“Stand porter at the door of thought.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
I was in a funk today. There’s been another Christmas tragedy. Don’t want to talk about that, really. But it led me to some dark places in my thoughts. I stopped by to see Dad, hoping that would cheer me up. But he was struggling – questioning the veracity of a Christmas card I brought him from a friend, saying it seemed “fishy” – questionable – and he didn’t trust it. He argued with me about the background in a photograph – insisted it was a stadium with bleachers – which… it wasn’t. I told him I loved him, and he told me he loved me, and I left.
As I was driving home dark thoughts came knocking on the door of my consciousness – thoughts of despair and discouragement and fear for the future. Thoughts about death. And I felt afraid and guilty that I was even having these thoughts. And then I had this moment of clarity: “But I don’t need to claim these thoughts as mine! Just because these thoughts knocked on my door doesn’t mean they belong to me! They aren’t any part of me!” I realized I could choose whether I wanted to let those thoughts enter and be part of my identity, or not.
A decade ago, when I was going through a massive depression, I felt I didn’t have a choice – I felt I didn’t have control over the thoughts that came into my head, and the feelings of despair and hopelessness and guilt – and it all seemed overwhelming at times. But I acquired some tools for dealing with life’s challenges and struggles during that time. First, I learned not to fight my feelings – that only seemed to make the feelings bigger – but to let myself surf on top of them. I learned I could be happy even when I was sad. And I learned a trick from Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now that was really helpful, too – and that I was reminded of today. In his book, Tolle writes: “Try a little experiment. Close your eyes and say to yourself: ‘I wonder what my next thought is going to be.’ Then become very alert and wait for the next thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse hole. What thought is going to come out of the mouse hole? Try it now.” When I tried that experiment all those years ago (and when I tried it just now, too) – when I waited for my next thought – it didn’t come! I was filled with a blessed, peaceful stillness.
I had a healing today. And it felt like this…
Wow, that’s beautiful. And very helpful. Thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad it meant something to you, Peggy! It was another one of those posts that I wasn’t sure if I should publish or not. Merry Christmas!
Hi: I find it very helpful to read thoughts like yours on FB. Even tho I’ve had CS all my life, I really don’t have any CS friends — by dearest one lives in SF where we shared an apartment when we were 20. But the church here in Pittsfield has become very small over the years — I’ve been soloist there for about 30 years, but have no friends there. Also, I have no relatives! Well not quite true. I gave a first cousin in Missouri. We’ve met twice — once when I was 4 and she 6 and again about ten year agol Not sad, I’m used to it, but it is strange when one gets older, it’s sometimes easy to feel alone. That’s one reason I enjoy FB is having that feeling of extended family, and making contact with people from past lives in SF and LA and sharing thoughts on CS. My husband, Dick, passed away three years ago tomorrow. We had been married for about 40 years. He was not a CS but was very supportive of it for me. So now I live alone in a nice little house with my four cats, and I’m basically pretty happy. Of course, I miss DIck, but I like my own company and never get bored. I think being an only child helps that! Dick and I had a B&B for 35 years and it was fun , but it’s lovely now to be able to sleep late and not have to do breakfast in the morning, and do just what I want: read, watch TV, play on the computer and listen to opera and play with the cats, of course.
Wow! I sure did go on. Now you know probably more than you need to know about me.
Is this a private note or public? Oh well.
With love and all good wishes for a very lovely Christmas.
Oh, I absolutely love that you’ve shared a bit of your life with me, Peggy! And I’m so glad that we’ve been able to connect in this way. Have a wonderful Christmas, dear friend! ❤
Thank you Karen. This was a help to me. Been having some dark thoughts myself the past couple days. Need to reject those and turn it around with true thoughts. (Need the beach!) You’re a good daughter. Happy Christmas to you and your family! May it be peaceful and full of hope.
(No, I’m not British but I like the ‘happy’ better than ‘merry’, quieter somehow).
Thank you for this, flourgirl! I wasn’t sure I’d explained it at all well – this little epiphany I’d had. Thank you for “getting it.” Happy Christmas!
Reblogged this on Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist and commented:
From December 2018…