Do we control our minds or do our minds control us? How often do you lose sleep because you’re restless and you’re thinking too much? During those moments, if you could help it, would you have shut down your mind so you could rest? What about when something is bothering you, and you can’t get it off of your mind the entire day? Especially when something else needs your attention but you can’t shake what’s already on your mind and as a result, you give a little less towards the primary thing as you share your mental resources elsewhere.
Sometimes you hear a song or a commercial jingle and it replays itself all day in your head. You get to the point you know it’s there but it becomes background noise that goes along with you until something else captures that space. Whether it’s yesterday’s regrets, tomorrow’s worries, or today’s judgments, we always have plenty to hang our thoughts on but what about when you want to shut it off!
If you’ve ever heard of mindfulness, you may know about the idea that thinking can be a hindrance when it’s controlling you instead of you controlling it. Let me be clear, I’m not promoting this, I’m just sharing information…The practice of mindfulness says that when you control your thinking, and you’re able to stop whenever you choose, you have gained control, and you will experience quietness, peacefulness, and stillness, also referred to as “presence”. You can then focus on the present moment, the colors, sounds, and smells, and you will have a higher alertness to the moment. As I often reference the Bible, scripture speaks heavily on being still, waiting, entering the secret place, and in this state of mind, you can hear from God, you can get direction, and you gain clarity and peace of mind.
It is common though, that when a person tries to calm his/her thinking in order to experience this quietness, or to meditate or pray, that he can’t stop thinking. It’s like the mind will continue to wander and he can’t access that “quiet place” that he needed to get to. Multiply this by all of your adult years and you can see how this becomes the norm and we no longer look for peace and quiet. As a matter of fact most people say they don’t have time, and that answer is ok with them even if it remains this way forever.
I think it’s important that we have time for peace. That time when you don’t make a judgment about something around you, and you don’t worry about tomorrow, or about what you did or said yesterday. Just a moment of tranquility. Ideally, this would occur daily, and maybe more than once per day. It might sound like a lot to aim for, but what if we weren’t too busy to actually experience peace? Do you believe you can? Or does your mind and all of the external stimulation control you?