by Fr. Johannes Jacobse –
Advice I give to people who can’t escape their thoughts, especially when the thoughts cause worry and even depression is to take a walk, open your eyes to the beauty around you, and practice gratitude.
Think of the things you can be thankful for and consciously express gratitude for them, and with deliberation and conscientiousness ponder the beauty of nature — look at trees, flowers, the sky, anything beautiful around you and really *see* them. Make sure your body is moving as you do this. A slow walk is fine.
What happens is that thoughts quiet down and the mind can find some rest. What happens on a deeper level is that the soul is renewed. Beauty is apprehended by the soul, and when you touch beauty and beauty touches you, you find a path to the transcendent.
Beauty will save the world, Dostoevsky said, and any encounter with beauty fosters encounter with God and a measure of peace and tranquility can be restored to you.
This does not mean that the problems will disappear although it does mean you can find strength and clarity to deal with them more effectively. Often we think that contentment and joy comes in the absence of problems but the reality is that contentment and joy can be found even in the midst of them.
What really matters then is our orientation, where the energy of our soul is directed. If we direct it to the mind, the mind can go into overdrive, even warp speed if things are bad enough. We are particularly susceptible to this when seemingly intractable problems face us.
However, if we direct the energy to the beauty around us and express gratitude for the good things even in the midst of our problems, we can find peace because we are on the way to finding God who is the source of our peace.
Sometimes problems with thoughts, especially when our minds are in overdrive, are really problems of the soul.
Posted on facebook on 8/19/2018.