We are biologically and physiologically born, formed, with a filter at the base of our neck. It's called the Reticular Activating System. Its job is to filter out things that doesn't line up to what's important to us and to filter in things that does line up to what's important to us. It determines what's important to us by what we speak about and what we think about. The only thing about that is, we, as humans, tend to think and speak about the things that are not actually important to us.
We talk about and we think about what this person did that we didn't like, what we don't have, what we can’t have, all of the things about our lives that are negative are normally what's on our minds and what comes out of our mouth. That's what is filtered into our awareness, things that line up to that. I see that thing that supports that I don't have any friends, I see those things, and I hear those things that support the fact that I believe that everybody everywhere is talking about me. Instead, what I need to do is think about the fact that I'm a good friend, or however I want to think about that, so that it is positive so that I get proof that those things are true. I speak it, I think it, whether I believe it initially or not, I see and I hear, and I feel, I taste, and I smell evidence that this thing is true, so I believe it a little more. Now because I believe it a little more, I think, and I speak it a little more. So now I get even more evidence. I believe it a little more and I speak it and think it a little more, so now I get even more evidence to know, this thing is my truth.
What does this mean?
So just as an example, let's say I was a teenager. All I talk about is the mean girls. They don't like me, they talk about me, they treat me badly, they ignore me. Every conversation I have is about these people who I don't get along with. So, when I go to school, I see those girls everywhere I go. They are what is brought into my awareness because my filter, my brain, thinks that it is important to me to be aware of them because that is where my focus is. So, what I need to do is think and speak about everything else that's going on at school, because let's say the mean girl group is only five girls, there are 200 or 300 other people roaming around the halls. I miss all of them, they're all pushed back into the background, and the mean girls are pushed into the foreground because that's what I think and I speak about, that's where my focus is. So if I start focusing on other things, I become aware of other things, the mean girls are going to be there, but they're pushed back into the background, so that I become aware of the people that would smile at me, the people that have waved at me, but I've missed them because all I've been able to notice was the mean girls. I began to notice, that there are people out there that do like me. So they are, in my awareness, those mean girls are pushed into the background so that they're not all upfront, they're still going to be there, but they are more even, which means that the fact that they're there impacts me less intensely because I become aware of all the good things that are around me.
What's Important to you? Think it and speak it!
Where my focus, where I think and where I speak about, is very, very important. The language that I use is as important. I can wake up and say, "I'm not going to have a bad day." I can also say, "I am going to have a good day." Now, the focus on one is bad day, the focus on the other one is good day, while contextually, they are kind of the same thing, but because I'm focusing on a bad day in the one, what I become aware of in my environment causes me to have a bad day. I notice the car that cut me off. I see all the trash on the street. All of those things that put me in a bad mood is what I hear, what I see, I may taste something that isn't appealing, anything like that, supporting me having a bad day. When I wake up and I say, "I'm going to have a good day," what I become aware of is totally different. I'm aware of the person that let me slide in at the red light, or I become aware of the beautiful smell of the roses as I drive down the street. Whatever it is, these things make me feel good. These things support me having a good day. All the 200,000, 2 million bits of information is out there, but what is in my awareness supports what I focus on.
I need to be intentional about focusing on what is actually important to me. It's important to me to have love and honoring relationships. So I need to stop talking about the relationship that wasn't love and honoring. It's important to me to have a successful business, so I need to stop thinking and talking about the fact that this thing failed, or I had a hard time at this, because again, if all I can think about is the fact that this person treated me this way, my energy is wrapped up in that. I get support that I maybe deserved that, or I notice things about other people and it's being filtered through this filter that says that people, I don't deserve to be treated well. So no matter what other people do, it looks like that, when it doesn't have to. If I can focus on the fact that I deserve to be treated well or that this person treats me well, and that person treats me well, if I focus on that, I notice other things and other people that show me how I deserve to be treated, and that negative treatment gets pushed back in the background, or I'm able to see it through a clearer lens and evaluate it more honestly. Okay, reticular activating system.
The Bible tells us we were designed in this way, God gave us instructions on how to use it. It's going to work whether we use it right or not. But the Bible tells us think on these things and speak this way. So if we think and we speak the way that God asks us to, we have peace. That's how we are able to live in chaos and be okay, because what gets brought into our awareness are those things that support my peace and those things that are pushed back into the background is all that chaos that's around me.
Think and speak on what's actually important to you, and you will be able to see the changes in what you become aware of in your environment. You will start to look through lenses that support you having and being what you want..