The Power of Thought


August 5, 2017

I had this ring made a few years ago. It says, “With our thoughts we create our world.”

It is a reminder, for me, that I have the power to change many things about my existence, and that, though I might not be able to change the others, I can change my attitude about them, thus changing my world.

It is both a Buddhist tenet and a “Jackism,” a.k.a. wisdom from my father, though he would cringe to think that something he believed so strongly would so closely allign with Buddhism.

This belief has been instrumental to my happiness many times over the years, for what we have power over, we can control. We have power over our own thoughts; thus we have power over our own worlds.

I hear you beginning to doubt here, and I can sympathize with that, but bear with me. While there are some things within our worlds that we have little or no ability to change, we do have the capacity to change our perception of them, often by the words we choose to use when thinking and talking about those things.

In my day job, patients often use the phrasing “I suffer from…” or “I am a victim of…” When the sentences start with these words, I already know that they have relinquished power over their lives, have given it over to this thing. They have let something control them rather than controlling it. For instance, when I don’t eat well or if I don’t do what I know that I need to do to prevent them, I get wicked migraines. Sometimes, even when I do everything right, I get them. But I have them. They don’t have me. I want to live my life in such a way that I control them.  If I choose to “suffer from” migraines, I’m already giving them the upper hand.

Similarly, I experienced things, things I don’t really want to go into right now, things that many women go through, and that many survive, that some live through but never really come out the other side of. Unfortunately, too many women fall victim to them, and their lives are forever colored by those events.

Yes, I know, each experience is unique. Everyone is an individual with different capacities for healing. Some things one doesn’t just “think themselves” through to the other side, but maybe some things one does. Maybe, small changes in our thought processes begin to close the doors to those dark places in our past and open the ones to brighter futures.

I have created many successes from the absolute belief that I would achieve it. Never did it occur to me that I couldn’t be whatever brainiac profession I chose.

On the other hand, I don’t have a lot of confidence in my athletic skills, and I have serious performance anxiety. No matter how well I perform a lift or a technique in the privacy of my own gym, I almost always flub it up when the spotlight is on me. Those pathways in my mind over which I have told myself for decades that I am a “fat clutz” are well rutted, and it’s going to take a while before I can reroute them. But, I can reroute them with time and effort. Mind you, I’ll never be an Olympic athlete, but I can certainly be a better one. I can be a “strong gal who works hard to get it right”–no more the “fat clutz.”

Words have power. And they have precision. Choose them wisely–even if they’re only in your head.