Don’t let your hearts be troubled
‘Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.’
Corrie ten Boom had plenty of cause for worry over the course of her lifetime. During World War II, she, along with her father and sister, provided a refuge in their home for a number of Jewish friends, playing a pivotal role in the Dutch ‘underground’ who sheltered Jews. Their home was eventually raided and the entire family arrested, her father dying in prison and her sister in a concentration camp. Corrie was sent to a series of camps but was released, and afterwards told her story in a book called The Hiding Place. Corrie’s heart must have been troubled, often, but her strong faith sustained her and became the lens through which she viewed her life story: ‘Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see.’ None of us knows how the future is going to turn out, and that is precisely why we tend to worry.
Neuroscience can now demonstrate that the brain has a negative bias; the brain prefers to constellate around fearful, negative, or problematic situations. Our negative and critical thoughts are like Velcro, they stick and hold; whereas our positive and joyful thoughts are like Teflon, they slide away. When a loving, positive, or unproblematic thing comes your way, you have to savour it consciously for at least fifteen seconds before it can imprint itself in your “implicit memory;” otherwise it doesn’t stick. We must indeed savour the good in order to significantly change our regular attitudes and moods. And we need to strictly monitor all the “Velcro” negative thoughts.
“Just beyond the storms of personal chaos lies the profound indwelling power of love, the Source and true Centre”
Dwelling in that Love we find a new way of being, a new way of seeing what is real and true, a new way of truly living life to the full.