What do our thoughts have to do with it?
with Jessica Hottle
There is no denying that our thoughts are our energy. They are electrical impulses the brain generates and can be measured by devices like EEG.
Our thoughts are the language of the brain and our feelings are the language of our body.
Our body holds the posture of our heart. Our body holds our stories of hurt, pain, trauma, joy, peace, and more. As you move your body, your body tells a story.
I’ll often hear this phrase, I know what God word says but I don’t feel it. (Meaning, the connection from the head to the heart, in this case, the body.) When our bodies have been programmed and wired to believe and feel one way it will take time for your body to begin to tell a new story.
We get stuck in our bodies, in the same spot, because our body becomes our mind (so to speak) and begins to rule our thought life. It becomes the engine and not the caboose. Therefore we are letting our external environment, everything we can see, touch, smell, and taste become the control room that goes against the gospel.
Our past pain can guide our present reality which in return can hardwire our brain to believe thoughts that we believe to be true that is more likely a lie and an attack on our identity. We hardwire our brains when the same thoughts are repeated and the way of living remains the same day in and day out. When our thinking begins to change, when we elevate our thinking to God’s truth, we prune old neural pathways and form new ones.
Healing comes when kindness and compassion are expressed towards our pain and experiences. Healing is welcomed when permission is granted to bring up parts of us that have been buried or permission to rest when it is needed. Processing through pain, forgiveness, and more does not mean that what you experienced did not exist or are not valid. However, you have the ability to feel them and at the same time them not getting tied into your worth or your identity. Healing lessens the “weight” we carry around. It improves our ability to respond in a healthy way to our future situations. It allows love to enter into our hearts.
You can start by asking yourself a few simple questions, “What kind of fruit is my life creating right now? What am I thinking about? How are my thoughts making me feel?” This requires us to think about what we are thinking about. It requires us to ask the Holy Spirit to help us be aware so that we can repair.
Maybe you have heard a time or two that you will heal in time, just give it time. There is only partial truth to this statement. Time does heal as long as you are healing in that time. Time can soften the intensity and frequency, but it doesn’t make it go away.
Feelings do not just go away. They transform into something better or bigger. The goal is to create space between you and the emotion.
Here are the five steps to help work through your emotions.
Acknowledge the emotion. Stop for a moment. Be aware that something doesn’t feel quite right.
Identify the emotion. What are you feeling? Embarrassed, angry, overwhelmed, and so on.
Acceptance. I’m allowing myself to feel this, but I am not going to be run by it. Meaning, it doesn’t become a part of my identity and I don’t claim it as a truth in my life or an absolute.
What is the emotion telling you? Think of it as a yellow light. It tells you to slow down and process before. Emotions are symptoms of our thoughts not roots.
Conversation with God. This is where you are going to bring truth to it. This is what you feel but what’s the truth.
You have permission to feel but what you do with those feelings matters the most. We are run by our emotions when we run away from them. (Just a note: This typically happens in seconds. The more you practice becoming aware. The more you can renew your mind in the moments.)
It’s time to take your thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. God is so amazing that not only did He create our bodies to heal themselves but that He also created our bodies to follow our thoughts. (Not the other way around.)
This renewing and healing process will take time as the old story has to be ended. Scripture reminds us that it is about faith and patience. Even when we don’t see it, we still get to pursue Him because we know He is faithful to fulfill His promises.