Probably one of the most important “Aha!” moments of my life, as for many other people no doubt, was when I realized that my thoughts were just thoughts and not the truth, reality, or the way things had to be.
Since they were just these things that floated in and out of mind, and didn’t often have any meaningful connection to reality, I could choose to think something different from what I was thinking, at any time.
Now, maybe this sounds like “Duh!” to you.
If so, great! It just took me awhile, okay?
But once I figured this out for myself, it became a truth for me.
But there was a long stretch of my life when I didn’t realize that thoughts were just thoughts, and they could be changed as easily as walking into your closet and deciding to rip off that too-tight, old concert t-shirt and put on a pretty new floaty top that makes those faded jeans look awesome.
Here’s the concept for today: you’ve got a thought closet.
And it’s probably a lot like your real closet.
I know, I know, now you’re picturing your REAL closet…take a deep breath.
We’ll get through this together.
It’s not like I would want you walking into mine at this very moment, either…although I’m pretty sure it’s fairly organized and most of the shoes are off the floor and in the racks.
It can get a little whacked in there when my daughter decides that it needs to be turned into the storm/tornado/hurricane shelter during bad weather and then it is outfitted with lanterns, blankets, water bottles, and Teddy Grahams.
(Everybody knows Teddy Grahams in the closet are what keeps tornadoes away, right?)
TAKING A TOUR OF YOUR CLOSET
So, let’s take a virtual tour through your closet. How many of your clothes fit?
I mean, really fit now…not when you lose 5 or 10 pounds.
And if they fit, do they look good on you?
Do you feel comfortable and confident in them?
How many of them truly express the real you?
How many of your clothes are clean, ironed, and hung on hangers so they don’t get those weird little bumps in the shoulders?
Are the clothes in your closet appropriate for the season? How about the decade?
And we haven’t gotten to shoes…
NOW FOR YOUR THOUGHT CLOSET!
This isn’t a blog post about how to get your clothes closet in shape…maybe I’ll do one on that later, but there are other professionals who can teach you that better than I could.
We’re talking about how to get your thought closet in shape.
Just like your actual clothes closet, your thought closet probably contains an interesting variety of thoughts about yourself, others, life. And believe it or not, you choose what you’re going to think in the same way you choose your clothes.
If you are particular about what you wear, about how it fits, whether it is clean and nice…you’ll take the time to care for your clothes and take time in getting dressed.
The same is true for your thinking.
If you are particular about how you want to feel, you will take the time to choose your thoughts and decide what to think carefully.
If you want to look sloppy, dirty, and like you just rolled out of bed…trust me, you can do that pretty easily.
And if you want to feel really bad about yourself and life, that’s easy to do, too.
It’s harder to put yourself together, but worth the effort. Same is true for taking the time to choose thoughts that empower you, are positive, encouraging, and hopeful.
CHOOSE SOMETHING THAT FITS THE REAL YOU!
You get to decide what to wear every day (unless you have to wear a uniform to school or work).
You get to decide what to think (no matter what).
Choose something that fits!!!
Choose something beautiful, that truly expresses your inner spirit.
If you wake up and start with a thought that goes something like, “I don’t know why I bother. Nothing ever works in my life. This is just a total waste,” then you have just started your day with the clothing equivalent of a pair of dirty overalls and faded t-shirt you got for signing up for another credit card you don’t need.
Don’t wear it.
You know nothing good is going to happen for you if you do…come on!
Go back in your thought closet and find ONE THING you like.
Start with that.
Try “My life is so challenging, I must be one amazing person to keep going day after day.”
That’s a nice top!
Now for the mental equivalent of some comfortable, clean, faded jeans: “I’m just going to do the best I can today, given the circumstances, and see how things go.”
Okay…not bad. Now maybe you’ll feel okay going out in public…or at least you won’t feel like you can’t answer the doorbell if it rings!
Thoughts are just thoughts.
You can change them.
You can clean them.
You can organize them.
You can get rid of the ones that don’t fit anymore.
Go into your thought closet and do some spring cleaning!
Have fun…but if you catch me in my Dane Cook concert t-shirt and faded jeans, really….I might be just relaxing and enjoying the day!