Thoughts on Thoughts

For just a moment think about your thoughts. Not your nice thoughts. Not your positive thoughts. Think about your dark thoughts; the ones you wouldn’t want to share. Have you ever been on a two lane road driving 65 M.P.H. and up ahead you see a truck coming in the opposite lane and you think, If I just turned my wheel a little to the left…that would be it. Have you ever been stopped by a train and found yourself staring at its large, slowly turning wheel and thought, What would it be like to be trapped under that thing?

I have.

Of course both of these thoughts are ridiculous, so why did I have them and where did they come from?

I was listening to the story of “Steve” a California man who, after watching a violent movie with his wife one night, began having thoughts about killing her. As much as he tried to shake it, he could not stop thinking of putting a knife in her back or slitting her throat. They were newlyweds, madly in love. He had no reason to think this way. This went on for months, and although he was positive he was incapable of actually harming his bride, he told her how he was being haunted by these thoughts. He couldn’t sleep. He lost interest in everything. His dark thoughts consumed him. Finally, Steve and his wife sought professional help.

We’ll come back to Steve.

Are you thinking about your thoughts? Are you thinking about where they come from?

I’ll never be any good.
Nothing I do matters.
I’ll always be alone.
My pain is too much to bear. Nothing will ever change for me.
I’ll bet four people show up at my funeral.

These thoughts are every bit as dangerous as driving into an oncoming truck or being trapped under a train. When we believe these things, we lose sight of what is real. We no longer see who we’ve touched and who we’ve healed. There is dark and there is light and we must recognize which is which.

And what about Steve? Well, he’s doing better today. He is receiving therapy teaching him that while most people simply brush off strange and unusual thoughts, he obsesses on them like someone obsesses about germs or an organized desk top. I was only disappointed when I heard Steve say this: “I am better, but I will never be totally better.” When I heard that, I knew where that thought came from.

What are your thoughts on thoughts?