You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was. – Abraham Lincoln

I see a lot of positive thinking posts on Facebook lately. This is good.  I personally believe that negative thoughts and words rot our souls.  Criticisms and complaints give way to self-destructive behaviors.

Some people say that Joel Osteen is a false prophet, so is Joyce Meyers, and T.D. Jakes, an intense minister who has ministered to millions of lives especially the African Americans to find healing and pursue authentic life. Or “you’re a strong woman… and you can do what you set your heart to do no matter what your background or your DNA.  We all need good teachings that help heal broken hearts and encourage us to see the light streaming into a darkened soul – reviving our worth, values as human beings.

In my opinion, people flock to these types of ministers and televangelists, motivational speakers and teachers because they want to be edified, encouraged, and to recognize they matter.  Don’t you?  We all need good mentors to guide us to live a better life.  I mean we all learned from our teachers how to read, write, and speak English.  We learned from our parents to speak our own tongue.  We didn’t just wake up one morning and figured out how to conjugate verbs on our own.  Someone taught us.  

On the other hand, to recognize our negative thoughts is to encourage us to seek the positive.  That it’s not all that bad.  A challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone, for self-examination, and make changes in our thought life.  No one will do it for you. You’re the only one to live your life so might as well do something about it.  IT’S UP TO YOU.

One of the definitions of cognitive distortions is Mental Filtering.  You pick out a negative detail in any situation and dwell on a it exclusively, thus perceiving that the whole situation is negative.  When you feel depressed you wear a pair of eyeglasses with special lenses that filter out anything positive.  All that you allow to enter your conscious mind is negative.  Because you are not aware of this “filtering process,” you conclude that everything is negative.  The technical name for this process is “selective abstraction” – a biased thinking which a detail is taken out of context and believed while everything else in the context is ignored.

Negativity is from fear. Jealousy, hatred, rage, superiority, inferiority and religiosity are from fear. Fear is within. I still feel a great deal of fear because it is within me; not outside of me.  When we use fear to control our external world, we lose.  I choose not to paralyze myself with fears.  Love casts out fear and frees us to trust.  Trust for me is in the struggles for it is in those moment that our hearts are perfectly growing. That it is in the midst of my fears I choose love to infuse my perception and actions. At times I’d rather just shut up and not be hypocritially polite.

Teachers of fear want to control you.  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.