How to Make Your Mind a Better Place

Think on these things

“Bad tapes”.  

That is the phrase a good friend used to describe when people have unhealthy thought patterns repetitiously swirling around in their head.  

Remember mixed tapes from when we were kids? Okay, all my 80’s and 90’s friends know what I’m talking about. All of my iPod generation friends are going “mixed tapes – does that have something to do with Scotch tape?”  No, forget it, I’m dating myself and its embarrassing.  

Mixed tapes… we created them to create a mood…

I had a mixed tape for any and every situation. 

Car tapes – those were the ones that I made to jam out in my smooth Red Chevy Berretta thinking I was “cool.” It had songs like “Can’t touch this,” “Pump up the Jam,” and “Ice Ice Baby.” Yeah… it was cool then and its still cool now. You know you would dance to it.  🙂

Then I had my “I Hate Life” tapes – you know, the ones that would play Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and anything else that was Grunge, angry, and just overall depressing because every teenager thinks they need music that proclaims the world is against them.  

And then finally, I had the sappy music – you know, pretty much ANYTHING Richard Marx, Michael Bolton, or Bryan Adams ever wrote. “Everything I do… I do it for you.”

My point? All of these tapes evoked whatever emotion was intended to be provoked.  I’m emotional and can find emotion in everything. So for me these tapes brought out some intense emotions, beliefs, and ideas. The more those tapes were listened to, the more I became connected to or enveloped in whatever was in the message. One minute my world was horrible because I was listening to angry music and the next minute I wanted to run off and elope because “there’s no love… like your love”

So if people who we aren’t connected to can influence that much of our ideas, emotions, beliefs etc. then what about the people we are connected to?  What about family?  What about friends? What about co-workers?  What about ourselves?  I began to think of all the bad mixed tapes that I made when I was in High School, but I also made bad mixed tapes in my head that I never turned off.  Some of you can really relate here:

So and so doesn’t accept me… therefore, I’m not valuable.

I’m not smart.

They don’t love me.

I’m unloveable.

I’m not enough.

I don’t belong.

God hates me.

I’m not worth anything.

I’m afraid.

I’m not.

I can’t.

I won’t.

I’m not worth…

I don’t deserve…

I mean I could really go on. You know what your bad mixed tape is. You know the words, phrases, etc. that swirl around in your head robbing you of time and energy… and quite frankly it’s renting space that doesn’t deserve to be occupied by anything other than truth. 

Remember the truth of this verse. That we are valuable… wonderfully made… on purpose… whether we are affirmed by others or not.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139: 13-14)

And this one – this one speaks to me in all of those weaknesses… all of those shortcomings… all of those“I’m not enough’s.” He is more than enough.

“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We all have bad tapes that keep playing over and over hindering us from truth.

But some… well, some have played for so long, we don’t even recognize the difference.

So what is it? What needs to be erased? What needs to be replaced?  Bad tapes need to be replaced by good tapes.

“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)

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