I was training for two championship swimming races and was having a harder training day than usual. I stroked up and down the fifty-meter pool in a bad mood. I was frustrated by a nagging headache, blamed the oppressive heat for my discomfort, and felt annoyed that the swimsuit I’d chosen was slowing my repeat times.
Then a question broke through the negative chatter in my head: “What are you doing?”
“Good question!” I responded.
I was having a harder training day than usual.
I knew better than to allow negative thoughts to ruin my day. As a student of Christian Science, I’ve learned that we always have a choice about which thoughts we accept—and which ones we reject. God, being totally good, gives us good thoughts. And as we allow in only God’s thoughts, we can begin to disbelieve and dispense with thoughts of pain, frustration, and general negativity. Here’s what happens when we do, according to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 261). That’s what I needed to do, I realized. I needed to focus on the good.
My swimming felt smoother, and I really savored the swimming experience the way I usually do.
I thought about how I am a spiritual expression of Spirit, God, and that this means I’m not susceptible to material laws, or limitations of any kind. Only God’s laws of health and freedom govern my life. I felt God’s love as I affirmed that my thoughts and well-being could not be disturbed by negative feelings or by physical conditions like the heat or which swimsuit I was wearing.
These inspiring ideas quickly lifted me out of my funk. My swimming felt smoother, and I really savored the swimming experience the way I usually do. The next repeat I completed was the fastest I’d swum all summer. And, I noticed, the pain in my head was gone, too.
Once I focused on God’s goodness and what I know to be true about me, I was back to living—and swimming—freely.