July 26, 2014
You see that “announcement” frequently on news and social media sites. It’s about the latest in gossip and current events. Although the intent is to track what’s happening in the world, it’s more about what’s happening in people’s conversations about what’s happening in the world.
This post isn’t really about that though, but about what’s trending in thought. You see, whatever the trend is in one’s thinking, tends to be the experience of that thinker. Have you noticed that? Whatever occupies your thought, whether it’s fear or joy, hatred or gratitude, illness or health, is what you see in yourself and others. The author of Proverbs wrote centuries ago, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (23:7)
It’s called preoccupation and comes from the Latin meaning “to take possession beforehand.” It was originally what you might call a real-estate term from the middle ages literally meaning to occupy something before it belonged to you – and there’s still an element of that in its current usage, though of a mental nature. Now it is used to describe that quality of thought that is self-absorbed or obsessed with a particular viewpoint, accurate or not.
We don’t always notice it in ourselves, but we do notice it in others. And in so doing, we recognize that it is neither useful nor productive. At least when the conditions of our preoccupation are negative.
Because we also notice when someone is always joyful regardless of circumstances. Or when someone is always healthy, even when those around him or her are struggling with contagion. Or when someone always reaches out to help even when their own circumstances may be tenuous.
Mary Baker Eddy expected that kind of preoccupation when she wrote, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 261) She understood the nature of the human mind, especially its tendency to focus on what is frightening or missing. This simple instruction helps to move the thinker to a higher, broader more spiritual position where solutions can be found and enacted.
Learning to shift thought this way simply comes from doing it. From catching yourself feeling down or agitated and deliberately choosing a more positive outlook. And if that outlook is based on a God-like view, it’s not just positive thinking, it’s prayer. This is how Jesus thought, prayed, healed. And the Apostle Paul told us to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5) We can do that!
What’s trending in your thought?
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.