Keeping alive the Islamic tradition of scholarship, insight, and purification...one day at a time.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
LESSON OF THE DAY 484
They swear by God the most intent of their oaths that God will not resurrect the dead. Oh, no! It is a promise binding on God--even though people don't know--to clarify to them what they differed on, and so that those who scoffed may know that they were the ones who were liars. Our only word to something when We intend it is that We say to it "Be," and it is. [16: 38,39,40]
Hadith of the Day:
Those who show no mercy will be shown no mercy. [Bukhari & Muslim]
Wise Quote of the Day:
There is no good in excess, just as there is no excess in good. [imam Abu Hanifa]
Guidance of the Day:
Practice ignoring your negative thoughts. It has been estimated that an average human being has around 50,000 thoughts per day. That's a lot of thoughts. Some of these thoughts are going to be positive and productive. Unfortunately, however, many of them are also going to be negative--angry, fearful, pessimistic, worrisome. Indeed, the important question in terms of becoming more peaceful isn't whether or not you are going to have negative thoughts--you are--it's what you choose to do with the ones that you have.
In a practical sense, you really have only two options when dealing with negative thoughts. You can analyze your thoughts--ponder, think through, study, think some more--or you can learn to ignore them--dismiss, pay less attention to, not take so seriously. The latter option, learning to take negative thoughts less seriously, is infinitely more effective in terms of learning to be more peaceful.
When you have a thought--any thought--that's all it is, a thought! It can't hurt you without your consent. For example, if you have a thought from your past, "I'm upset because my parents didn't do a good job," you can get into it, as many do, which will create inner turmoil for you. You can give the thought significance in your mind, and you'll convince yourself that you should indeed be unhappy. Or, you can recognize that your mind is about to create a mental snowball, and you can dismiss the thought. This doesn't mean your childhood wasn't difficult--it may very well have been--but in this present moment, you have a choice of which thoughts to pay attention to.
The same mental dynamic applies to thoughts of this morning, even five minutes ago. An argument that happened while you were walking out the door on your way to work is no longer an actual argument, it's a thought in your mind. This dynamic also applies to future-oriented thoughts of this evening, next week, or ten years down the road. You'll find, in all cases, that if you ignore or dismiss a negative thought that fills your mind, a more peaceful feeling is only a moment away. And, in a more peaceful state of mind, your wisdom and common sense will tell you what to do. This strategy takes practice but is well worth the effort. [Don't Sweat The Small Stuff]
Food for Thought:
If you see a problem, it's yours. If you think somebody should do something about it, remember, you are as much a somebody as anybody.
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