We watched a National Geographic documentary last night called, The Wildest Dream. It’s the true story of George Mallory, a mountain climber who died on Everest in the 1920’s. I’ve always liked stories and films about Mt. Everest, but what really grabbed me about this film, was the reaction of Ruth Mallory when she was told that her husband had died.
The commentator said that she went to sleep that night and “…in the morning, she woke them (the Mallorys had 3 children) took them into her bed, and told them that their father’s spirit was ready for another life, and his way of going to it, was very beautiful.” Of all the words or deeds that someone could relay about a person’s life, the fact that these few incredibly courageous, life-giving, words made their way into a 90 minute film is a miracle.
It also makes me realize how selective our hearing is: do I remember the wonderful, uplifting, inspiring, loving words that were said to me, or am I choosing to pick out and remember the hurtful, cruel or unhappy words and deeds? What thoughts am I mentally feasting on?
When I gleaned my neighbors previously harvested corn field, I was careful not to take the rotten or moldy corn to feed the birds. I didn’t want to offer them something that might make them sick. And yet, even as I write this, I know that sometimes I choose to think “rotten” thoughts; picking them out of a conversation and almost savoring them as I rehash them in my mind, or retell them to someone else. All of us have said things that we wish we hadn’t; words that were unkind, thoughtless or angry, and all of us have said words of wisdom, compassion, caring and love.
Today I am choosing to listen for the words that speak Life.
“The most important of all factors in your life is the mental diet on which you live. It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life. It is the thoughts you allow yourself to think, the subjects that you allow your mind to dwell upon, which make you and your surroundings what they are. ….Everything in your life today the state of your body, whether healthy or sick, the state of your fortune, whether prosperous or impoverished, the state of your home, whether happy or the reverse, the present condition of every phase of your life in fact-is entirely conditioned by the thoughts and feelings which you have entertained in the past, by the habitual tone of your past thinking. And the condition of your life tomorrow, and next week, and next year, will be entirely conditioned by the thoughts and feelings which you choose to entertain from now onwards”. Emmet Fox, (taken from The Seven Day Mental Diet, a wonderful little book that is free on-line (it is in the public domain now and there are a number of links to it and I’ve included one here [PDF]