This is from my friend, Lynn Hare’s blog site. I wanted to share her views on toxic thoughts can damage more than our emotions. She graciously allowed me to reprint it.
Posted on her site on Jan 13, 2014 https://lynnhare.com/blog/?p=4317
In 1988, was in a car accident with my four-month-old son, Ben, when I drove off the side of the road and leveled a metal light pole. I suffered leg and back injuries and was laid up for a long time. Ben suffered a fractured skull and brain damage. After a series of surgeries and intense prayer from prayer chains across the country, he pulled through.
Ten years after the debilitating car accident, I developed fibromyalgia.
I had pain in muscles, joints, tendons and tissues around the clock. Sleep evaded me and headaches punctuated the brain fog I slugged through each day. I was cross with myself and often spoke to myself with judgmental words. I was too weak to go grocery shopping or even sweep the kitchen floor. Forget sports like fun runs, basketball, or volleyball. I could barely walk around the block.
Friends encouraged me to read books about detoxing my thoughts, emotions, and words. They suggested I read Dr. Caroline Leaf. Dr. Leaf is a communication pathologist and audiologist who has worked in the area of cognitive neuroscience since 1985. Her work on neuroplasticity—that changes in thinking actually change the brain and can effect behavioral change—paved the way for her research on how scientific principles are supported by Scripture and vice versa. She’s a prolific author.
In her book Who Switched Off My Brain? Dr. Leaf explores how to control toxic thoughts and emotions:
“If your thought life is toxic, you have toxic memories physically built into the nerve networks of your mind.
“The chemicals that accompany those toxic thoughts course through your body in a myriad of toxic chain reactions. These toxic thoughts can even look distorted compared to healthy thoughts—chemicals released can change the shape and even destroy parts of the neurons, causing change right down to the cellular level.
“Resentment, bitterness, lack of forgiveness and self-hatred are just a few of the toxic thoughts and emotions that can also trigger immune system disorders.”
“We don’t have to stay in this place of mental and physical distress caused by toxic thinking.” (Who Switched Off My Brain? pp. 34-36; 41)
When I prayed, I believed the Lord told me to get rid of toxins:
• I had been living with self-directed anger and resentment for twenty-two years. I lived with guilt and condemnation that defeated me. I met with a counselor who prayed with me as we released negative patterns of sorrow, anger, fear, and envy. Negative emotions, including self-directed resentment, are just as toxic as poison or cigarette smoke. I prayed for a divine exchange, and for those emotions to be replaced with their opposite, positive emotions: joy, forgiveness, confidence, and gratitude.
• I prayed these emotions over self-directed thoughts. I actively forgave myself. Cheesy? Yes. Did it work? It blew the rafters off anything I expected!
• I knew one simple truth: I couldn’t put my faith in my own abilities, which were few. I sought Jesus for my strength. Only He could redeem my health. And you know what? He did!
After thirteen years of fibromyalgia, I was delighted to celebrate that Jesus healed me!
Today I’m totally free of chronic pain and fatigue. Wahoo!