Over the years I have read the same saying from various religious faiths, cultural beliefs, and philosophies, namely, that “we become that which we think”. In other words, the beliefs and accompanying feelings that we hold true and “feed”, tend to grow and spread. If we are full of hate, anger, jealousy, pride, judgment, and disgust we will continue to “find” things, people or events to grow and prove these feelings. When we focus on negative and/or destructive things, they gain strength and will eventually crowd out other beliefs and feelings that are more positive, empowering, and nourishing. Slowly but surely we get sucked into the same behaviors that we originally were opposing. We are appalled at the destructiveness of a terrorist and then we find ourselves responding with hate and violence too. We must respond to evil with good, to hate with love, to violence with kindness, to intolerance with tolerance, and so on. This is not to say that evil doesn’t exist or that we turn a blind eye to it. But it does mean that we do not become a part of it and do not feed it.
Changing our thinking and behaving isn’t easy, but it is possible. We can begin to accept the humanness of people and to try and find the good in them. We can reach out into the world with love and compassion and we will find the same. It takes a commitment to an attitude adjustment and then to a behavior change. Good branches bear good fruit. It sounds trite, but it isn’t. Feed that which you want to get in return. Be the change you want to see in the world. All spiritual thinkers and writers have known this for thousands of years.
Consider the Prayer of St. Francis and make a decision to be a force for good and healing in the world :
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;where there is hatred, let me sow love;where there is injury, pardon;where there is doubt, faith;where there is despair, hope;where there is darkness, light;and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;to be understood, as to understand;to be loved, as to love;for it is in giving that we receive,it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen
So it is in dying to self-serving interests, judgment, violence, hate, anger, greed, pride and all other destructive thoughts and behaviors that we are truly born again into Life, a life of peace, purpose, healing, love, compassion, service, and happiness.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I pray for the healing of all divisions that threaten to tear our families, communities and beloved country apart. Lets all be a part of the healing not part of the destructiveness. Each one of us can make a difference. I pray that you will be blessed with love and peace this holiday season and all through the year.