We control things that enter our thoughts and our lives. A wise man said “Sow a thought, reap a deed. Sow a deed, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny” By gatekeeping the things we think about daily, we shape who we are and our values and determine who and what we stand and live for. This is how we can build resilience to pain and adversity.
Habits and character take time to develop. Like a plant it needs to be nurtured and pruned over years. As gatekeepers, we need to provide the right conditions for character development and water it with lots of time. When it finally matures and blossoms, the seed that we had planted with love and discipline will be resilient, able to withstand the challenges in life such as sickness. a loss of a loved one, chronic pain.
Children are pitched into the middle of a battle for their hearts and minds from the time they are young. Bombarded by a multitude of strange thoughts and ideas, they lack the necessary filter to ‘gate-keep’ their little hearts and require parents to do so for them. A good parent will then teach them how to establish boundaries and establish a pattern of good ‘gatekeeping’ of thoughts. This will enable them to be resilient to the stresses of life, and to cope with emotional and physical pain and teach their children to do the same. Thoughts especially repetitive ones lead to the development of attitudes, which then becomes a basis for which actions are taken. Actions then shape life experiences and these experiences then determine who we are, our character, our self. By being good ‘gatekeepers’ we give our children the best chance at success in life.
We need to ‘gatekeep’ what we watch on the internet and TV, what books we read, what celebrities we go ‘ga-ga’ over, and the things that we are passionate about. Unfortunately some of us have lived most of our lives without much ‘gatekeeping’ and our lives are a mess emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. Chemically addicted to nicotine, alcohol, weed or prescription medications, we are not who we dreamed of being when we were children. In times like these it is important to remember that we are not alone, and that there is hope. It starts with an acceptance of the state that we are in, only then can we move on to get the help we need. We need to communicate in a community, be it in a religious setting or in a secular platform like an AA meeting. By communicating we establish accountability and learn to struggle together, to look beyond ourselves to care for others.
For those of us with chronic pain, the pain may not go away. But with good gatekeeping, we can minimise chronic pain’s impact on our lives and continue to thrive and enjoy life.
“Oh be careful little eyes what you see…” There’s a space between each breath that we take. Spend that space, that eternity in time choosing what we will look at, what websites we visit, what celebrities we adore. Because in that space between breaths, we shape our souls. Will we be weak, shaking every time there is illness or death or unemployment or pain? Or will we be strong, an example for those who follow after us, ready to make a difference in this world. It’s time to forgive and to guard our hearts once more.