I have been amazed these last few months to realize how much control I have over my feelings. I guess in the past I have done a rather poor job of screening my thoughts. Rather, I have allowed all kinds of influences in and have just let them bash me around. But as I have struggled to redefine my body image in my head I have been extremely cautious what I let in. I am careful what I think. I excuse bad thoughts, and I am learning to be kind to myself. It is a wonderful way to live.
I have been reading Eat, Pray, Love and have found some of the things she says in this book to be incredibly profound. But as I was reading tonight I came across this passage and I was dying to share it with you. I love this. She is talking about how she just realized that she is in control of what comes and goes in her mind.
'So I've started being vigilant about watching my thoughts all day, and monitoring them. I repeat this vow about 700 times a day: "I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore." Every time a diminishing thought arises, I repeat the vow. I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore. The first time I heard myself say this, my inner ear perked up at the word "harbor," which is a noun as well as a verb. A harbor, of course, is a place of refuge, a port of entry. I pictured the harbor of my mind--a little beat-up, perhaps, a little storm-worn, but well situated and with a nice depth. The harbor of my mind is an open bay, the only access to the island of my Self (which is a young and volcanic island, yes, but fertile and promising). This island has been through some wars, it is true, but it is now committed to peace, under a new leader (me) who has instituted new policies to protect the place. And now--let the word go out across the seven seas--there are much, much stricter laws on the books about who may enter this harbor.
'You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts--all these will be turned away. Likewise, any pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways--you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor. The entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquillity. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind--otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came.
'That is my mission, and it will never end.'
Beautiful. I love the way she puts that. I can't add anything to it. I just agree whole heartedly. Let's all guard the harbors of our minds more carefully and only allow good things onto our islands.