“Every thought or belief, though invisible and even unconscious becomes the chemistry that flows through our veins. This ‘psychochemistry’ has an incredible influence upon every cell that it bathes and envelopes. It possesses an inherent power to nourish as well as to destroy” (Dr. Alexander Haskell from his book-Hope for Hashimoto’s).
As we have been discussing through our journey together, our thoughts are powerful. Researchers at the University of Virginia Medical School have found that the brain is indeed connected to the immune system by vessels. Literally, our thoughts produce chemicals that affect us physically. I believe this is why our Heavenly Father says “Do not fear” so many times in the bible. Fearful thoughts cause us distress suppressing our immune system and depleting neurotransmitters in the brain. Through his study of the brain, Dr. Daniel Amen has also found that our thoughts have a powerful influence on our bodies and how we live life. “Every time you have a mad thought, an unkind thought, a sad thought, or a cranky thought, your brain releases negative chemicals that make you feel bad. Every time you have a good thought, a happy thought, a hopeful thought, or a kind thought your brain releases chemicals that make your body feel good”( Dr. Daniel Amen).
Fear is a powerful emotion one that we all experience from time to time. As we have learned, living in a state of “Fight or Flight” all the time can suppress our immune system and over time increases our risk of illness. Condemnation is another powerful thought process that affects our mind and body negatively. What is condemnation?
Condemnation-the expression of a very strong disapproval; censure.
Condemnation the action of condemning someone to punishment; sentencing.
I love the second definition because it better defines these thoughts of condemnation as thoughts of punishment. These punishing thoughts can be directed towards ourselves or towards other. In either case, they are damaging to our well-being. Condemnation towards ourselves is the constant self-evaluation as to what’s wrong with us. It also involves punishing ourselves for mistakes or even perceived mistakes. You know what I mean those thoughts about “how stupid I am”, ” how ugly I am”, ” I will never amount to anything”, “no one will ever love me”, “I am no good “, “I deserve to be punished”, and so it goes. Condemning thoughts towards others are just as damaging since anger, jealousy, and hate are powerful negative emotions. What is the key to dealing with these thoughts and emotions?
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love (dread does not exist), but full-grown (complete, perfect love) turns fear out-of-doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thoughts of punishment, and so he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love(is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection).
I hope you see that fear and condemnation are closely linked together. Fear and condemnation make us self-focus or the “what about me attitude” while being Jesus focus leads us to love ourselves and love others. Jesus came to serve not to be served. He laid down His life for others and He tells us to do the same. Love is the antidote to fear and condemnation. When we see ourselves and others as God does, then we understand that each and every person has been ‘knitted” in the womb by God.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 As you know not what is the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God, who does it all.
God is love and He said that what He created was good. Jesus gave us one simple command–Love God, love yourself, and love others. You can’t love others until you love yourself, and you can’t love yourself until you understand that your are created in the image of God to be a “Light” to the world around you. You were created in love by the Creator of the universe to express that love to others and to yourself. The Holy Spirit gave my daughter Kristen this revelation a few years ago:
God is not letting the world starve but the world has forgotten God and is destroying itself.
Wow! Could this also mean the world has forgotten how to love since God is love? In the days to come, we will continue our discussion on how to deal with our thoughts and train our minds to focus on “things above”. I will close with this:
“The wonderful thing about working to improve our psychochemistry is that we know it almost immediately. When we shift an attitude or belief away from fear towards hope, we know it, we feel it, and experience it firsthand”. (Dr. Alexander Haskell-Hope for Hashimoto’s)