What are You Allowing in Your Harbor?

If you're anything like me, and I'm guessing you are, there's a constant stream of thoughts rolling around in that head of yours. And I'll take a stab in the dark and say that some of them are probably not the nicest thoughts in the world. Some of the thoughts I hear over and over again in my head are... you're a failure... your art sucks... why don't you have more patience with your wife and kids... don't do that, people will think you're stupid... you say you're enough all the time, but you really aren't... you suck... I could keep going, but I think we all get the point. Can you relate to any of this?

The fact is, our brains are pretty crappy to us sometimes. And I'll never understand why. Is it from things we see out in society? Is it from the way our parents raised us? Or did we pick these nasty thoughts in school? From movies? 

I firmly believe people are inherently... good. And if people are more often than not good, why are we so crappy to ourselves? Which brings me to my point of this whole post...

I found myself listening to a Rob Bell podcast where he interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert (go listen to it, but only after you finish this post). I've always avoided anything Elizabeth Gilbert, because I got this vibe she spoke solely to women, and then that whole Julia Roberts movie...something about Julia Roberts. I digress. This interview sparked me to read Eat Pray Love, and I devoured it in a few days. l so resonated with the spiritual journey she took...and it's one quote in particular that stopped me in my tracks...

"I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore."

1. a part of a body of water along the shore deep enough for anchoring a ship and so situated with respect to
coastal features, whether natural or artificial, as to provide protection from winds, waves, and currents.
2. such a body of water having docks or port facilities.
3. any place of shelter or refuge.
4. to give shelter to; offer refuge to.
5. to conceal; hide: to harbor fugitives.
6. to keep or hold in the mind; maintain; entertain: to harbor suspicion.
7. to house or contain.
8. to shelter (a vessel), as in a harbor.

Take a minute and ponder those words of wisdom. Substituting the definition of 'harbor' in the sentence, you can read it as I will not give shelter or offer refuge to unhealthy thoughts anymore. And the whole thing about a harbor as a place where we invite these thoughts in to our minds and we give them shelter. 

Elizabeth Gilbert hit it on the head when she decided not to offer these negative thoughts a safe and comfortable place to stay in her head. She shut the port down. She built the habit of saying "I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore" any time one tried to drop it's anchor. 

I've started doing this as well. Trying not to let any unhealthy thoughts take up my already limited mental capacity. And you know what's been happening? While a difficult habit to build, I've noticed it getting easier to do...like all things, they just take time.

The more important A-HA takeaway I've noticed is it's created more space in my head for positive thoughts. Let's face it, our minds are never really going to shut up, unless you're truly an enlightened person or the Dalai Lama, which I'm not, so my mind is like a little skittish mouse, chattering away, all the dang time. So, if I'm turning away all the unhealthy and negative thoughts, that means I'm making space for the healthy and positive thoughts. Thoughts that remind me, I am loved, always, and endlessly. I am enough. I'm creating room to appreciate all the amazing things in my life...the feeling of bare feet in the grass...the beauty in the stillness of meditation...the joy in singing Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Really Like You" at the top of my lungs because it makes me feel good. That brings a lot of the good feels, let me tell you!

As I wind down this post, I want you all to take a few minutes and think of all the unhealthy thoughts you think about yourself. Think about them, write them down if you need to, so you can make sure you don't forget any. Then, one by one, tell those thoughts they aren't welcome in your harbor anymore.

I know you can do it. I believe in you. And this life is so worth living...it truly is. My wish for you this week is that you have the courage to turn away your negative and make room for some positive. 

Josh Solar

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