This subject right here gets me fired up! It is one that I personally struggled with for many years. For the life of me, I just couldn’t figure out why my life was such a hot mess. Sounds funny but I am very serious, so this subject is one that I have been wanting to talk about for a long time.
There are so many people that don’t understand why their life seems to constantly be in turmoil or there is always something going wrong – where the idea of really enjoying life seems like something that may never happen. Maybe you only feel happiness in spurts of time and the rest of the time, your life is riddled with problems or just not feeling good about yourself.
The reason a person would continually live in this type of environment is simple. It is an outer manifestation of what is occurring in the mind. Because of the chain of unfortunate events that seemed to plague my life, when I tell you that I have spent many years of trying to understand this mental concept, it is not an exaggeration! You don’t know what you don’t know, right? I couldn’t make sense of why, despite my positive thinking and my efforts to live a good life, something “bad” or terribly inconvenient was constantly popping up in my life, may it have been being behind on my bills, an unexpected car expense, emergency doctor visits, and the list goes on and on. There were very few times in my life, for any length of time, that I had peace. The “not knowing why” is a terrible existence to reside in because it’s hard to understand why little in your life is changing or improving, despite your efforts of doing everything in your power to be happy – you know, things like working hard, thinking positive thoughts, helping others, and praying, to name a few. Frustration, anger, disappointment, and humiliation are bound to set in. The worst is when self-doubt sneaks in and when that happens, the same vicious cycle repeats itself. This way of thinking is a recipe for staying stuck in the same unfortunate and miserable conditions in life.
For me, I wanted to know why more than anything else. I wasn’t okay with accepting, as many people do, that “this is just the way it is” or “maybe this is my lot in life”. By the way, I actually said those words at one point and then quickly thought, “Oh hell no, I deserve the best as much as the next person”. I wanted to know why I always seemed to find myself living in a state of lack – of money, peace, and contentment. I wanted to know how “they” did it. You know, the people that seemed to be winning in life. I thought “Surely they are not special and of a chosen few. Hell, I’m special so why not me?” I had to know; it plagued me day and night, so I did what I always do when I need answers: I prayed, and I was very specific in my prayers. I wanted to know what I was doing so wrong or not doing. Sure enough, little by little, the answers came to me. See, when you pray, you have to expect answers to all of your prayers and equally important, you must be on the lookout for those answers so when they start coming, you recognize the answers to your prayers for exactly what they are. That’s called praying with a purpose. I was determined to find out, so I started researching. I read books, listened to videos and audio books…anything I could get my hands on to understand why I was living in this constant state of chaos and unhappiness.
I was raised in the church and was always taught “The battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s”. People would stand up to speak before the church because they had a testimony and many times they would start off with “I just want to thank the Lord for waking me up in my right mind”. Why did they say that? It’s because if you don’t have a sound mind, nothing else in your life will work.
What wasn’t taught about “the battle” in all those days of going to church, was how to win it. I thought that if I tried my best to live according to what I was being taught – you know: pray, do good unto others, manage my personal affairs and my life in general with dignity, then I would, for the most part, live a happy life. Overall, that sounds like a good formula for living at least a good life, right?
Wrong! That couldn’t be further from the truth because if worry and doubt constantly plague your mind, you can think all the positive thoughts you want and do all the good deeds in the world but if you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities, fear, worry, and doubt will surely creep in and impact every area of your life. Because of those underlying thoughts, circumstances that are in direct harmony with your foundation of thoughts must show up in your life. So yes, the battle is all yours when you allow negative thoughts to take residence in your mind. When you understand that the God in you only works when you believe [in yourself], the battle within, which is nothing more than your negative thoughts, only have the power you give them. The only way to live the life you really want to live is to learn to control your thoughts. Sounds like a lot of work, right? At first it may seem to be because if you have never trained yourself to consciously pay attention to what thoughts you allow to enter and reside your mind, you won’t even notice the battle that’s been going on in your mind until the outer manifestation of those thoughts show up in your life through relationships and circumstances. The good news is that it is possible to change your mindset and learn to win the battle within and not be defeated by it.
We as human beings are both complex and simple. We are conditioned from birth with certain behavioral patterns through our DNA and our environment. If you were raised in an environment that was conducive to constantly succeeding in life and getting ahead, then your mind has been conditioned to think this way. The person born and raised in this environment knows how to go get the things they want out of life and succeed, for it is the only way they have been trained to think. Inversely, if you were raised into an environment of constant struggle of trying to make ends meet, the one thing you know for sure is how to survive. This person is an expert at “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” and they usually always get by because they have been trained to think in this manner. But who really wants to live a life of just getting by?
Therefore, as a man (person) thinks in his heart (which means to actually feel the way it would feel to live those thoughts out) so shall he be.
Every single one of us has the power to change out circumstances by changing the thoughts we allow to take root in our minds. This is such basic knowledge but still we are shocked when someone who seemingly has it all, throws it all away based on one decision made in their life. We are equally amazed when there is a seemingly rags to riches story. But neither of these circumstances just happened. Those individuals had developed some thoughts in their mind, a way of thinking over a period, and made conscious decisions that eventually grew and manifested into their reality of life.
The same holds true for you and I. We can choose what we want out of life. Yes, we can create our own battles in life based on our thoughts and beliefs or we have the free will to choose to win. You and I can accomplish whatever we want. It doesn’t matter where you come from or your current circumstances. The only thing that matters is what you will do to create the life you want to live. Your circumstances are not who you are anyway. It comes down to choosing what to believe, along with acting on those beliefs. This will become your reality in life. Not to say that bad things won’t happen, because they will. Inconveniences are sure to show up, but it is up to you to choose how to respond to those instances and this is where your faith comes into play. Know that your faith will increase if you will only continue to go after what you want. Things will start to happen that will let you know your consistency is paying off. With your hard work and through belief in yourself, you will gain an understanding of how to win. When a person understands something, then they can believe in whatever they once sought to understand. Therefore, in the book of Proverbs it is written that with all you get, make sure you get an understanding.
Once you understand how to defeat those little pesky battles that arise in your mind, seemingly out of nowhere, you will start to see positive things occur in your life. As a result, your faith will grow and with this, over time, your belief system or whatever mindset you have that keeps you stuck in life, will start to change. When you consistently work on not allowing your negative thoughts to control your life, your circumstances must change. It’s just the way it is. Your world will start to change right before your very own eyes. The thoughts you allow yourself to feel as though they are real, will determine what will show up in your life – good or bad so watch your thoughts.
It takes consistency and I won’t sugarcoat the truth of the hard work that is required but anything in life worth having is worth working hard for. Isn’t your life worth it? Change your mind and win the battle within.