Today’s Post by: Rae Lynn DeAngelis
I recently attended a seminar that talked about the biological process that takes place when changing toxic thoughts and destructive behaviors into healthy life-affirming ways. The transformation is possible when we re-train the brain.
The seminar was given by a Christian psychologist. Her vivid analogy is one I’ll never forget because she used a visual comparison that made a lot of sense to me, especially when I compared it to my own life experience.
She began explaining that as we go through life, our personality, life experience, and realm of influence play an intricate role in the development of our brain. Firm beliefs about ourselves and the world in which we live take root and create patterns of thinking. The visual aid she used was that of a dirt path that’s worn down through frequent use.
She then went on to explain that as our brains mature and develop; the dirt path becomes a paved road. When our mind entertains toxic thoughts the “paved road” quickly turns into an eight lane highway. Toxic thought patterns turn into destructive behavior patterns, and before we know it, our lives spin wildly out of control.
But here is the good news! She said we can change our thought patterns, head in a different direction, and live in freedom.
“He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
It all begins with the acknowledgement that our old way of thinking is unhealthy. After we make this mental declaration, we must consciously choose a different path and redirect our thoughts and ways.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Changed thoughts turn into changed behaviors. Changed behaviors turn into changed lives.
The process of establishing a new way of thinking is difficult at first. Like a path being forged through the jungle, tangled weeds threaten our forward progress. Worldly lies, deeply embedded in the mind, take some of us years to weed out.
However, if we push through the obstacles and stay the course, in time, healthy brain pathways create new eight lane highways that change us from the inside out. God makes our transformation possible through the truth of His Word.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
With each new truth, the path to freedom becomes more evident. Neurons are formed, new brainwaves are developed, and healthy behavior patterns are the result.
“You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.” (Psalm 18:36)
Eventually new brain pathways become easier to travel. Freedom is no longer a dream. It is a way of life.
And what happens to our old way of thinking after it has been abandoned?
The neglected road becomes cracked, overgrown, and much less desirable to travel.
Are you ready to take God’s hand and walk in a different direction?
Let Jesus lead you step by step.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)