Monday, January 6, 2020

The Tapes We Play ~ How Does it Relate to Our Minds

Let me ask you this, what tapes do you play in your head?

For some, you may read that know exactly what I am asking.  For others, you may have no clue.  And for some, you are wondering, what is a tape?

The last one is a little funny because it really shows my age.  A tape, a cassette tape is not a common thing these days.  I remember getting my favorite artists on tape, playing them on my walkman or stereo with tape players.  I remember sitting there listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on just so I could record a mix tape.  And when the tape came loose, out came the pencil to fix it and wind it back up.

You may be wondering what that has to do with the tapes you play in your head.  But keep those things in mind as you read forward and the picture will hopefully become clearer.

When something in your day happens, what do you tell yourself?  What does that inner voice say when it speaks?  Does it say something positive? Or is it negative?  Is it on repeat?  What does it focus on?

Those things you say to yourself or you focus on are the tapes you play.  Like a cassette tape of our favorite song mix plays on the stereo or walkman, there are tapes we play over and over in our minds.  We play them so much that they become us, envelop us, shine through us, wear on us, grow us, change us, shape us.

Whether positive or negative, they shape us.  Much like a river changes and shapes the landscape.  The tapes we play, they change and shape our landscape.

I am guessing you have heard a quote that goes something like: plant your seeds where they will grow.

When you plant seeds you have help make the conditions right.  The right soil, light, water or they won't thrive.  Yet, have you ever been walking along and come across a flower growing up in a crack somewhere?  Or as you watch your garden get ready to bloom, there are flowers that come up a tad too early and you think oh no, because there is still snow in the forecast?

It is in those times that they get shaped and changed the most.  It is during those times, that they end up thriving far beyond what was anticipated.  We too are the same.  The area we tend to doesn't always make sense, isn't always easy.  Sure, sometimes all the pieces fall into place fairly easily and the growing goes smoothly, but it still, no which direction it heads, changes how we see things.

What we plant in ourselves is what becomes our thoughts, our behaviors, our attitudes, our direction, and so much more.  It is within those thoughts that the tapes get played.  Like a seed, it grows.  What you decide to give it is up to you.  But, either way, positive or negative it will grow.  It will change the landscape.

I know all to well the affects of negative tapes.  The replaying of them over and over.  The could've, would've, should've after the moment past.  The playing it over and over even before it happens as the fear, worry, guilt, shame, anxiety wash in.  I have been there.  From 2011 until 2018 I played those tapes over an over.  The words may have changed, but they didn't allow me to thrive.  They just kept me feeling overwhelmed, like I was sinking more and more or treading barely above water.  I was never good enough, worth enough, a total failure.

2018 a mind shift began to happen.  Much like river changing directions, cutting through a new path, changing the landscape, so did I.  It was slow going.  I backtracked many times, doubted, repeated the old thoughts and behaviors.  But it was a catalyst year.  It was a start of a much needed change that started with me.

Recently I listened in on an interview that talked about the tapes we play and how flipping them from the negative to the positive allows us to start seeing the blessings around us better, helps us see things clearer and for what they are, it is uplifting and energy giving.  It leads us to rising and thriving.

It took me until about August of 2019 to realize how much I had shifted and changed the landscape.  I was truly thriving and not only did I feel it, I believed it.  I began to understand how one small shift builds and grows.  By adding in the change in tapes I play and allow to be on repeat (see what I said there, allow to be on repeat) I have essentially flipped a switch that lifts me and frees me instead of sucking me down and pulling me into a negative inward spiral.

With time, allowing myself to keep growing and shifting, changing the landscape where needed I am gaining the ability to matter where I plant the seed.  I understand that there will be times when it takes a little more strength and courage to get there, maybe even more time and patience, but it will get there.

It is the most freeing feeling to have those mind shifts, to flip those tapes and rewrite them with the truth.

So I ask you, what are the tapes you play saying?

To bring it full circle back to the analogy I used at the beginning, there is one piece still missing.  When the tape came loose, out came the pencil to fix it and wind it back up.  For me, this is where God comes into play.  It is where those around me come into play.

If my focus is centered on God first, the tape doesn't come as loose as often or as far unraveled.  Yet it does still happen.  But like the pencil winding it back up, God winds it back up for us with grace and love.  Giving ourselves grace and love, the space in ourselves for that allows us to be fixed.  It allows God to fix it.  And sometimes, it is a friend being guided to guide you that helps us find the fix.

When you change the tapes, you change the landscape.  When you need a fix, God is there.  Granted, God is there through it all if we choose to lean in during the storms and give thanks for the blessings through everything, acknowledging His guidance in it.  But it starts with you, your mindset, your heart.

What are you tapes saying?  How can you fix the ones that need to be fixed?

*Photo Credit: Cassette Tape:  Google Photo Search ~ Cassette Tape

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