Monday, August 2, 2010

Sometimes, you just have to replace those thoughts!

Many people have asked how I have gotten to this point of peace in my journey. It is not easy. I wish I could say that it was. I wish I could say that every day I wake up, and God just pours a big dose of "happy" on me, and I just skip along throughout my day, making sure to take time to stop and smell the roses!

I wish. Occasionally, there are days like that. Once in a while I get a glimpse of how I felt in my previous life. You know the feeling. It is that deep-down feeling that life is good. But those days are few and far between. Most days, it is work.

This was our conversation in the car yesterday.

"Mom, you seem down lately."

"I am sorry, sweetie. I am happy. You do know that you make me happy."

"Yeah, I know. But we don't make you happy like you used to be. We don't make you happy like Dad did."

There you have it. You can fool a lot of people, but you cannot fool those closest to you.

I thought about this conversation a lot last night. I know why I have been down the last few days. Someone told one of my children, "You know, sometimes people just fall out of love. It happens."

That one statement brings a myriad of emotions. It makes me angry. My girls don't need to hear that. It hurts all over again. You see, I never fell out of love. There is nothing quite as devastating as unrequited love. It makes me question who I am and who I was as a wife. Then I start going down the "what if" road. I start rehashing everything I have done over the last twenty years and wondering what I could have done differently. Before I know it, my thoughts are consumed. But here is the catch. They are only consumed when I allow them to be.

I went out with my daughters and friends to a Karaoke restaurant Saturday night. I had so much fun. I was really happy. I went to church yesterday. I saw people that I love. I heard a wonderful sermon about remembering God's goodness in our lives. I was really happy. Then when I went down for communion, I started thinking about what was and what might have been but never will be. I allowed the thoughts to take over and emotion overcame me. That eventually led to the earlier conversation in the car. Why did I seem down to the girls? Because every time I was not busy, I allowed my thoughts to go to places they did not need to go. That is a road I do not need to go down. It only leads to the dark place.

A very dear friend gave me some of the most wise and practical advice that I have ever heard. In the beginning of this unplanned journey, she said, "Amy, your mind is only capable of thinking about one thing at a time. When you find yourself thinking about those things that are going to lead you to the dark place, you must make a conscious decision to think about something else." Now that, my friends, is a practical piece of advice that you can take to the bank.

I am not saying that we should not deal with the issues. It is good to talk through and think through comments like the one I mentioned earlier. But then you have to let it go! We cannot allow it to be the one thing that our mind thinks about over and over again. That was exactly what I had been doing over the weekend. Anytime I was not actively engaged in something, I was allowing my mind to rehash the statement. That is so unhealthy. It was dragging me to the dark place, and my daughters, in their sweet and kind way, called me on it.

Those precious girls have been through enough. On top of everything they have been through, they do not need to have to worry about their distraught and sad mother. They need me to be whole and happy. That cannot happen when I am allowing my thoughts to be consumed by unhealthy things.

So today is Monday. It is a new week, and it is going to be a great one! I am going to put a cute little security guard at the door of my mind. I am going to ask him to kick out any thoughts that are going to lead me down a path that I do not need to go!

My favorite version of the following verse is from the King James Version:

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.

Today I will use the power of a "sound mind" that God has given me. When those quiet moments come along, I will remind myself that I can only think about one thing at a time. I will not allow that one thought to be one that will consume me like a mental cancer. Life is too short. God wants more for me than that, and my girls deserve for me to be the very best that I can be.


  1. Amy, I have just taken the time to sit and read your Unplanned Journey blog. Girl, you should publish this! I know it's been hard for you, and will continue to be for some time to come. Know that I am here for you, Anna and Lily. Anytime you need me. I have to let you travel on your journey as I did on mine. If God brings you to it, He will get you through it! Love you bunches!


  2. I treasure that scripture, Amy. I heard a sermon once that reminded me that the opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is FEAR. Let us not be afraid of that which we cannot control. Instead, let us continue to love and be loved by those around us. I love you!

  3. I have not only replaced thoughts, but events and even people to be healthier.