Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

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Many years ago, my kids took piano lessons from a lady who lived “off the beaten track.” She and her husband owned a nice sized piece of property, and to get to her front door you had to maneuver your car up a long, winding gravel drive. While the initial section of her land was just like any other out in the country, the front lawn near her house was inexplicably littered with junk..everything from old washing machine parts to rusty scraps of metal.  For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why anyone would allow that situation to develop. Over time, I truly came to believe she was completely blind to the growing heap of clutter..

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Years later, I have come to realize that I can be just as blind to the ballooning amount of mental “trash” I permit to fester in my mind.  If I’m not careful, I can allow old grudges, jagged jealousy and corrosive anxiety to stack up like mounds of rotting tires. Before I know it, I’ve got the twin rats of anger and fear scurrying through slimy puddles of confusion and self doubt. I’m here to admit that if I let the garden of my mind go unattended, it can quickly devolve into a hazardous dump.

So how to keep the flowers blooming? Carefully pick your “seeds” and keep weeding out the negativity. Whether it’s the TV programs you watch, the music you listen to or the friends you surround yourself with; choose wisely. Build protective barriers around people or situations that are invasive or toxic so they don’t take over your life.

Staying focused on all that is good and praiseworthy is a sure way to increase your happiness and wellbeing. Filling your heart with gratitude protects it against bitter resentment and self-centeredness. Of course every day can’t be a bed of roses, but there is much we can do to protect our overall mood if we tend and nurture our minds the way a gardener takes care of his land.

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Think good thoughts – don’t plant “malicious mental mint.” 😉

 

 

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Photo credits: www.mnn.comfineartamerica.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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