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“Just because you think a thought, doesn’t make it true.”

I’ve heard this sentence several times from Ashley Turner, a Yoga instructor with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Every time I hear her say this, it affects me and really makes me think.

There are lots of thoughts that come and go from our minds, and for those of us with A.D.D. those thoughts can come and go quickly.  But the thoughts that Ashley is talking about are the ones that stay in our mind and become a part of us.  Not all of the thoughts need to be entertained and examined.

Some thoughts can be put into our heads by inspiration from the spirit of God, and others can sneak in as messages of trouble from the adversary.  I think it is really important to recognize the reality of both messages coming to us.

Not all thoughts come from ourselves.

Not all thoughts are true.

Not all thoughts can simply be discarded…. but some of them can.

This can put us in a tricky spot, trying to determine what thoughts need to be worked through, and which ones we can simply choose to let go.

So this leaves us with some questions.  How can you determine what thoughts to keep? What thoughts need to be acted upon?  What thoughts might have a higher meaning?

First of all, there aren’t any absolutes when it comes to this topic.  Each person has to choose for themselves how to proceed.  But I can tell you what I have learned over the years.

  1. Thoughts that bring peace are almost always messages from the Spirit of God.  Satan, the adversary, doesn’t want us to feel peace, and he doesn’t know how to give messages of peace.  Love and comfort and peace, will only come to us through God.
  2. Thoughts of hopelessness, doubt, and depression are often temptation from the adversary.  When good people can’t be tempted to do bad things, he tries to beat us up with thoughts of doubting ourselves, and our talents. He encourages us to give up, especially on things that are important, and he may try to make us feel like our efforts would be pointless anyway, so why even try. He wants to make us feel bad about ourselves. Boy, these are hard thoughts to get rid of because they can feel like a bullet wound.  But the first step is to recognize that these thoughts are generally not true.  If you feel like quitting something because you have judged it to not be as worthwhile as you once thought, then that is okay, it is simply making a choice. But giving up on something you once loved because you don’t feel good enough, or you doubt your abilities, may not be the best choice.  Never make a rash decision when you are feeling down and depressed.  Get help if you need it.  Get a blessing. Talk to a friend. Reexamine the decisions that caused you to start down a difficult path to begin with.  You really are worth so much more than the lies that Satan tells you.
  3. Some thoughts of regret or doubt are indications from inside ourselves that something needs to change. The difference between these thoughts of doubt and the ones that are thrown at us by the adversary is that these thoughts will come with a feeling of hope and a desire to change  There are definitely course corrections in life that have to be made on a regular basis in order to keep us on the right track with our lives and with God’s plan for us.  Sometimes the spirit will prick our hearts and we can feel remorse for something that needs to change. Feeling bad about something you have done is a learning experience. Having that “broken heart and contrite spirit” is hard and necessary for growth and overcoming.  It should lead you to action and a desire to use the atonement to get back to the glorious feeling of having God’s light in our lives.
  4. Thoughts of creativity and progress are ours to use as we feel guided. We can choose what thoughts are helpful and desirable to our lives and our families.

The most important thing when it comes to guiding our thought processes is to allow God to be a part of our lives.  Pray often. Watch for His hand in all things. Believe that He will guide us when it is necessary. He trusts us to make good choices, but He will always be there to help when we remember to ask for it.

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