My mind is the driving force behind everything I do, and everything I cannot do. From running to writing to being a wife and a mom and the daily tasks it all entails – my mind either hijacks my power, my ability and my joy, or lets me live fully and beautifully alive in it.
Last week we talked about beauty and everything we do to make ourselves look beautiful on the outside. To present our best selves to the world by putting our best face forward. I believe it’s important…but I can’t help but need to remind myself that true beauty lies within us.
We may manifest that beauty in the way we present ourselves to the world, but the beauty of the outside is merely a reflection of what is happening on the inside. The place where no one sees. Our character. Our integrity. The essence of who we really are. These things are infinitely more important, lasting, and far more powerful than anything we can see. Because when we are beautiful on the inside it leaks out of us in love, joy, grace, mercy, kindness, gentleness, and peace. The real stuff.
My husband has carried this quote in his wallet for over a decade:
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way. -Heraclitus
The content of your character is your choice. Each of us make a conscious decision how we will focus our thoughts, our attention and our time. Our soul is dyed the color of it’s thoughts. If we think on negative things, we will become negative. If we believe we cannot do something, then we can’t. Or we won’t. If we harbor ill will, bitterness and resentment, it will poison our spirit from the inside. Our thoughts determine our character. How we think and what we do, transform us into who we really are.
Philippians 4:8-9 echoes a similar mandate:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received, or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
We can think about the things that have harmed us and the things that have caused us pain and shake our fist at the world wondering what we did wrong. We’ve all been in that place where we want to demand justice from a broken system, people, or even God. But when we are willing to step back, to look deeper and from a wider perspective, we see the grace and blessing and mercy that have been poured down upon us, despite our trials. Perhaps right in the midst of, or even because of them. I love this verse because we are promised that when we think on those things, we will find peace.
He is our peace. Perhaps finding peace, finding Him, is really just a matter of changing our mind. Changing our mind about what we will think. Changing our mind about what we will give our attention to and for how long. In this life we will have trouble, yes, but we choose whether we dwell on it. We choose whether we let it hurt us or help us; whether we grow bitter or use it to become better.
Your integrity is your destiny. And your soul is dyed the color of it’s thoughts. The more you focus on good things, the more good things you will see. The more you think on good things, the more good things you will attract, desire and become.