The Library of our Mind…
A few years ago I watched a DVD series about how our mind works and it is was absolutely amazing to watch, listen, learn and begin to understand just how things work in our heads in regards to thinking, thoughts, memories and what goes on up there! It’s not just a brain for intelligence, it’s not just a brain for creativity, it’s our whole life contained in our head. Perhaps understanding a little more of how and why it works like it does could be just a little bit beneficial for the success and progress of our whole lives!
It all begins with the external world, what we see, hear, feel, sense and touch, the doorway is into our mind is through our five senses. Everything around us goes in whether we realise it or not, all the conversations, memories, perception and presumptions, songs, movies, television, everything!
When these things first enter our brain there is an amazing and quite complex process that begins and in reality it happens in split seconds but I just want to try and explain some of what I have learnt. As we know all our memories, everything that has happened to us and all we have experienced and learnt is stored up in mind. Some of it we remember and some of it we don’t, and then at times it’s like a trigger brings to the fore something from the backwoods of our mind. So much is stored up there; it’s phenomenal!
We learnt what stress does in our bodies and minds and how the different chemicals released in our bodies affect us. Both toxic thoughts and good thoughts create and release different chemical and set different processes going in our bodies, and we learnt about the direct correlation between this and our health. Of course I have known this for so many years and known that the battle is in our minds and believed it but to see this and understand in a more scientific way how it all works was quite powerful and it really began to empower me more to think better!!
One thing that was like a defining moment for me was realising that what we think on is continually building pathways in our minds and we learnt that we have the ability to change what is being built in there to help us or hinder us. We were also been reading Joyce Meyers book ‘Power Thoughts’ and I started to change my thinking and changing the things that I said in my head about different areas of my life. I started to sense how this actually strengthened me and started to change my habits. We learnt how even areas where there have been hurt and lots of very hard things happen that changing thinking, and not dwelling on things can actually begin to repair these damaged areas of our minds/thinking as well.
The teaching series from Dr. Caroline Leaf showed us in fairly simple terms and pictures the way things could dramatically change for the better. She explained to us three stages of Attitude 1. The Awareness Stage (which is in the memory networks, neurons). This is where we have the first inclination or recognition of what is happening and what we think. 2. The Gut reaction happens (A library of emotional perceptions that occur when memories are built are stored here in the Amygdala) to what we have become aware of. 3. There is the Freewill stage, we start thinking about all this in more detail (this is in the Corpus Callosum) and it is here that we decide what we are going to do with what has just happened, how we will think, react and proceed. There are like a heap of other things that happen as this process is happening and the chain reaction that goes on is amazing to hear but even just learning these three parts and seeing the link that they have for us in whether we are happy or sad, distressed or in peace, angry or calm is worth learning. There are a few other things that happen along this process to string it all together but this is just my simple short version.
It all came together for me the other morning and I experienced how this worked in my own thinking, it was like I was sensing the steps actually happen as they happened! I was lying in bed and something triggered a very painful memory for me from several years ago…’err yuck’ is my first thought…. and ‘oh no…. what do I do here’? What did she teach me to do in this situation???? I became aware on a different level that this was that first stage of awareness of my thoughts.
Within seconds, as I knew it would, a gut reaction was triggered in me with that gut feeling of how it made me feel years ago… I knew straight away I didn’t want to dwell on this at all. It happened just the way Dr. Leaf described it would. Then without any conscious effort to think it was like I saw a library book being taken off the shelf in my mind, it contained a book with very painful feelings and memories that related to this particular experience of mine. It was like some cross referencing occurred and just the right book was taken down.
It was an area I had given a lot of thought to, mulled over, replayed scenarios, gone over and over and questioned. It was deeply hurtful and could have been potentially damaging when it actually happened if not for the amazing grace of God. So, I recalled the pain, and things I had seen and experienced at that time but also how God helped me through it. Then, all of a sudden a scene from a television show I watched a few days earlier flashed through my mind. At the time I saw the program I recognized that it was similar to part of what I had experienced but I didn’t dwell on it for long at all and I thought I had forgot all about it but no, as soon as this other memory came to my mind out it popped and it linked up. The old memory linked with what I had seen on TV, reinforcing the painful memory from the past, this showed me how what we watch and allow into our mind does in fact impact on us, of course I knew it did but for the first time I understood fully!
Ok this is all happening in a matter of 5 seconds and I am thinking oh dear, what do I do here? What did she tell me to do??? As I said this was a very bad experience and I thought to myself, what on earth could change this for me in my mind, what on earth could I say or think that could change or cover how I felt about this… nothing came to mind as there is nothing here on earth that can change, heal, and redeem a lot of what has happened to us but then it came to me… I knew it was God giving me the answer to my sincere question… It came in the form of an old Hymn… ‘Oh the blood of Jesus, Oh the blood of Jesus, Oh the blood of Jesus, it washes white as snow’… wow… You can’t imagine the peace that washed over me as the song filled my mind. It stopped the destructive loop of thinking almost immediately and I felt better.
I had another image in my thoughts then, I could see that all the thinking I had done in this area had built an area of blackness, a stronghold of pain, hurt, disappointment in my mind. It has been very strong and I know it won’t ever go completely because we learn to forgive but we don’t usually completely forget but I saw that God can heal it. The other amazing thing is that I am not just talking about imaginary processes here, this part of my life exists in a real place in my mind, and God showed me that there is nothing else that can actually change it, that it was Him and changing my thinking to not dwell, to forgive, to let go, to change and stop what I allow to go unchecked in my brain.
This spiritual act is the main way, and part of a process that we need to undertake in order to help, cover, redeem and get freedom and breakthrough from areas of our past. There are a lot of other things we need to do to change areas of our memory too; by changing our thinking, self talk and the renewing of our mind, it really will begin to change the impact of thoughts on us in our health, well being, mental state, attitude and outlook, this is making change to impact and improve our present day life.
So now that I can see this, and what thoughts that I allow to go unchecked in my brain do, it has to be different, I am going to replace my thought patterns, and as I have written about recently a lot of thinking is something that we actually can’t afford so I’m going to try and stop it.
I hope this has inspired you to think about the benefits of thinking about and changing your thinking, it is real, and it’s not spiritual mumbo jumbo. I am only beginning this journey but I know that this could be the beginning of the journey to the most freedom I have ever known in my life and I am excited about it!
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Quote For Life
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind’ William James (1842-1910)
Word For Life
THOUGHT: The act or process of thinking; reflection; meditation; cogitation, the power of reasoning, or of conceiving ideas; capacity for thinking; intellect; imagination, a result of thinking; idea, concept, opinion, the ideas, principles, opinions, attention; consideration; heed: give it a moment’s thought, mental engrossment; preoccupation; concentration: deep in thought, intention or expectation.
~By Cam Richmond~
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