good to one’s self!

You are by your very nature an imperfect being. You were born into this world with imperfection in your blood. You get it? You started out that way! You didn’t start out all rosy and brilliant only later to botch it up with all of your misdeeds. No! You began imperfect and you will remain imperfect until some future day when God sets it all back in order again. This is so vitally important for you to understand. The great Apostle Paul said (by revelation) that he knew that in himself (his physical nature or his body and mind) dwelled no good thing. Nothing, nada, zip! So let me ask you another question. When you dwell on yourself and analyze yourself and deeply probe yourself to learn why you behave the way you do, what are you going to find? No good thing! You are only going to discover your imperfection again and again and again! The old familiar end will be that you are going to conclude that you are not so good; not deserving of good things and basically woe is you. You cannot reach any other conclusion. That old trick has been whooping mankind’s behind since the beginning of time. But, and get this my friends, it is always a trick!

The only way out of your messes is to stop dwelling on your messes! You want to teach a child how to be successful? You cannot persist in his mistakes, but instead capitalize on his accomplishments. Seek out what he does well and laud it to the heavens. Build him up, build him up, build him up until he finally starts to believe he is worth something. Once that’s in him, he is off to the races for success in life. If that works with children, (and believe me it does) then how about with adults? How about using that principle when you are dealing with you? Does that harsh taskmaster referred to as yourself, ever lead you anywhere good? You know it doesn’t! It just makes you feel like sh*t and then you are ripe for the next set of errors.

Getting you to deeply analyze your faults and your failings is the oldest trick in the book. It’s a rabbit hole with no rabbits inside. It’s a black hole of epic proportions that leads surreptitiously to more and more darkness. And, dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light, as I love to say again and again! Now, lest you get all righteous on me here, of course doing “bad” things is wrong. There’s no free pass for hurting and damaging things. But logically, unless you’re planning on doing some evil, I’m assuming your failings are in the past tense. They done already been done and done already got did! So, to stay in that dark place is categorically insane if you’re trying to get to the light.

God’s simple solution to help you out of your “no good thing” state is by giving you an opportunity to get His “every good thing” spirit on the inside. You don’t have to work for it or change for it or become “good” for it. You simply believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10) and you get it. Probably one of the greatest things God ever did! So profoundly simple, yet missed a lifetime by people. Once you get His spirit on the inside, He makes you every good thing. He does it! His son paid the price for every ‘effed’ up thing you ever did and ever will do. It’s over, you win, you will live forever!

Make up your mind not to spend another millisecond analyzing your imperfections because as long as you have a body, your imperfections will always be right there. Instead, focus on what is the best about you. Focus on who God says you are and not what your old worn out mind says you are! There’s a new road for you to travel on if you decide you want it.

Be good to yourself. Love yourself. Accept yourself. Respect yourself. Focus on all that’s good in you knowing that in your flesh or anyone else’s flesh for that matter, dwells no good thing! Life is too short and fraught with too many dangers for your own mind to be your personal enemy. Become real good to yourself because it is the only way…

Just some “good” thoughts…