I have to understand EVERYTHING.
Every time he would answer me, it was as if the answer wasn’t good enough. So, I would ponder more and more and more. With my pondering the question, “But, why?” would always follow.
After about two or three “But Why’s?”, my dad would respond to me, gritting his teeth, trying to keep from yelling out expletives, “So, you can ask d%$@ questions!”
Oooo! That would shut me up every time.
I would sit in the passenger’s seat with a smirk on my face, knowing that I must be on to something since either he did not know the answer or he just did not think I could comprehend or handle it.
I could never understand why he was so annoyed. He was my father, my personal encyclopedia. What was his problem? Did he not know his role in my life?
Did we really need to play the Quiet Game to every stoplight?
The bottom line was that when I did not know, I asked until the answer sat well with me. And, yes, it had to sit well with me. That was something that could not be helped….like an ingrained code in my DNA.
Nevertheless, his reaction always made me laugh.
It makes me laugh even still.
Getting a Grip on Obsessive Thoughts
Unfortunately, the pondering that I did (and I am sorry to say that I still do) developed into what is commonly called obsessing. It is a strong contrast to the more positively viewed character trait of being curious.
Obsessing can be debilitating.
It is the constant replay of thoughts in your mind about a situation, an event, a puzzling behavior or reaction, or the like. Not only do you think about it over and over and over again, you analyze it to the nth degree.
Recently, while reading Living Life As An Exclamation Point by Remy Chausse, I learned that obsessive thoughts have a purpose. According to Remy, “They provide you with an opportunity to re-align with personal truths and values and find out what truly resonates with you.” She further explains, “The key is to use the obsessive thought as a launching pad for growth….and then actually launch.”
The funny thing is I have been working on getting a grip on obsessing for some time, so when I opened her book and read the very first chapter, it was as if God had placed this book in my lap to help me see myself, understand myself, and then equip myself with strategies to make the necessary changes.
Remy spoke directly to me. How in the world did she do that?
She helped me immensely. In fact, I was in the midst of obsessing about something as I read chapter one:
Obsessive thoughts happen when your mind tries to take an irrational situation and make it rational; when you are trying to control a situation that you really can’t control. But you can accept what is, and turn those obsessive thoughts toward your vision of the life you want to create instead. When you know you are fixating on the problem, by consciously re-directing your thoughts to what you want instead of obsessing about what you don’t want, it’s easier to be calm and free of doubt.
While obsessive thoughts and doubts aren’t truth, they’re a clue to something important that’s struggling to come to the surface. What do you need to learn about you? (p.31)
I cannot tell you how those words just opened up the heavens for me. It was like being caged up in a room without windows for years and suddenly released to go outside to get some fresh air.
So, how about you?
What are you obsessing over?
Do you have obsessive thoughts about things that you cannot control like what somebody else has done or said?
Do you have obsessive thoughts about your own shortcomings?
Perhaps, you have obsessive thoughts about things you just cannot comprehend, rationalize, or explain.
The good news is at the end of the day, Remy’s advice is right on point.
You can redirect your thoughts.
In fact, God has given you and I control over our thoughts. You can actually “train your brain” to obsess on things that are beneficial for you:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7
Flipping the Script
So, instead of obsessing over things that cause stress and uneasiness, flip the script. Obsess over those things that build you up and support you as you walk in your divine personal brand. And since you cannot have positive and negative thoughts or emotions at the very same time, choose to occupy your mind with the positive.
Hearing From You
What has been your experience with obsessing? Have you mastered the ability to obsess over “those things” the Word has told you to think about?
Interested in reading Living Life As An Exclamation Point? Head over to www.remychausse.com.