Why is it that some people can handle extremely stressful situations and bounce right back, and other people just fall apart? Why is it that some people can be calm, cool, and collected while others are acting out of rage. Where does that resiliency come from? Part of it comes from a quiet mind.
For example, consider John whose son is in the hospital for testing to determine the cause of multiple siezures. John is in the middle of telling James the preliminary results of the first round of tests when James simply walks away.
How should John feel? Should John get angry and tell James off for being rude? Or, should John consider that James didn’t understand and thought that John had finished? John’s feelings about the situation will be determined by John’s thoughts about the situation. It’s not James’ actions that determine John’s feelings. It’s john’s own thoughts about the situation.
A quiet mind begins with the realization that our feelings and experiences are being generated by our own thoughts about our circumstances. Our feelings and experiences are not being generated by the circumstances themselves.
That’s why it’s so important for us to encourage one another, to give people the beautiful image of hope that we’ve found through our own stressful situations. To give others a gift so that they can focus their thoughts on confident expectations and become better, not bitter. To help the John’s of the world see that James was trying to be a good friend, not rude.
When the realization finally hits us that it’s our own thinking that’s generating our experiences and feelings, then we can begin to see what thoughts are worth holding onto and what thoughts should be let go.
Is it possible for us to take every thought captive and see if those thoughts are adding value or tearing us apart? How much is a quiet and joyful mind worth? We all get to make that choice for ourselves.