What’s Been Bothering You Lately? (Getting Clear and Specific…)


Feeling agitated and uneasy, though increasingly more and more common, is not a human being’s natural state of mind. Troubling and distressing thoughts eat away at our physical health and erode our sense of well being. Stress, which is typically first experienced in the mind, has been known to critically damage the delicate nervous system and even has the capacity to eventually kill its owner!  Agitation and unrest do not come from God as His admonition is just the opposite. So, what can you do if you find yourself besieged with troubling thoughts?

The first clue, in the puzzle of agitation, is to get clear about exactly what it is that is bothering you. In living life, you will discover that unrest begets more unrest and agitation more agitation. It’s like losing a fight. The greater the barrage of punches, the harder it is to fight back. Your job is first to get yourself quiet on the inside. Go somewhere alone, calm yourself down and get quiet on the inside. Do some serious thinking about your perceived problem. Can you identify what it is? You will find, in your honesty and your earnest, that most of the troubling possibilities exist not today, but in some future state. Therein is your next clue! Possibilities that threaten you or brashly proclaim the potential to take something from your life, are just thoughts which have no power of themselves. Their power is gained by your consideration and acceptance of those rogue ideas. Once the water of your mind becomes troubled, it becomes very difficult to see the bottom of the pool, i.e. the source of your difficulties. Step one is always to get very, very  clear about whatever is bothering you. Real issues have a solution or some action you can take about them. Phantom issues (fear) require elimination from your thoughts.

The next remedy is found in specificity. The problems that confront us are generally full of tentacles, blending and enfolding together, making it hard if not impossible to discern where one part starts and another part ends. The devil thrives in convolution. Complexity intimidates us and in our diminished state we mash it all together in our minds, leaving it to be dealt with on another day. Often, after you’ve removed all of the red herrings, the real issue becomes quite clear. Focused thought is a powerful ally, but requires a willingness both to confront and subsequently take action on the problem at hand! There is no tomorrow in problem solving. Each day spent half-in, is a wasted day, appearing useful, but defeated before it began. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways!” Get specific about what is troubling you, as specific as you can be. Specific problems have specific solutions, while vague, convoluted problems have no end!

Once you’ve become crystal clear on the topic and precise in your identification, you must do the one thing you never dreamed you should do. Give your problem to God! That’s right, hand it over to Him. Release your death grip on it and remove its claws from your heart. Demand the courage to let it go. Look, if you’re honest, the reason you continue to wrestle with some unseen foe is precisely because of that, it remains unseen. If you knew the answer you would have already remedied it. The deception isn’t found in the assault on your mind, but rather the ongoing assaults as you try in earnest to figure it out. Some conundrums, some complexities you are never going to figure out. You’re chasing the rabbit down a rabbit hole that has no end point. The source of your troubles is always a spiritual opponent; one that depends upon your reliance on your own human reasoning. Once you finally get it, as a great man said recently, you get it! You at last begin to understand that you must fight your spiritual opponent with something bigger than your human brain. Prayers are God’s way of offering you help with things bigger than yourself. And best of all, with God, nothing is impossible!

The reason we allow ourselves to get so worried and troubled about things in life is because we have forgotten how to trust our Creator! Instead of following His original plan of living our lives freely, joyfully, giving all of our cares to Him, we have instead hewed ourselves out cisterns; broken cisterns that can hold no water. We have systems and plans and procedures. We have technology and information and science. We have almost all a person could ask for, yet we lack the one thing we need the most! Our life was never meant to be a futile effort in self-preservation. God never asked us to figure everything out for ourselves or to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. People made that crap up; the same ones filled with worries and anxiety and stress! Instead God asks only that we learn who He truly is and begin to understand who we are to Him. Once we see the big picture, the troubles of life fade away like the lies and threats they have always been. Getting to know your Heavenly Father ends in your realization that there is nothing in life bigger than Him, smarter than Him or more powerful than Him. Then, my friend, you can finally relax. You can end the game of “wits end” once and for all.

If you find yourself worried, harassed, perplexed or vexed, take solace in this, God will hear your prayers and lead you to your solution. Your worry and stress simply won’t get the job done and you already know that. Your mental churning and broiling, your thinking, analyzing and thinking won’t lead you to the answer. Instead, hand all of it over to God and when you realize you’ve taken it back, hand it over again! The solutions to problems don’t appear in stormy seas, but only when the waters are calm. Let God calm your waters so you can see! Let God do for you what you cannot do for yourself! Rest…

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

Is There Fear in Your Future?


futureIt has been oft reported that  ‘fear’ is false evidence appearing real (F.E.A.R.)! As I wrestled that around in the darkness, suddenly it dawned on me, all fear exists only in the future. That is precisely why fear is always false evidence, because it exists only in a time that has not yet arrived. Even fear of the past is in reality fear of its effect on your future and the present moment is occurring now. Is there fear in your future?

Of all the things in life, in all the details, in every aspect and facet of living, the number one enemy you must fight and overcome is fear! All that you do not have or cannot do or are unable to overcome is always based on fear. Fear is the great killer of ambition and desire and your future! Fear persisted in will bring with it all the defeat you have ever imagined. As long as you have fear whether it be in the form of anxiety or worry or concern falsely called, you cannot have peace. Fear is the great antithesis to love, not hate. Fear is a falsehood, a lie at the very core of life, robbing it of its vitality and enthusiasm. Fear is wrong and most unnatural.  Fear is sin.

The problem with fear in your life is that it is a form of believing, but is its opposite. What good things you can believe for without limit, have their parallel in what awful things you can fear (believe) without limit! The longer you hold onto your fear, the greater the likelihood of its appearance into your life. And, even if you never quite arrive at all the terrible things you have imagined, you will endure a terrible ride on the way there. Your fear encourages and invites disaster. And just as your positive believing invites God and His blessings into your life, your negative believing; your anxiety and worry and fear invite the adversary into your life in the form of all types of misery and sickness and suffering.

Fear is a false evidence because it is always a threat to your future. It growls of some impending disaster. It roars predictions of future suffering and lack. It shouts how your needs will not be met. It cannot know this of course, as only God knows the future, so “it” is counting on you to help make the threat a reality. The way you ignorantly cooperate is by accepting the lie as truth and holding onto it instead of discarding it. It’s a really sticky trick. Your human ego, once threatened, will insist on trying to figure it out. Thus it will demand you think about it and think about it until you can solve it. However, you are not going to figure it out with your mind, as its origin is spiritual. Instead your ego driven insistence will result in keeping the wrong thought in your mind, which is all fear needs to take hold. It begins with a knock at your door called doubt. It gets a foot in the door as you worry. Finally it gets inside fully once you are afraid. At that point you’ve been captured! Then, fear’s companion anxiety is knocking on your door and your windows and your garage all at once. It is simply many fears you have misplaced by your refusal to deal with them, one by one, in the moments they approached. You have to deal with them. There is no other way out.

All throughout history, men and women have been admonished to fear not! In order to beat it, you have to depend upon something bigger than yourself. On your own, you won’t really get the job done. Oh you can muster up all the bravado you can imagine, but in the end you need spiritual power to defeat spiritual power. You need Someone that exists in your past, your present and your future, all at the same time. (Don’t even try to wrap your head around that one) You need to be able to give all that care to someone else. And therein is your solution! You have to hand it over and once you realize you have taken it back, hand it over again! Prayer isn’t, as I read recently, just some psychological process to help you feel better. The idea behind prayer is that God will actually do something about that which concerns you. Otherwise, why even pray? When you finally let God preserve your future like He promises, you will find yourself at rest. Unrest is thus a signal that there is something you need to handle or resolve. Often your solution is simply to stop persisting in your dreadful considerations. Refuse to scratch that itch. Letting it go isn’t negligence, it’s wisdom. In terms of the thought, sure that would be awful on an epic scale, but it hasn’t actually happened right? (Notice I left out “yet”) It’s false evidence! Not worthy of your mental considerations… You have to let it go! Now…

It may seem simplistic, but God’s solutions are always simple and clear. Error is complicated! Error is what produces the mind boggle and keeps you up all night! Lies, artfully presented, designed to hold your interest based on some vague possibility in your reality, are still lies. They began as untrue and will remain untrue if you can get this right! Dread or worry about some potential future day have never in the history of existence helped a difficult situation get better. Help is found in the quiet. Answers arrive when you settle down. Solutions come from the “still small voice.”

Is there fear in your future? Get rid of it today! Find that promise of God that negates your fear and say it to the thing until it retreats! Say it today, my friend… Today!

JUST SOME GOOD THOUGHTS…

 

 

 

 

The Elusive Quiet Mind…


imagesThe world lives and moves amidst a persistent and pervasive low-level anxiety that permeates every thought, every action and almost every decision. You have been living with “it” for so long that “it’s” hardly recognizable. It’s sort of like this hidden specter in the background of your life, quietly, secretly whispering, ever whispering “trouble is coming” “trouble is coming…” When it first appeared, when you were a child, you recognized it as an aberration and did whatever you could to escape it. But then, as you got older, it happened so regularly that it no longer seemed unusual. In fact, you got so habituated to it, you gave up all hope of ever having a quiet mind again. You can’t concentrate; cannot sleep; need prescription meds, drugs and copious amounts of alcohol just to make it through the day. What the hell ever happened to your elusive quiet mind?

I’ll tell you what happened to it! Someone stole it from you. You had it at one time. But, as you got older it sort of dwindled away. You didn’t see it making an exit, you only experienced what it felt like after it was gone. Here’s a macabre thought, you never see the good things being taken away until it’s almost too late and you can apply that to unlimited situations. You can’t detect it because of its subtlety. All error works that way. No one grows up dreaming of being a junkie or a prostitute. They just get swept up and away to a strange land located who knows where.

So, here’s the rub… It’s your mind, quiet or restless. Your mind produces or replicates your own thoughts. You think and therefore you are. All throughout the day you are thinking and processing and feeling. You are doing it almost subconsciously, but make no mistake you are doing it. And, if you are like most folks, you are receiving a plethora of information every day. It’s like you are laying in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV of cable television, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest of the Internet. Info, info, info, feed, feed, feed! All of that ‘so necessary’ information going in and taking root. Snippets of scary health information, fearful predictions, hatred, division, greed and a vast army of endless negative possibilities. All going in; all upsetting; all producing non-specific feelings of anxiety. And you wonder what happened to your quiet mind?

There was a time when people didn’t have access to so much information. There was a time when everyone didn’t know everything that is going on in the world. But that time is no more, so you have to do something to protect yourself. You wouldn’t think of eating poisonous food or drinking arsenic, yet give little thought to the daily onslaught of deadly toxic thoughts that are entering your noggin.

Worse than the external environment is the things you say to yourself on the inside. You being the only you, you have got, it seems you should always be on your own side! But instead, you say all manner of insults and think nothing of it. And, at the top of the list is that whole, “I’m not worthy thing!” Feeling unworthy and guilty is the precursor to anxiety. You know why? Because anxiety literally means divided and when you aren’t okay with you, you are most divided. You have got to come to terms with that right away quick, pronto! If you want to measure yourself accurately, know this ~ we are all unworthy in its truest sense. Who exactly is good enough for this life? No-one that’s who! So give yourself a break and stop vomiting on yourself! All that “I don’t deserve good things” nonsense serves only one purpose. To make you better? Hell no! To divide you against yourself and to defeat you before you ever get started!

So, how might someone like yourself get your quiet mind back? Well, here’s the shortlist:

1. Take control over the things that you are allowing into your mind.

2. Control your thinking and stop entertaining thoughts of fear and defeat. (They only gain power over you when you entertain them!)

3. When an agitating thought shows up, take the time to resolve it in your mind. Refuse it. Say it aint so! Challenge it (don’t argue with it!)

4. Practice being quiet. Quiet down, settle down, pursue peace like your life depends upon it.

5. Stop accepting anxiety as a normal part of life. Fear is not natural or normal no matter how long it has been going on. Your true natural state is one who is at rest, like you were when you were 7.

6. Begin to recognize triggers and sources of unrest. Then, find ways to avoid them. Unrest is ALWAYS a sign that something is not right. (Let the peace of God rule [umpire] in your heart..)

7. Stop verbalizing negatives and complaints. By verbalizing you are simply strengthening the things you do not want. Complaining just confirms your victim status and you are NOT a victim!

8. Take the time to learn about God and His ways. Be honest with yourself and recognize that you are afraid of life and NEED some assistance figuring this thing out. Caution ~ don’t pursue religion because it derives control from your fears!

Your quiet mind is not as elusive as you think. It is already there waiting for you to take back control and get back the booty that was stolen from you. The God of all peace wants you to be peaceful. However, you aren’t ever going to find it if you continue mindlessly trudging down all of the same paths you walked before. Instead of running from that specter promising you trouble,  listen for the true voice saying, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ~ Psssst “This is the way; walk ye in it.” There is just no other way my friends… Be quiet.

Just some good peaceful thoughts…