During our journey, we will always learn something new and wonderful about life, the living of it, a new concept, a new way of thinking.  The trick will be to keep that new thought forever present in our lives.

I remember an acid trip in the sixties when I had this wondrous, incredible, indescribably simple thought that I felt was nothing short of earth shaking.  Picture the classic hippie in stark wonder, exclaiming "Oh, man!" and trying to share the thought with everyone they passed. I knew the chances of me remembering this later were slim to none, so I grabbed paper and pencil. Not so surprising, I could not make heads or tails out of what I had written days later with my feet (and brain) back on the ground. I have never truly decided if this was sad or funny, when it is probably both.

When you take an Est or Scientology type course, you are warned that the clarity that has taken place in your mind during the class might be firm in your life now, but be aware that the entire world outside this room is designed to combat all the serenity and peace you now hold dear.  My favorite example is a song with lyrics that run something like, "I can't live without you,"  or, "I live only for you." How counter productive to the dear lesson that you are the only person in the entire world that can make you happy!

How do you combat this? It's actually quite easy.

Surround yourself with the new thinking. Immerse yourself with what you have learned. Find others with the same values and spend time with them. Toss out anything that takes you back to your old ways of thinking.

Whoa, wait a minute! You want me to totally change my life? That, my dear, is totally up to you. If you go over the deep end, or how far you head in that direction is totally up to you. Your call. It does bring to mind people who suddenly disappear, found years later in a cult (hopefully not a Kool Aid cult) living in the desert. Let's retain a basic sanity during this transition.

Like what you learn in church and find one day a week isn't enough? Add church activities to your week days.  Add notes to your refrigerator, the bathroom mirror. Read the book/paragraph/line that triggered the thought you want to retain, often enough to keep it ever present, yet not so much that it loses its impact. Keep the thoughts at hand, any way you can. Daily. Hourly if need be. It strictly depends on how deeply you want the belief reinforced in your life.

We are all aware about basic training factors. Training a dog requires constant vigilance until the dog retains the desired new behaviour.  Kindergarteners draw their alphabet over and over and over until they know the letters by heart. Yet when we learn a new way of thinking, sometimes in middle age, we learn the thought and expect it to be ingrained immediately. We may not forget the principle, but it is ever so easy to let it drift back into the recesses of our mind and not apply it when needed. The forest for the trees.

I have become a hermit over the years, only venturing out to the market or after something I desire, and wandering back roads with my love. I actually went shopping with my daughter last year the day after Christmas, and endured most of the day, earning a medal for valor. When I found myself aggravated by people with no common courtesy or manners, (to say nothing of those killed by senseless drive by shootings) I was more and more unwilling to step beyond my threshold. To my dismay, I oft times returned home growling, tempted to return a rude gesture with one of equal value. I have no desire to put up or immerse myself in the negativity so readily available. 

After a few years of hermiting, I realized that I was also limiting myself to find people who appreciated kindnesses or manners, Christian thinking or neighborly love. Out I go, armed with a strong and positive attitude. When we run into someone rude, I try and be extra polite, twice, in order to make up for them to the world. Positive dominoes positive!

Return to Inside Anne
Return to Packrat Main Page