I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about my thoughts. What do I think about when I’m not thinking? Seems ironic, doesn’t it? But we’re always thinking something; we’re just not always aware of our thoughts. But if our thoughts form our character, it seems pretty important that we know of what our thoughts consist because they are forming the kind of person we become.
In my quest to better control my thoughts to develop my character into a Christlike one, I had an epiphany one day. Anything I can do to consciously think, during which time I am directing my thoughts toward Truth, will help me develop my character more purposefully. Also, as I train my conscious thoughts, my inevitable subconscious thoughts will begin to follow suit.
So, how do we spend more time in conscious thought? There are so many things we can do. Reading good books, singing uplifting songs, memorizing scriptures—all of these are wonderful things. But I would like to propose that writing can be an extremely powerful tool for directing and training our conscious thoughts. Writing causes us to think at least twice. And not only do we think a thought, we actually create a lasting thought by putting it into words and forming those words with our hands. Perhaps this is one reason the prophets have encouraged us to keep records of the Lord’s hand in our lives. It fosters gratitude and faith on a very powerful level.
If we are to use writing as a tool for training our thoughts, we need to be careful what we write. We should ask ourselves questions like, “What kind of reality am I creating by writing these things? What am I focusing my mental lens on by writing this?” This has drastically changed the way I keep a journal. I used to use my personal journal as a place to vent. It was a safe place to disclose the ugly parts of my nature that I didn’t want anyone to know about. But with this new perspective, I choose to write different things. I choose to write the things I want to remember. I choose to write gratitude and faith. I choose to write things that I won’t be ashamed having someone read when I’m gone. I want to leave a legacy of light, not a legacy of my natural woman that I kept hidden while I was alive.
With this writing, I find my soul filled more consistently with light. My thoughts are more generous and edifying. The longer I go without writing, the lazier my thoughts become and I find myself listening to the ugly voices again. I want to write Truth every day of my life so that my mind and spirit are filled with it, that I may one day become like my Savior—Light and Truth.