What We Think, We Become

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”  –Buddha

“What we think, we become.”  —Buddha

 All of the major religions speak to the power of thought.  Just take the concept of faith if you do not believe me.   I chose Buddha’s words today simply because of their simple and direct message.  There is nothing to misinterpret; nothing extra to distract.  I like that…..

So, who have you become? 

Are your thoughts working for or against you?

My own experience has confirmed for me that attitude is everything.  Allow me to illustrate….

Facts Old Thought Responses New/Current Thought Responses
I have Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Why me?
  • This isn’t fair
  • I can’t
  • I’ll never be able to….
  • This sucks
  • This will never pass
  • If only I had….
  • No one understands
  • Why bother?


  • Even if I don’t know it yet, there is a reason for everything. 
  • Adversity is an opportunity for increased wisdom and strength.
  • I can and I will, at my own pace
  • Change is the only sure thing in life
  • I can only control my own thoughts and actions. 
  • I am forgiven

 We are all given injustices, adversities, and hardships to deal with in life.  No one is immune.  It is how we choose to think about our situation that will either help or hinder us. 

When I focused on the injustice of my disease, I could not see any further than my own self pity.  My mind was shut to the possibility of there being reason and purpose behind my condition. And, make no mistake, there IS a reason AND a purpose behind it.  That’s true for all of us.  There is at least one major life lesson to be drawn from this.  Are you able to see your reason and purpose? 

As long as I felt like a victim, I was.  I allowed the disease to consume me, to define me.  As a result, I was sick all the time no matter what I ate or did to try and improve the situation. By believing myself cursed and victimized, I became a cursed victim.   The pain and disability validated my thinking, and the vicious circle ensued.   Let me not forget all the well-meaning people and institutions that fed into it as well.  We are naturally drawn to those people and institutions that validate our thoughts most.  They are like mirrors.  Do you like what you see?

When Enough is Enough

I like to think that there is a point we all reach when it all gets to be too much.  The pain is too much.  The side effects are too much.  The number of days lost to RA are too much.  We hit our limit and are desperate for change.  Yeah, I like to THINK everyone hits that pointthat, but I am learning , that this doesn’t happen for everyone.  My thoughts shape only my own reality, not the reality of others.  So, I can accept that we all have our own lives to live; our own paths to travel.  But for those of us who do or have reached that point of no return, how have our thoughts influenced the changes that we have or are about to make?  If you don’t think change or improvement is possible, why do you believe this?  What is keeping you from healing? 

There is always hope, always more than one way to skin a cat, if we choose to see the options before us.  Like Neo “saw” the Matrix, you must see the options you have. 

When you think you can’t, you are right.  You can’t.

When you think you will be sick forever.  You are right.  Your body will make sure to comply with every thought.

On the other hand, when you believe you can.  You will.  It may not be a fast process, and there may be set-backs, but that is ok.  The important thing is that you believe you can do it.  We cannot allow our culture to rush us along at a pace not of our own….

A Superhero’s Lament

When I accepted the power of my own thoughts, I became empowered over my own life and my health.  Sure there are some limitations to what and how I do things, but nothing I can’t find a way around.  In fact, a lot of things I thought I “couldn’t” do were actually things I didn’t really want to do anyway.  I don’t particularly like gardening, or mopping, or driving, but I have always felt that I must constantly be “doing” to be a good wife, a good mother; a good person.  It took me a very long time to accept that it is ok not to be Superwoman.  Our worth should not be measured by our domestic or multi-tasking capabilities.  It is ok, even good, to let someone else worry about the chores of life sometimes.  When I was able to finally “see” that not always “doing” was an option, I realized that RA actually gave me the reason and motivation I needed to stop running myself ragged with tasks I hated anyway.  Is it any surprise that my pain improved when I started being who I wanted to be rather that doing what I thought I needed to?  I do have the choice to be happy, and no, the world will not collapse if my house, children , and life aren’t perfect…:)

My doctor says that the Peggy Bundy-s  of the world aren’t the ones who get rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia (or a whole host of other autoimmune diseases).  If you recall, Peggy spent her days on the couch, eating bonbons, completely indifferent to the drama that surrounded her.  No, we RA’ers/AI’ers are cut from an entirely different cloth.  We care very deeply about things; and are quick to internalize.  We tend to be considered “type-A” personalities.  We don’t tend to move slow or be laid back, in fact, we tend to be just the opposite.  Our personalities, and associated thoughts,  are both a blessing and a curse.  Our thoughts motivate us to do and be more, and they hamstring us when things don’t go our way.  They help us to be highly productive, yet we cannot separate the productivity from the naturally occurring stress that ultimately takes its toll on our bodies and  manifests itself as disease.  It’s a double-edged sword to be sure.  Because it is within our nature to be superheroes, it is even more important that we mind our thoughts….

So I ask again, are your thoughts working for you or against you? 


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christine Thornton
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 03:07:18

    They are working for met dear- haven’t always been- that’s forsure! Lots of lessons learned 🙂
    we are sharing a path right now- it nearly miraculous! (don’t know if that’s grammatically correct but had to sayit)!
    Love it!


  2. PMT
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 03:29:24



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