Mental Razor Blades
I have a confession. I used to play with mental razor blades. After I had a heart attack, I knew I needed to make changes and I did. I stopped smoking which was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The second hardest was giving up Diet Coke. I learned to love vegetables, yoga and walking. Small prices to pay to keep a genetic heart condition in check. And you know what? It’s working because it’s been 18 years and my heart is strong. However, one change I didn’t make were my negative thoughts. I liked playing with mental razor blades.
Thoughts that Cut
What are mental razor blades? Thoughts that torment your being and literally cut the joy out of your heart. Here are some examples of my mental razor blades.
I’m not good enough. No one loves me. I’m a fake. I will always be sick. I will die young. No one wants to be my friend. I’m fat. Everyone is plotting against me. I’m a mess. I don’t deserve to live. What’s wrong with me?
I’m not alone. Just about everybody I’ve coached has their own mental razor blades. I bet you have a few too.
Bigger Razor Blades
Cancer is a worrier. When I was diagnosed, I just pulled out bigger and sharper razor blades. I cut away at thoughts about treatments, scans, doctors, money, family, friends, life and death. The thoughts never stopped.
The treatments will kill me. Death is breathing down my neck. I’m a burden. The cancer will come back. I won’t walk again. I’ll end up a vegetable, I’m doomed.
I was physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. I needed a change so I asked cancer for help. That’s right, I asked cancer. I know, bold move uh?
I asked cancer two questions. Why did you come? What do I need to do for you to leave and never come back? This might seem like a simple question for a complex issue but cancer answered my questions. I needed to clean up my toxic environment. With the help of a functional medical doctor and the Environmental Watch Group website I went hunting for the toxic chemicals, pesticides and herbicides in my world. I only ate organic food, installed a reverse osmosis water system, threw out toxic body products, tossed gardening and house cleaning products and cleaned up the Radon in the basement. This part of the detox was easy but the second part was more of a challenge.
One evening I was watching a documentary about healing. Dr. Deepak Chopra’s segment was about cancer. I will never forget what he said because it changed me. He said, “every cell in your body is eavesdropping on your thoughts.” And that’s when it hit me, my thoughts were feeding cancer. Those invisible razor blades had real consequences for my well-being. Cancer whispered a truth I had not realized, I could eat all the organic broccoli in the world but unless I changed my thoughts, I could not be well. It was time for me to drop the mental razor blades and focus on the positive.
Benefits of Positive Thinking
Positive thinking has tangible benefits. Being positive can strengthen our immune systems, increase our life spans, and help with depression, anxiety and stress. Being positive is the number one thing you can do for your well-being, especially if you are trying to recover from an illness.
And please realize there is a difference in being positive and being Pollyanna. Being positive doesn’t mean pretending everything is sunshine and rainbows. Positive people still have big problems. The difference is they have better coping skills during times of stress and hardship.
You Are What You Think
I didn’t drop my razor blades overnight. Being a positive thinker takes practice. Just remember thought directs energy and energy follows thought. For example, if you are constantly telling yourself that you are sick, then you’ll be sick. This might blow your mind, but I believe you can have cancer or heart disease and still be well. You just have to feed your mind new messages. So instead of I’m sick the new message is, I am getting stronger and stronger every day. Instead of looking for what is going wrong, focus on what is going right. Your body hears everything your mind says. So, speak kindly.
Where Did I Get That?
We get negative messages from the news, magazines and social media. Personally, I limit these sources because I prefer gathering joyful information from books, classes, meditations and positive people. It’s a good idea to check in with yourself regarding social media. Does it feed your greater good?
And now for a bit of a mind bender. The truth is that most of our negative messages don’t belong to us. When I was a child, my family and teachers constantly told me that I wasn’t good enough. That message followed me into adulthood. But here’s the twist, someone along the line told my family and teachers that they were not good enough. When a negative message crops into your mind, instead of picking up mental razor blades, ask yourself where did I get that message?
The Good Life
The good life starts with positive thoughts. Every now and then I will pick up a mental razor blade but I’ve learned how to drop it like a hot poker. How? I focus on gratitude. I promise you cannot play with negative thoughts if you have a grateful heart. It just doesn’t work that way. The more you focus on the positive the less attracted you are to those mental razor blades. To get started I suggest that you visit the Greater Good Science Center. They have classes, magazines and quizzes that can help you cultivate positive thinking. So, dive in and start living the good life. Just like me, you deserve to be happy.