I THINK, therefore I am, said enlightenment thinker René Descartes. In at least one sense that’s profoundly true. Our unconscious thoughts and our unguarded conscious thinking are attributable for the mental maladies we possess, rippling out into our feeling states that can send our emotional wellbeing into a world of turmoil.
Proverbs 4:23 says we ought to guard our hearts, for it’s from there that our lives spring.
Everything we are, all we do, and everything we become seems to stem from our thinking. It is the absolute source of who we are. Our thinking drives our feelings. A circular pattern develops.
Some of the dangerous patterns of thought we enter into include; either/or thinking (if one is right, the other must be wrong); destructive thinking (“I’m useless, no-good, idiotic, worthless, helpless…”); narcissistic thinking (“I’m too good, look at me, and worth more than anyone…”); and, conspiracy thinking (“I don’t trust anyone…”)
Thinking is powerful because it leads us to take actions in accordance with how we feel. There are dangers in acting out of thoughts that are untrue. The fact is we’re bombarded by unhelpful thoughts all the time. Thinking is only an ally for us where it leads us to act according to the truth.
A good response to dangerous thought patterns is become aware of them, and then, with intent, decide to change our minds, or to literally repent, or turn from that thinking.
So, the AA plan kicks in. First, we must become aware of our thoughts, auditing them to determine if they’re destructive or not. Second, we can then choose to act on our awareness to conform not to the patterns of worldly thinking, but to renew our minds.