A friend of mine said, “Lately I have been entertaining the idea of running away.” Something about my friend’s use of the word “entertaining” made me curious. I asked, “What do you serve it?”
A bewildered look came across her face, “What do I serve it? What do you mean?”
I replied, “Your idea – you said you were entertaining the idea of running away. I was wondering what do you serve it? How do you make the idea of running away feel at home?”
It is odd how we use the word “entertain.” We entertain thoughts of quitting our jobs, of what we would do if we won the lottery, of living in an island paradise. Sometimes we entertain negative thoughts; sometimes the thoughts are positive ones.
What we are saying is that we want those thoughts to feel at home in our minds. Some thoughts may seem like unwanted guests; however, entertain them, we do. The analogy of our minds as “home” is a good one. We live in our minds and give meaning to everything we see.
What we think about becomes our reality. Our thoughts create the atmosphere within which we live and move and have our being.
Father Paul Keenan wrote, “Our lives and the lives of others are lightened or darkened by the thoughts that are in our minds.”
Not every idea that comes into our minds is one that we want to welcome and allow to take up residence. As we grow and mature on the spiritual path, we become more discriminating with the ideas to which we give over the real estate of our minds.
This month of gratitude is a great time to do an inventory of our thoughts. What thoughts do we entertain every day? What thoughts will take a seat at the Thanksgiving table of your mind?
Will there be limiting thoughts about yourself? “I’m not good enough.” “I’m not smart enough.” “I don’t have the time, the money, the energy to do whatever….”
Perhaps there will be angry thoughts at your table: “I just can’t stand so-n-so!” “Why did he have to get sick and die?” “Why can’t life be simple?”
Maybe you have negative thoughts about your world: “The world is not a safe place.” “I can’t share who I really am out there.” “Everyone is crazy, except me.”
The activity of noticing your thoughts is a highly evolved one. You are the host of your mind. Only you decide which thoughts are welcome in your mind home. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, wrote, “With every thought there is a radiation of energy. If a person is untrained in thinking and lets his mind express all kinds of thoughts without control, he not only uses up his thought stuff, but he fails also to accomplish any helpful result.”
Take charge of your “thought stuff.” Be in charge of the thoughts that occupy space in your mind. Be choosey about what you entertain in your mind home.