Monday, February 27, 2012

Stopping to Think - Wrinkled Brows

Note:  Wrinkled Brows Mondays is a series of posts on a word or a quote of interest (perhaps only to me).

When you stop to think, don't forget to start again.
(~ Unknown)                                                

When I popped into the bank today, I looked up on the wall, and there was a little plaque with the saying above on it.  I can only hope they had not put it up in anticipation of my visit.

Surely my reputation for absent-mindedness has not preceded me to this extent.  One can only hope.

In truth, while occasionally forgetful, I don't know that I have ever gotten to the place where I could actually stop thinking - except when asleep.  It can be a problem, because I would just as soon stop thinking, quite often actually; but the old noggin just keeps on joggin' along.  Sometimes I truly wish I could stop thinking.  Don't you?

Of course, for those who have  a diagnosis of mental illness, the "voices in their heads" are a more serious issue, so I should not complain too much about nuisance thoughts.

From family members who have experience in support groups of various types, I have learned that too much thinking, especially if it is of the negative variety is called having "the committee in session." 

When the committee is in session, in a person's mind, it means there are just too many thoughts, options, opinions, and opportunities, all vying for attention at the same time.  Additionally, the cacophony is distracting from whatever the regular duties of life might be at the moment, and can become quite incapacitating.  Or so I have been told.

I have never been incapacitated by my own thoughts, but I have been  momentarily stunned from time to time.  Kind of like being "mentally tasered." You know what I mean.  You are meandering along through the day, and some kind of wacky thought just hits you like a bolt out of the blue, and you stumble to your nearest chair, plop down, and think to yourself, "Now where in the world did that come from?"

It is disconcerting to be sure, when one's own thoughts temporarily derail one's activities.  I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to struggle with that kind of challenge on a daily basis.

I am reminded, however, of one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther, who reportedly said in reference to negative thinking such as doubts, fears, etc. ,  "While I cannot keep the birds from flying over my head, I can prevent them from building a nest in my hair."

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I always got a smile out of an old line I heard many years ago, about a guy who was basically too dim to be allowed to walk around unattended.  His caretaker kept encouraging him to take responsibility for himself.  To step up.  To resist negative thoughts.

Thus, one day the guy suddenly approached his caretaker and proudly reported, "Guess what?  I was tempted to think, but I fought it off!"

Uh, huh!  I've known a few folks like that.

So if you do stop to think, please don't forget to start again.  :)  Until next time, your thinking friend ...Marsha


  1. Perhaps that's what "lost in thought" means. When thinking deep thoughts we need to remember to rejoin the universe.

  2. I love the quote from Martin Luther...great point.....

  3. I try to not think any more than I have to.

  4. That is sounder advice than most of us realize!

  5. The mind works in mysterious ways. Watching my mother go through senile dementia, depression and paranoia was very scary. sometimes I get carried away thinking and don't concentrate on what I'm doing. That is scary too.