Controlling the Mind—Getting Serious

I am training to be certified as a Marriage Foundation Counselor.  Although the psychological community does not accredit The Marriage Foundation, I think the teachings are phenomenal.  It’s teaching me to control my mind.  And controlling the mind should be a constant effort.  That is if the objective is to find joy and love, no matter outer circumstances.

I’m trying to fully grasp what it means to control my mind so that I’m continuously joyful.  For example, just last night, I had nagging thoughts that I wasn’t fully grasping.  They were like murmurs of pointless worries trying to lull me to sleep.  (Many thoughts are mere distractions.)  So, instead of engaging them, I thought of a friendly bird I spoke to earlier in the day.  The bird squeaked with soft chirps as I said hello.  Immediately upon thinking this, my mood brightened.  That happy state was a vast improvement.  So, my goal is to choose happiness throughout the day.  And if a negative thought needs attention, I’ll reframe it immediately to a positive one.

But what thoughts should I dwell on?  And how exactly should I reframe negative thoughts so that they are positive? I’m not entirely sure, but if a thought brings joy or love, it’s the best thought.  After all, joy is our birthright they teach me.  However, they’ll only advise me on how to control my mind.  In other words, they offer a method that I can’t disclose.  But it’s up to me to choose what I dwell on.  So, I’m partly on my own, operationalizing what thoughts to choose.

I decided to come up with a list of positive or constructive thoughts to entertain throughout the day, particularly in replacement of worries or concerns.  And then, I’ll rank these positive thoughts in order of priority.  For instance, I’ll think of bringing joy to my partner and loved ones.  I’ll playfully muse over positive alternatives to mistakes I made during the day.  I’ll dwell on how I can give more results to my employers.  I’ll dream of fulfilling all my goals, however impossible they seem.  Finally, I’ll think warmly about the beauty within everyone, especially you.  I’ll smile at everyone and grow the heart’s feeling of love daily, even during the heartaches.

And if a thought is genuinely negative yet pressing, I’ll reframe it to the ideal positive.  That’s where I’ll flip any negativity to pure love.  And the more we love, the easier it is to love everyone.  After all, every being is essentially lovable.

My parents are nearing the end of their lives.  I’ll take inspiration from the founder of The Marriage Foundation, Paul Friedman, when my parents depart.  When his son committed suicide, Paul was overwhelmingly frazzled, but he maintained his happiness.  When the dark night of the soul hits me, as it does for almost everyone, often multiple times, the most significant challenge will be maintaining happiness.  I take heart that it is achievable.  Will I achieve it?  Will you achieve it?  Yes!  The mind is ours to control.  Control the mind, and we master our world!

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