We are what we think we are. This may sound simple enough, and it is a lot harder than you think.
All your life you have been programming your mind with how you see yourself and the world around you. A lot of what you are writing in your brain is based on what other people said to you, about you.
The problem starts in childhood; a child will not be able to put everything they hear in proper perspective. When adult caregivers and authority figures in your life are not providing a caring nurturing environment, you will start programming your mind in a negative way.
You alone are writing the code in your brain; no one can write it for you or change it, not even God. You alone will look at what is presented to you, and you will decide if you want to accept it or reject it.
God has shown Himself to the whole world through creation, and many will decide to reject what they see because they have the free will to choose.
People have asked me ‘how do I stop the bad thoughts, how do I overcome the fear and doubt?’ The answer is simple, but the process is hard to do. You must be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And you must take every thought captive.
You can make a thought stop when you know it does not line up with God’s truth, even though you want to. The reason people struggle with their thoughts and ideas is because they will not change their mind.
I am sure you are saying, “You have no idea how much I don’t want to be like this!” I am sure that you do not want to think like that anymore. The truth is, when you really do not want to do it, you will stop it.
When you know the truth it will set you free, so that means people are trapped by the way they think. Fear is not real outside of your mind; fear is only real in your mind. The fears, doubts and unbelief you have are unique to you alone.
And it is all in your mind, and you have the power to change it. You alone wrote the code in your brain of what you believe and do not believe. The truth is you are not in bondage, stop thinking you are.
As long as you think bad things about yourself, your brain will not allow you to do more than you said you could. When you understand that your brain is feeding back the information you wrote in there, and that you need to change how you see yourself, your life will change.
The devil did not put the bad ideas in your head; you did that all by yourself and your flesh does not want to let it go because it is power. When you allow the bad thoughts to roll around in your mind, you can control the outcome of your fantasy.
Let’s unpack this a little more; you will run the scenarios in your mind of what happened or did not happen that makes you the victim, so you can justify the pain you feel. And you can justify not doing more than what you are doing because someone did something terrible to you, or someone did not do what they should have.
As long as you are not willing to accept what happened you will never be able to move forward in life. Accepting what happened does not make them right, any more than it makes you wrong.
As long as you are not willing to expect it, your brain will keep bringing it up so you can run through it again and hopefully have a better outcome, and it never happens. So every time you allow your brain to rerun the program, you hurt yourself all over again.
Let me jump off topic a little here and let’s look at the difference between you and your brain. You are not your brain, any more than you are your heart or lungs. Your brain is simply a part of your body that feeds back the information that you put there in the first place.
Your brain is a problem-solving machine that will work on a problem until it finds a viable solution or you make a decision and decide that this will be your course of thinking. Now, it is a well-known fact that you can believe things that are simply not true to anyone else in the world.
Whatever you tell your brain is the truth, that is what will be the truth to your brain. Your brain can not tell the difference between truth and false. You alone are the programmer of your brain.
Now, when you have someone tell you the same thing over and over, you will decide to believe that this is the truth and you will take this into your brain. That is how you will see the world, based on what you think.
If you do not guard your mind carefully and watch what and how you think about yourself and others around you, it will be very hard for you to live a productive, fulfilled life; because you will play the role of the victim over and over trying to make it work out in your favor.
You will be consumed with hoping that the person who hurt you will be able to see you and what you are doing. You will be focused on wondering what would they think if they could see you now.
What if they could see how they made you suffer, or could feel your pain? Can they see how you are succeeding in ways they always said you would not be able to? Or maybe you are consumed with the revenge to make them pay for the wrongs they did to you.
No matter what you are consumed with, they have no idea what is going on in your brain. They are off somewhere living their life and dealing with the battles in their own brain that you know nothing about.
When you are playing the scenarios in your mind of what did or did not happen, they have no idea what you are thinking or feeling. When you hold on to this and refuse to let go hoping somehow they will be affected by it, it is like you drinking poison and hoping they get sick from it.
There could be a million reasons why someone did something wrong or did not do what they should have done for you. Now the truth is, what is done is done. You cannot go back and change what happened.
It is essential for you to understand what that person or persons did is because they were broken and empty. They did it out of their brokenness and lack; they did not have anything to give you.
Yes, even the people that abused you in the most horrible ways you can imagine. These people did not have anything in them, they were broken and empty, and all they could do is take from someone else. The worse the abuser, the more empty and broken they are.
I am not saying what they did was right, I am just telling you why they did what they did. Any abuse of another living thing is rooted in the abuser not feeling emotionally whole themselves. No one that feels love and acceptance is going to go out and abuse other people in any way.
If we do not take personal responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions, no matter what others did to us, we will become a prisoner in our minds long after they’ve gone. Everyone will react differently when they do not receive the love and affection they should have in life.
There is so much more that could be said about this that we can not get into without writing a whole book on this subject. So let’s get back to how you can live your life to the fullest after what happened to you.
In the beginning, we said, “ You are what you think you are.” And that is true, you alone have the power in your mind to choose to let go of what happened, or you can decide to keep rerunning the program over and over hoping to somehow change the outcome, or at least make the other person suffer.
As you well know, neither one of them is going to happen, so now it is up to you to change something. And the something you need to change is your mind if you want to live a full and healthy life.
You alone have to make a choice; not even God can come down and change it for you. He has given you the freedom to think in any way you want to, and He will never force you to do otherwise.
The number one thing I needed to get a hold of during my struggle with suicidal depression was that “no one was coming to fix it.” I had to be the one to change my mind; no one could do it for me.
I had to take personal responsibility for my thoughts and actions! I had to put everything in perspective. So let me share some of the processes that I had to go through to get my mind in order.
- I had to accept that what happened is done now, and nothing is going to change it.
- I had to forgive the people that did wrong to me, no matter how wrong it was.
- I had to accept that nothing will change if I punish the other person.
- I had to believe what God said about me, not what they said about me.
- I had to stop trying to impress them or anyone else.
- I had to stop thinking about what they think about me and live my life for what God thinks about me.
- I had to forcefully take each negative thought and command it to leave.
- I had to learn to dream
- I had to believe in myself.
Now, this may sound simple enough, but for those of you that have struggled with depression you know it is not that simple. I am here to tell you I did it and I know that you can do it as well.
The most important thing is to take one thing and take one step. You do not have a deadline to meet. As long as you are willing to take one thing and one step, you can and will win this battle.
When you try to carry the whole load at one time, you will fail every time! You can do it and you will win, remember one thing, one step at a time. You are climbing a mountain one step at a time, you do not jump up mountains.
You alone are the one that can decide what you will think and you alone will decide how you see yourself. No one is in your head telling how you have to see yourself or the world around you.
Now it is time to start changing your mind and change your life.
ONE THING, ONE STEP
I believe in you
Papa Ray Hurst
If you never heard your father share a blessing over you, I want to do that for you.