“Life does not consist mainly or evenly largely of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one’s head.”
This statement, which is credited to Mark Twain, proves itself by the very fact that it is thought-provoking! It also proves itself in my own life, where I can see that surrounding any event it’s not the facts about the event that I spend time analyzing. What I think and how I feel about the event is what creates my storm of thought.
It matters not whether the event is small or large. Either way, the thoughts that flow through my head about it are bigger still. Take Twain’s quote, for example. It is two sentences long and can be said in nine seconds, yet I could easily see myself writing a 562-page dissertation about it. Of course, no one would want to read it — not even me.
The point is, Twain has a point. It’s not the things that happen to us that shape our lives. It is what we tell ourselves about what happens to us. It is our storm of thought that is the creative force in our lives.
I have known this intellectually for quite some time, yet it wasn’t until very recently that I experienced how very quickly I can change my reality by changing my thoughts. For many years, I have told myself that certain people don’t love me and don’t care about me. It has even been a theme of mine, and a very sad one at that.
Then, one day, I decided to tell myself a kinder message. Using the same facts, I chose to draw a very different conclusion. My new conclusion was kinder to them and kinder to myself. It was not only kinder, it was also closer to the truth.
Instead of telling myself they didn’t love me, I made a decision to start telling myself they did love me. Instead of telling myself they didn’t care, I told myself they did care. I wasn’t trying to fool myself. I was simply realizing they were limited in their ability to express affection.
There was no outward event or happening that brought me to this place. It all occurred solely inside my head. It was then, when I decided to change my thinking, that I experienced a significant shift in the underlying theme of my life. Now, all of a sudden, I instinctively feel loved, even though no one changed except me! I love how Twain put it when he wrote, “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
Now, I understand more deeply it is up to me to think the thoughts that create the feelings I want to feel. I might not be able to stop the storm of thought from flowing through my head, but I can harness the power of my mind to create the life I want to live. Instead of a life of sorrow, I can create a life of love and hope. I can create a blessed life, a full life, a joyful life!