“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.” Philippians 4:8
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Pride, envy, bitterness, resentment, fear, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, doubt, depression, and a poverty mindset. These are just some of the high gravity, negative emotions, feelings, and thinking patterns that aggressively compete for space in our minds. If allowed, they will shape and color our behaviors – not just in our generation, but they can also propagate and be passed down to our kids and their kids and then their kids. Get the picture?
But, before you read any further, I need to give a disclaimer: If you are on a genuine quest for truth, want to take ownership of your behaviors and thinking, want to live a fulfilled life of joy, have healthy relationships with other people, and experience deliverance from the chains which have been holding you back, then I challenge you to keep on reading. But if you’re more concerned with living in denial, manipulating the facts, preserving your sensitive ego, and making excuses, then go ahead and stop now.
Listen up! It’s time to post the eviction notice, light up the ‘No Vacancy’ over your mind, and kick out the thinking patterns, ideas, and behaviors that are holding you back, and keeping you from reaching your maximum potential. Stop letting toxic behaviors take up valuable real estate in your soul. But there’s a catch…you’re going to need to take a long, hard, HONEST look and do a critical assessment. Each “self-reflection moment” even needs to bring with it a little bit of discomfort. It should hurt a little bit when you’re rooting out these chronic, systemic, and woven-in thinking patterns, ideas, and behaviors because if it strikes a nerve, then that’s a good indicator that you’re probing and cleaning the decay and rot out of the right area.
Your brain is hardwired to absorb information and then adapt itself around it. Our perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs are shaped and formed by what we hear and see. From the moment we’re born, we are being programmed with information. The things we saw and heard growing up set the stage for the climate of our mindscape – the place where information is processed and analyzed to form our perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs. What was spoken over us and about us, in those early years of development, established both the framework of our mind and the lens through which we view the world around us.
The information which we allow to take up residence in our minds is the driving force behind our attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs. These then dictate our behaviors and how we respond to people and circumstances. So, that means to live our best life, and fulfill our God-intended purpose; we’ve got to ask ourselves some pretty straight forward questions.
- When you were growing up, what information did you routinely see and hear?
- What information was helpful and healthy?
- What information was hurtful and toxic?
- What type of information are you taking in daily?
- Is there ANY SIMILARITY between what you saw and heard growing up and what you hear and see today, and is this affecting your current behaviors, relationships, climate, and quality of life?
- In what ways do you feel that information has impacted or affected your behaviors and viewpoints today?
The ‘No Vacancy’ sign of our hearts and minds needs to be lit up. But how do we do that?
By first evicting the negative and then replacing it with what is positive. The only way to keep the negative thoughts and information from taking up residence and occupancy is for those spaces and rooms to be already filled.
Many of us have been to a hotel or motel. Often we’ll call ahead or check online to see if there is space available. If all the rooms are already booked up, what does the hotel say? “No Vacancy.” The hotel isn’t saying that to be mean, they’re merely saying all the rooms are ALREADY FILLED. That means there’s no room for you.
The same principle can apply to your heart and mind. If healthy thinking patterns and beliefs already occupy our mental and emotional rooms, then there’s no room for whatever is unhealthy or toxic – because we’ve lit up the ‘No Vacancy’ sign.