Adventures with Lisa, Frank & Daisy Dewdrop


You Are What You Think
September 1, 2006, 4:03 pm
Filed under: My Weekly Column

“What a man thinketh, that is he; this is the eternal mystery… Man becomes that of which he thinks.”

–Upanishads (c. B.C. 800)

Hindu Poetic Dialogues on Metaphysics

If our thoughts are negative, our lives become negative. If our thoughts are positive, our lives become fruitful. I’ve been thinking a lot about positives and negatives this week.

Unfortunately, negativity is contagious. It will spread through a room on the tail of a rumor in seconds flat. This happens because so many of us have a negativity habit.

The upside of it all is . . . positive outlooks can also be contagious. A smile is most often returned by a smile, and laughter can spread like a rumor. I like people who are prone to smile and laugh easily. They make me feel better about life and living, and make life brighter. They make life fun.

Michelle Yatauro, the newest member of council, makes me smile. Skeptics and hometown conservatives may wonder about her fashion style or her sense of flair, but I say that someone who dances in the street with the Heartwood performers can’t be bad. Besides, I like someone who enjoys life. Michelle smiles, and is quick to laugh. It pleases me to think that these characteristics will now be joining us on a regular basis at council meetings. In my mind, this can’t be a bad thing.

At the same time, I also reflected this week on negative minds, on those who spread their negative thoughts and prejudices around them like thick dust–making life dingy and gray. I wonder what thoughts pass through the minds of those who harass neighbors, call people names, or have only doubts and no hopes for the future. I think of those who believe God is a God of punishment, and not of love. Of those who have such heavy and cold hearts.

How sad they must be. How eaten by anger. How unfortunate that their misery is spread to others around them in their lives.

We have the power to overcome this.

In a recent behavioral study, scientists discovered that if they spent ten minutes talking to people about old age, sickness, and poor health, the people would leave the discussion walking slower, with poor posture and tender footing. If, however, they talked to people about flowers and sunshine and sunlight and life, the people were more tolerant waiting in line, dealing with difficult situations, and just dealt with life with a more pleasant outlook.

Why do we allow the words and behaviors of negative people affect us physically? Why would we tolerate the negative thoughts of others which literally make us physically ill, less productive, and more susceptible to emotional burdens?

At the same time, are your words and actions breeding physical sickness in others? Do conversations with you make people feel light or heavy? If you are constantly negative, doubting, being dramatic, sharing the supposed downfalls of others–how do you feel knowing you are literally making people sick? If there is an epidemic in this nation, it is an epidemic of negativity.

Why do we let the doubts of others keep us from happiness, health and success–as individuals or as a community? Why let our own doubts lead us to failure again and again? Why do we allow this?

Do not allow it. All it takes is a little faith in your heart in the goodness of life and living. Do not allow the negative words and behaviors overcome your feelings of light. A small light can eliminate darkness. It can happen. All it takes to balance a negative speaker is a positive one. All it takes to keep a negative thought from affecting you is a positive thought.

We are what we think. Upanishads said it in 800 B.C., and bright scientists say so now. It is a scientific fact.

Not all news is good news, but there’s no need to let bad news lead us astray. Don’t allow the negatives of life force you to focus on burdens and blockades.

We may not always be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but don’t let anyone tell you it’s not there.

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