Q: How can I deal with old memories that keep popping randomly into my thoughts?
A: “That’s the restaurant where my ex and I had that fight.”
“There’s the shopping mall I went to with my family.”
“That’s where we had the big lunch after the funeral.”
The things I remembered from this particular stretch of roadway weren’t all bad, but every time my car made its way past the various stores and restaurants, I’d routinely go over some of the memories I had from the area. What was silly about this was that either the memories were so mundane it was pointless to think about them, or I’d already dealt with the emotions from the incidents I remembered—I’d forgiven what needed forgiving and moved past any resentments. In other words, these memories were actually pretty pointless; but still, back they came.
It didn’t seem like a big deal. But one day, as I was driving along ticking off the same old recollections, what I heard felt like God talking to me. The message came out of nowhere and grabbed my attention—in a good way.
“Think new thoughts.”
As I thought about what this meant, it occurred to me that most of these memories involved things that had been healed as I’d understood more about God’s love and care for me and everyone. So now I could move on even more fully and accept complete healing. The message “Think new thoughts” indicated that I could build on what I’d learned about God and let the past go.
I didn’t have to be sucked into thinking about stuff that wasn’t contributing anything to my life today.
What’s great about these kinds of messages from God is that God never gives us something to do without the ability to do it, because God is good. So in that moment, I knew I didn’t have to be sucked into thinking about stuff that wasn’t contributing anything to my life today. Each moment is fresh and new, so my thoughts could be, too.
My study and practice of Christian Science have shown me that the ability to hear God’s thoughts comes from God and brings blessings. As I’ve learned to live more in the present with these good thoughts instead of the past—or the future!—I’ve experienced quicker healings and had a more satisfying life all around. It may seem like we don’t have power over the thoughts that come to us—especially ones that repeat themselves! But I’ve learned that anything that God wouldn’t and didn’t create, like repetitive, unproductive thoughts, can be seen for what it is—useless and powerless—and we can be free from it. For the first time, I realized I had a choice: I didn’t have to allow my thoughts to go on in a mindless loop that would prevent me from listening to productive thoughts from God and experiencing the benefits of learning more about what God is.
Fresh thoughts from God are a beautiful gift to each of us that are available every moment.
I’m going to be honest: I didn’t immediately abandon the old thoughts. I had a few drives when those memories came flooding back. But now that I was aware of them, whenever the old, boring thoughts presented themselves, I made an effort to listen instead to new ideas from God. And what I heard was really great. Sometimes I heard expansive spiritual ideas that opened up my concept of God in big, beautiful, healing ways. Other times I could just move on to thinking productively. It wasn’t long before the repetitive thoughts stopped entirely, and I was blessed with a powerful awareness of all the divine goodness that was mine, right here in the present.
The new year often prompts us to think about change—about doing and thinking about things in new ways. But fresh thoughts from God are a beautiful gift to each of us that are available every single day, every moment. These fresh spiritual ideas bring healing, too! If there’s something in your life that you need to deal with that seems routine or detrimental, there’s a fresh, spiritual perspective available right now to help you do so. Why not embrace it?