“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
~Some sources say "unknown author," others attribute this to Frank Outlaw
Whether it is an unknown person or Frank Outlaw (who, from my research, is probably a fictional character, anyway), this is one of the wisest quotes I've ever heard. This is totally about me and my responsibility to my own stuff.
Have you ever had one of those times when you've thought of something so often, so intensely, that it seems real? I have. Now, I must say, when it is a positive set of thoughts, this isn't a bad deal. If I begin to think better things about myself and subsequently begin believing those things, it is good for my self-image, and often moves me to the next step of behaving with that as my truth. It has been helpful to me many times in the past. It has aided me in overcoming my shyness and fear of public speaking. It has surrounded me with people I admire and who admire me. That is a great way to assure my destiny.
But on the other hand, if I am entertaining negative thoughts about a situation or a person, including myself, I am building a very ugly reality for my life. I experienced something along this line when I was horribly maligned by a former boyfriend. After he was done with me, he continued on to similarly hurt several other people, and my thoughts were extremely dark where he was concerned. I justified these feeling with the fact that I was angry with him "for all of us." This progressed to my badmouthing him. I can't say it accelerated to actions, but the habit of hating him infiltrated my life, even after his death. Every time I talked about him or even thought of him, I was consumed with nasty, ugly emotions, and my body responded to it. I didn't realize the depth of this until later. It took me twenty years to finally let go of it all, and in those decades, I allowed a lot of my energies be sidetracked into anger rather than using it to enjoy the good things in life. What a sad loss for me! Additionally, I wonder what people around me thought of me; I doubt I looked very nice with a swill of hatred swirling in my guts.
When I finally realized how I was damaging myself, I worked on changing this pattern in myself. There are still some people for whom I have little use, but I don't hang onto the negative energies produced by my association with them. I simply distance myself and move on. I also work on specific use of energy to refocus to a optimistic, reinforcing direction when I catch myself falling into the old habit of letting things, events, people influence my path and my mood. I don't want that kind of destructive influence to take up residence.
As I said above, this quote is all about my self-responsibility. I need to be less concerned with other people and their "stuff" than I am with my own. Staying focused on myself helps me to be forgiving of others, because I realize, duh, I'm no better! I have my own pile of crap to dig out of! What's that adage about a splinter int he eye? Yes, I think it is the best thing I can do for myself AND for others, because if I'm being my own "best," I create a reality around me that attracts the same from others. Think about it .... if someone is crabby and dark, do you really like being around them? Most of us don't, other than in the "misery likes company" scenario. No, we usually gravitate to people who make us feel good. I want people around me to be ones who reflect back to me the high spirits, the good will, the happiness, and .... dare I say it? Yeah, why not .... the love I wish to feel. It's MY job to be sure I'm creating that atmosphere.
What are your thoughts or experiences?