What is it that forms our thought patterns? What influences our way of thinking? Who decides what are my predominant thoughts? How do they come about?
Thoughts seem to generate themselves. For me it's rather like being on a yacht in the ocean, I can choose to where I steer my boat through the sea of thoughts, or I can just let it take me where it will, be that into dark stormy waters or beautiful tranquil destinations filled with colourful fish and delicate ornate corals.
I wrote a post a while ago My Beautiful Mind Movie about the influence on my mind of shocking scenes depicted on our screens. It seems to me that I encounter a human predilection to traumatic stories, when I wrote the above post I was just focused in on that which I view but it's much more expansive than just movies and tv, there is a plethora of negative, destructive, malicious, violent stories out there be they in the news paper, in books, in magazines on the radio, or coming from peoples mouths.
Why the fascination with the macabre?
What I am really asking right now is how much of a contributing factor are unpleasant feeling stories to my own negative thought patterns?
As a little girl I read hundreds of children's books, I grew up in a house with about five thousand books in it, my mother sold antiquarian children's books, and I delighted in reading stories. I was a passionate reader, I read until late at night most nights in that classic torch under the covers style. I have a passion for stories and now as an adult I write music and musical stories (aka songs). I actually struggle to write a song which is not in a story format! I love the beginning the middle and the end.
It feels clear to me that my thinking style was influenced at an early age by all the stories I read, and I know, it's a chicken and egg story, or a nature or nurture argument and we will never know the answer!
However at some point I 'graduated' onto adult 'literature', I had a penchant for fantasy and for a few years I read books of the Clive Barker - Weaveworld ilk until I had had enough of them. As I have grown up I have also enjoyed the 'Classics' and have read a wide range of genres.
Where am I going with this? Ah yes, I pretty much stopped reading fiction all together in the last few years, and my reason for doing this is simply that I keep encountering undercurrents of misery as a general backdrop for stories. On discussing this dislike of misery in fiction and movies I have found that many other people feel that it's ok, they don't mind it and are able to dismiss it or forget it easily. It passes through their thoughts and out the other side. This reminds me of something one of my teachers used to say about me, she said the work went in one ear and out the other!
If it is so easily forgotten, then why bother with it in the first place?
I would like to suggest that miserable stories are easier to write and more sensational than jolly stories, I think people identify more easily with miserable stories, there is an element of voyeurism in seeing imaginary suffering. Isn't there enough suffering in the world already that we need to imagine and dream up more?
There is of course a lot to be said for all the ancient mythologies and tales which carry meaning, metaphor and message for human learning and development - More of these please!
Anyway what I really want to say is that if we are bombarded by words and images of misery and suffering it really is no small wonder that our thought patterns can end up so negatively weighted.
Just imagine if stories of wonder, beauty and joy were widely circulated? Imagine if the news was balanced with half of the program devoted to the telling of Joy and what went right and well in the world today? If I listen to my favourite radio station, it is punctuated hourly with the same doom and gloom stories, it's almost as if they are being repeated so that I can learn them by heart!
No I want to do something else with my heart! If I am going to learn by heart I am going to learn to recognise the beauty of the world by heart! I want to hear the stories and songs of Joy and happiness which are out there, I want to keep those in my heart.
I am on a mission to learn to CHOOSE THE GOOD FEELING THOUGHTS, I choose to hear, see, taste and smell the wonderful beauty of the world.
BECAUSE THE WORLD IS SOOOOO FULL OF WONDER!
WHY ELSE WOULD WE ALL BE HERE????
I am here to have a great time, I am here to experience the Joy of life, to feel the sublime, the delicious, the glory of being human.
Today I am thankful for shouts of joy
I am thankful for glad tidings
I am thankful for smiling faces
I am thankful for delicious tastes and smells
I am thankful for visions of loveliness
I am thankful for sublime acts of worship
I am thankful for random acts of kindness
I am thankful for being kind just because it feels nice
I am thankful for love and affection
I am thankful for the joy, enthusiasm, eagerness and cuteness of fresh baby beings