"Who Are Your Neighbors?"
When you think about the neighborhood that you grew up in, what comes to mind? Did you have fond memories or were they daunting? Some of us grew up in a very nice, safe, and friendly neighborhood, in which our parents still live there today. However, some of us grew up in neighborhoods that were not so friendly. They were drug and gang infested, very unsafe, and definitely not friendly. Regardless of what side of the spectrum you are on, we can all agree that a neighborhood consists of a group of people with various similarities and differences that brought everyone together and separated some on any given day. When I think about the neighborhood that I grew up in, I have nothing but fond memories. We had the absolute greatest times and stayed outside playing kick ball until the street lights came on. However, others do not have such fond memories and the thought of going back to their old neighborhood or their childhood even, is unnerving.
I thought about this in regards to our minds. I once had a client that said "The mind is a dangerous neighborhood, never go there by yourself." I thought that this was so profound! I even added to his thought and said, "You know what, you're right because so many different people live there!" The "people" that live in our minds are like our neighbors. Some are friendly, some are loving, some are angry, some are insensitive, some are too sensitive, some want revenge, and some learn the art of forgiveness. Regardless, this neighborhood of the mind isn't always a fond place to visit.
Think about your mind lately. Would you invite others to come over and visit? Or is it a dangerous place and you need may need back up like my client stated? If we learn to think about our thoughts from this reference point, maybe we will decide to make a more conscious effort to be aware of what thoughts we allow to sit in our minds. I remember at one point in my life, my anxiety was so out of control that I felt like I was a prisoner to my own thoughts. At times, I felt as if I was watching myself live out this nightmare of making decisions and avoiding certain things or people in order to alleviate the symptoms. My mind was definitely a dangerous neighborhood and I continued to go there alone. Living inside your head can truly be detrimental if you don't have a wise mind. It can cause us to become prisoners of our own thoughts. I had to make a decision that I was no longer going to be controlled by my thoughts and live in this constant anxious state. I no longer wanted to be guilty of helping others learn how to alleviate their symptoms, but couldn't manage my own. This week, take inventory of your thoughts and determine what thoughts need to be evicted or kicked out of the neighborhood. Ask yourself, "is my neighborhood dangerous or inviting?" Could I be your neighbor......
Just some food for thought...be blessed,