About eight years ago, due to a failed relationship, my mind was so encumbered by negative thoughts, pain, and regret I found it difficult just getting through the day. Some days while at work I'd go into the bathroom stall and just cry. It's normal to grieve when a significant relationship ends, but instead of allowing the grieving process to take it's course and then move on with my life, I internalized these toxic emotions. This lead to years of pain and depression. Now, when I look back on this time in my life, I can actually mentally pinpoint the exact time and thought that led to me spiral down into many years of despair. It started with one thought, but that's not where it ended.
Even though I was a Christian, I suffered terribly. I went to counseling, took anti depressants, I prayed and begged God to take these oppressive thoughts away. Sometimes after prayer I would feel relief and free for that day, but as soon as opened my eyes in the morning there they were again (destructive thoughts) staring me in the face once more ready to torment my mind. It was exhausting and I thought I'd never be free or have peace of mind again. I was so overcome by anxiety, fear, and depression.
It wasn't until after many years of battling with crippling and negative thoughts that I stumbled upon the concept of Christian Meditation. How did this happen? By accident one afternoon while sitting in my car waiting for my daughter to get out of school, I started to take deep breaths and with each exhalation I would mentally say, I release pain, I release stress, and I release worry...;It was like I was pushing these toxic emotions out of my body. With each breath I felt freer until I had a peace that I hadn't experience in months.
Later, I took these deep breathing exercises and incorporated them with scriptures that affirmed God's word and promises over my life. When I was in college, I would occasionally listen to meditation tapes that would help me to relax. I took this previous knowledge and with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit incorporated the breathing and relaxation exercises, with biblically based narratives on a variety of topics and recorded my own set of Christian meditation Cds. Almost immediately after practicing deep breathing exercises and meditation techniques, my mental condition began to change.
During that time, if you were to record my negative thoughts, they came just as frequently as a parading machine gun. As I continued to practice Christian Meditation, these thoughts went from constant bombardment to once every 10 minutes, then 30, then an hour... over the course of several weeks. That doesn't seem like much but it was progress! As I continued with Christian Meditation and learning how to quiet my mind, eventually the thoughts decreased to several per day, until eventually I became totally free of them. It took several months but I was so thankful. I still battle with negative thoughts on occasion, but through Christian meditation and learning to control my thought life, I don't give these negative intruders permission to take up resident in my head anymore. Instead, I squash them quickly in the name of Jesus. I take control of them, instead of allowing them to control me.
Rhonda Jones is the creator of over 25 Christian meditation and affirmation Cds and the author of the Christian makeover program, Detox Your Life & Awaken Your Inner Spirit. Learn more about books, CDs & annual Christian Meditation and Yoga retreats at http://www.thechristianmeditator.com.
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