(Featured picture taken from google images).
Have you ever felt that you needed to de-clutter? When I speak of de-clutter, I am not speaking of your wardrobe, your personal documents or your desk at work. I am speaking of the mind. In order to keep focused, to maintain meaningful living and to advance towards God’s purpose for your life, it is critical to have a healthy mind.
I wish to describe clutter as the frequent presence of memories of bad experiences such as failures, loss of something valuable or someone which has left you broken and scared, disappointments, fear and anxiety and toxic environments. In addition to these contributors, lack of proper nutrition, fatigue and stress can further compound this situation and make it more difficult to overcome.
Let’s take this topic slowly to really give it the attention it deserves allowing ourselves to benefit greatly from the discussion. Let’s call this article Part (I). Part (II) would follow.
If we linger or dwell on negative experiences of our past, we would undoubtedly restrict our ability to think creatively, and to express our God-given gifts and abilities in a manner that would lead us towards GOOD SUCCESS. We would be more likely to feel demotivated, disinterested and doubtful about our ability to do things we once enjoyed or anticipated doing.
The process of lingering or dwelling on negative experiences involves overthinking or allowing yourself to think often about something that has happened in the past that makes you sad. An experience or the memory of an experience that you would prefer to erase from your mind; something you wish never happened. It is the practice of regurgitating those unpleasant memories within a mood of self pity and many times bitterness and ungratefulness.
The clutter is formed as you allow your mind to be bogged down with memories of these negative experiences leading to you withdraw into your pain and away from hope. Have you ever found yourself drifting in thought and had to literally shake your head after realising where you were and where you were heading? Shaking your head symbolises that desperate desire to be free from those unproductive thoughts that slows down and weakens your ability to think creatively and productively.
Be mindful of the danger of dwelling or lingering on the bad experiences of your past and instead acknowledge them for what they are, recognise and embrace the lessons learnt from these experiences and use them to become a better person and to build a healthier mind.
It is going to take some practice and determination. Whenever these memories occur, acknowledge them for what they are and dismiss or diffuse them by counteracting these thoughts with positive thoughts. Here is a practical example:
Frank and his wife Lisa anticipated the birth of their baby boy. However due to complications with the pregnancy, Lisa had a miscarriage when she was three months pregnant. This was devastating for both Frank and Lisa. Frank has lost his drive to pursue his dream of being a Dad, as well as other dreams, and would often find himself going over the details of that fateful night. He often wondered who was to be blamed for his baby boy’s death and whether he did enough to save him. It is now four years since and Frank is having difficulty moving beyond this experience. Frank needs to de-clutter and begin living again.
Solution: Acknowledge, Dismiss, Replace with positive thoughts.
Acknowledgement: I lost my baby boy, it hurts. I feel sad and weak.
Dismiss: He is not coming back and worrying about the past would not help me.
Replace with positive thoughts: I am grateful to still have my wife with me. Many others have experienced what we have experienced and they have made it. There is help available! I can choose to trust God with our lives; He has a purpose for us. While I do not feel it now, I shall be stronger as a result of this experience.
Additionally search for verses that helps you to maintain a healthy mind. Here are two verses I have found useful.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Romans 12: 1&2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.“
To be continued……