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What are your “trigger thoughts,” those thoughts that set you off and spiraling? You know the ones – your brain scrounges around when it’s got nothing better to do or when things are going really well! or when you’re tired, until it finally stumbles upon the very thought that will upset you the most.

Now why would I ask you to voluntarily go looking for those thoughts when we spend our days trying to keep them away?!

Because I want us to realize that, contrary to how it feels, these thoughts CANNOT HURT US. They don’t feel good, they feel threatening actually, but they don’t have the power over us that we give them.  

Thoughts only have as much power over us
as we allow them.

When these thoughts come, oh, it can be so exhausting! All the reasoning and pep talks we have to give ourselves to make them go back from whence they came. We don’t WANT to feel what these thoughts make us feel. We want to be AWAY from these thoughts! So we run – we do whatever we can to get away.

But if we
stop running
and really look at them, we’ll see that:
they’re only thoughts after all.

They don’t ACTUALLY have the power to hurt us.

And the awful feelings they create? They’re just feelings. They don’t have any power over us either.

This kind of thought is like a great big puppy dog, though not nearly so fluffy and adorable. The more we run from it, the more it chases us around. And usually, we end up putting a leash on it and walking it around the neighborhood repeatedly.

What if we try a different approach altogether?

Stop running.
Just stop for a second.
See the thought as what it is – just a thought.

Next time that troublesome thought tries to get your attention, for a change of pace, try stopping . . . take a calming breath and say:

“This is just a thought.
This thought only has as much power
over me as I give it.”

That big old puppy might just curl up and take a long nap.

smdividerSomething else I do when I finally identify a thought as troublesome, a sneaky, havoc-wreaking thought, is to ask whenever it comes along, “Is this thought from God?” You’ll know the answer by how the thought makes you feel. It creates an important level of awareness, and it helps you to remember that if it’s not from God, there’s no need to chase it down.

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