Put it down sometimes!
I have a three-year-old grandson who has a toolbox. He’s seldom seen without it. When he spies something that needs fixing, he opens the toolbox and selects the tool needed. This is usually a hammer. He bangs the floor, wall, chair, rocking horse, brick, bookcase, or balance bike several times, checks his work, then bangs some more.
The noise is loud and insistent. Bam! Bam! Bam! My coffee dances in the cup. Windows shiver. Indoor plants try to shrink back into their roots. Birds outside in tall trees sink into silence.
After a final examination of his work, he puts the hammer back in the toolbox.
This is a wonderful moment. When we see him put the hammer back in the toolbox, we know the noise has ceased – until he sees something else that needs fixing.
This habit he has of putting the hammer back in the toolbox is a lesson for all the adults in the room.
Most of us have a favourite tool that we drag out whenever we come across something we think needs fixing. It’s called our mind.
Like a hammer, our mind carries a lot of power. It’s noisy with thoughts and heavy with emotions.
Like my grandson with his hammer, our mind can fix things, but it can also dent things and break things that didn’t need fixing at all.
Being adults, we have more focus, follow-through, and energy than a child. We keep the hammer of our minds working all day. We never put it down. We never lock it away. It’s always on high alert, ready to whack this wicked world into the shape we want it to be.
At the end of the day, it’s a good habit to look back at the trail of destruction we may have left behind us.
Did the thoughts inside our hammer mind lead us to dent or break people, situations, or environments? Did our hammer mind hurt the world or heal it? Did we turn our hammer mind onto ourselves and do a bit of self-destruction?
Bam! Bam! Bam!
Was there at least one second today when we put our mind down and gave it a rest?
Like my grandson with his hammer, realise that your mind is a tool.
Get it out and use it when you need to, then put it away.
Give your mind a rest.
It's not who you are.
It's just a tool.
With love, Marlane