We are a combination of body, mind, soul and spirit. As such, we are intertwined into a complex mixture with one aspect affecting the others.
It’s easy to focus on our bodies, especially when something goes wrong and we’re in pain. Or we sense one of the symptoms of Covid-19 and cry, “Please God! No!”
The soul — personality, will, emotions and the spirit side of us — that invisible fog that exists already in an eternal state don’t seem to bother us much. We can almost forget they exist until something goes haywire and forces us to confront that deep inner well.
But the mind — now that is another matter. It’s a constant badgering of negativity, a discourse in fear, a reminder that our connectivity to body, soul and spirit begins and ends with how we think.
And I can prove it. I can be totally not hungry, but a commercial comes on or I read a recipe and suddenly I want chocolate chip cookies.
Or I can be completely content with my daily life until I’m reminded by a stack of mail that I am indeed aging and in need of a hearing aid, more health insurance or end-of-life decisions, i.e. “Buy your cremation package now.”
Add to that the fact that I’m in the demographic most likely to die from Covid-19 and my mind plays out scary scenarios. Suddenly, I’m limping through life.
So how do we defeat the beast of the mind? How do we keep from losing hope when our brain tells us circumstances are indeed hopeless?
Watch What You Read. A friend I respect is several years older than I. On one of my gloomier days I asked him, “How do you stay encouraged as you age?”
“Pay attention to what you read,” he said. In other words, be careful what you feed your mind.
A delicate balance sways between staying informed and being brain-washed by what we read. We can tip either way — too afraid to embrace others’ opinions and respect them in spite of differences or too tepid to make up our own minds.
What we read on the internet is not always accurate. I’m not blasting the “fake news” mantra that has been used to perpetuate its own fake deceptions. I just know as a writer I’ve found inaccuracies in fact-checking. Not everything out there is true, no matter which website you read.
Some sites are meant for sarcasm, not truth. Some quotes are taken out of context. Even some Bible verses have been misinterpreted and used to vilify evil practices.
We need a combination of resources so that we can mentally debate what IS right versus what SOUNDS right. And we need to keep focused not on how our minds twist the truth but rather on how the truth actually plays out in our lives.
Watch What You Hear. In the cacophony of our world, few truly know how to listen well.
I have been trained as a coach in how to listen for the hidden undertones, to look for the motivation behind the action. That practice has served me well.
How many of us have misspoken or wished we could revisit a conversation with a new perspective?
Analytical thoughts often visit me at night:
- I wish I had said . . . .
- Why did I add my particular opinion to this empty conversation?
- God, they misunderstood me. I need to make that right.
If we don’t hear correctly, we cannot respond with truth. Sometimes I think we all need spiritual hearing aids.
Watch What You Believe.
My son and I had a conversation about the Nazi’s and how the German society believed they were following the right course with Adolf Hitler.
After the United States liberated Europe and freed the Jews in concentration camps, some Germans admitted to sensing something was wrong. But they were hypnotized by Hitler’s charisma. He told lies often enough, they believed him to be telling the truth.
Deception works because it’s so tricky. It tells just enough truth to lead us astray and soon — our minds are trapped within its ugly claws. Satan used it against Adam and Eve.
It still works today.
During this season of political intrigue, Covid-19 illness and the unrest of a nation that needs to wake up — I pray every day for truth to win.
Truth is a core value that can clear the mind from the fog of “what if” to reach toward the horizon of “this way.”
Finding hope within truth first begins with a cleansing of the eyes, being careful of what we read. Then follows a clarity of what we hear, truly learning to listen well. And finally, a pure heart that knows its beliefs are centered in truth.
What we read, what we hear and what we believe must draw us steadily to what is true. Otherwise, hope itself will be deceived.
©2020 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
As we strive to find the truth, Hope Shines.