The Art of Thinking: You Always Have A Choice

Lisa Larsen, LPC
As we struggle through this time of year - the crazy Texas winter/summer/winter weather changes along with pushing forward through the most challenging months in the life of the school year, I invite you to quiet your mind, take a few deep breaths, and join me in some reflection about just that...our thoughts, our experience, and our personal journey.

Thinking not just about our world, our children, our fear, our hope, how we deal with our sometimes overwhelming sense of helplessness, but also the strength of the human spirit, the human mind, and the heart. Like many of you searching for inspiration, I have done some deep diving recently into some of my favorite spiritual texts, thought leaders in human growth and development, and the connection to our divine God. 

One concept that has really resonated with me is the understanding truth that we always have a choice. No matter what happens in the world, no matter what happens to us and what we see or hear or read, no matter what is taking place around us or to us, you always have a choice. You don't have to be afraid. You don't have to be angry. You can choose to think positively or creatively if that is what you want. You truly are the master of your mind. You can choose to be a creative thinker instead of a reactive thinker, responding with the same negative mental tapes we made long ago. 

Of course this path is not easy. It takes practice, discipline, and the will to commit to changing those old tapes. It's not easy to think from a happiness mindset when you're feeling unhappy because your unhappiness is busy filling your mind with more unhappy thoughts. It's quite the vicious cycle really and we all know it too well.

Abraham Lincoln once said "A man is about as happy as he makes his mind to be." The key of course, is not trying to find a way to straighten people out, to get the world to stop behaving so poorly, or to set things right, it's about seeing things differently. Life has purpose. All experiences have purpose. Every person we meet, we love, we are annoyed with, we are deeply hurt by, have purpose. Wisdom is not given, it is earned. We change the world by changing our thinking about the world. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, we are to see "from the highest possible point of view." What happens in our minds is completely based on your attitudes, feelings, habits, and patterns of thinking. 

This moment in human history, this moment in our lives, in this country, in this community, lends itself to a wonderful opportunity to "be the change" we look for externally. You have the power to tap into your divine essence that is a Truth. We don't have to look outside of ourselves for love, for strength, for hope - it's all right there and has always been right there for you. You have everything you need and always have. 

You are Divine Love. 

Lisa Hellmer, LPC
St Gabriel’s Counselor
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.