Thinking Over Thinking: Finding the Hidden Sunshine

“When we allow our thoughts to go unchecked, a steady drip of lies cements the wrong patterns within our minds, building a Berlin Wall of bad beliefs.”

-Steven Furtick

Recently, I’ve been doing my fair share of over-thinking, and just a few weeks ago I was still desperately searching for the cure to my brain’s spastic behavior. What I’ve discovered in the past few weeks has changed the way I live my life permanently, and I hope what I have to say is helpful and effective for you too. Looking from the outside in, one might consider the last few weeks of my life to have been substantially challenging; I would disagree. The past weeks have been far from challenging, but I’ve chosen to make them appear that way, not only to myself but to others too. I was stuck in a hole of self-pity, trying to dig my way out, and refusing to accept the fact that it is impossible to dig your way out of a hole. Through all of this I’ve come to a conclusion:

I waste entirely too much time worrying about imaginary problems, and making up problems, so I can worry about those too.

Until recently, I had covered my bad habit of stress-binging by telling myself “it’s just who I am! There’s nothing I can do!” I was wrong. I had formed a habit of drowning in my own negativity, without bothering to look for positivity in the trials and tribulations I faced. I was being a wimp. Something changed in these past weeks though; every morning I would get into my car to drive to school and hear Rend Collective‘s Joy (you can listen here). Every afternoon I would drive home, worn down from a long day of school and hear, once again, Joy. I would get home and turn on Spotify while working on homework and hear, yes, you guessed it, Joy. It got to the point where I just expected to hear it wherever I went. I was still missing the point though; searching for fulfillment in the functions of life left me feeling empty, God was pushing me to search for fulfillment in His kingdom.

We need to seek fulfillment from the one who is openly and willingly and eternally pouring into us.

It is hard to rely on somebody you can’t physically see, touch, or hear. It is easy to rely on somebody you can physically see, touch, and hear. Too often we fall into habit of relying on others to fuel our happiness; this is, of course, a toxic habit because life is unpredictable, and no friendship/relationship, no matter how solid, is guaranteed to last forever. God is everlasting, never-failing, and never-changing (Psalm 100:5). It seems ludacris to rely on a mere friend when the creator of the universe is knocking at your door, ready to fill you up and top you off.

Learn to choose joy and find satisfaction whatever your circumstances.

Another habit I had taken to was constant pessimism. I would oversleep, wake up and say “Oh my frick frack. I’m going to be late to school AGAIN.” and then once I arrived at school I would think “Wow, I seriously hate this place. I’m miserable.” Next I would drive home and say “Wow, now I get to do my homework. I’m so excited. Not.” I’ve learned something very important and I’m going to put it very simply:

If you choose to be miserable, you will be miserable.

I know, I know, don’t worry, there’s a flip side.

If you choose joy, you will be content and at peace with your life.

Some people don’t think that happiness is a decision, but I disagree. There will always be a bit of sunshine behind the clouds; but you aren’t going to see it unless you want to. You can wake up after oversleeping and say “Oh my frick frack. I’m going to be late to school AGAIN,” or you can wake up after oversleeping and say “Well, isn’t this dandy, I got to sleep in today.” And I would highly encourage choosing the latter. Because the former is going to do nothing but make you miserable. The latter, however, will generate positive energy.

And if being happy and content with your own life is not enough for you, do it for the people around you. I know that you have heard it before, but just allow me to repeat these words, in order to get my point across. The way you live your life invariably affects the people around you. Yes, it’s true. Either way you choose to live: in misery or in joy; you will undoubtedly affect those around yourself. While living in my lifestyle of misery, a friend brought to my attention that my negativity had been indirectly rubbing off on him. I have never been more disgusted with myself before. Don’t do what I did; don’t wait until you’ve already hurt others to grasp this concept. Choose joy for yourself, and choose joy for those you care about and spend time around.


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