Monday, March 16, 2009
on my mind
Imagine for a moment that you have a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to keep your thoughts to yourself. Whatever crosses your mind - no matter how inappropriate - is on your lips.
Fans of "House" will recognize this scenario from last week's episode entitled "Social Contract." The contract refers to the unspoken pact that civilized people have with one another, the one that makes us keep some things ourselves, and to lie to comfort and console. It's the agreement that we make with each other every day about what we'll hide and what we will reveal. You bite your tongue, and I'll bite mine. You tell me I don't look fat in these pants and I tell you that of course that mole can't be cancer.
When I watched the show found myself frantic at the thought of what I would say if every thought I had was vocalized. Like the character on the show, I would certainly be offensive. I would hurt strangers and loved ones alike. I would occasionally make interesting observations, but mostly I would land square between sophomoric and vile.
Have you ever wondered if others can read your mind? It was kind of like that, pondering this rare condition that might strike at any moment. What if everything I thought was out there for the world to see? How horrific.
I share a lot here on the blog, share it with the whole wide internet world. But of course I don't really reveal what's on my mind. That would be scary for the both of us.
But this really got me thinking today, thinking about thoughts. I realized that so much of what goes through my mind is negative, faithless, and even cruel. I am often vulgar and vindictive. I'm extraordinarily impatient, and supremely vain.
My husband, who is remarkably wise, is always reminding me that my thoughts have power, and that I will become what I think about. He is no doubt familiar with this scripture:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy-keep thinking about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
If I want to speak things that are true, and honorable, and fair and pure, that's what I need to be thinking about.
Just in case I'm stricken with that strange malady, I'm going to work on my positive thinking.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” -- Buddha