Monday, November 18, 2013

Mental Movies

Day 16 of 29 Days of Spiritual Messages.

Today's passage comes from Vernon Howard's book The Power of Your Supermind.

Let's examine it:

"A chief cause of unhappiness is what I call mental movies. Mental movies are a misuse of the imagination. You know how it goes. You have a painful experience with someone, then you run it over and over in your mind. You visualize what you said, what he did, how you both felt. As awful as it is, you feel compelled to repeat the film day and night. It is as if you were locked inside a theater playing a horrible movie."

Been there. Done that. No fun.

Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Phil Connors, an egotistical and arrogant weather man is sent to cover Groundhog Day festivities in a tiny Pennsylvania town only to find himself reliving the same day over and over again, seeing the same people doing the same thing the same way every day. At first, he uses it to his advantage, but then realizes that he is doomed to live this way unless he makes changes within himself.

Talk about a living hell.

But this is exactly what happens when we lock ourselves away in the dark theater of our minds. We get stuck.

Something happened that pained us, and we relive the nightmare again and again. It keeps us in the dark. Our thinking stagnates. We ache and wonder what we could have said or done differently. And watching the same scenes repeatedly serves only to reinforce our unhappiness. We are doomed to relive the pain like Phil Connors.

But when we become aware of what we are doing to ourselves, we can begin the healing process. When we take notice that we are the ones responsible for replaying the same movie, we can take the steps to start playing a new one, one which moves us out of the dark seat of unhappiness.

Rather than view the same old stuff, we can put ourselves in the director's seat where we can create a new role for ourselves. We can ask ourselves, "What role do I want to create for myself in my new movie?" By asking this, we step into action. We take responsibility for what we have created, but more importantly, for what we will create. Imagine the possibilities!

We realize we are the chief cause of our unhappiness and our happiness. Always have been. Always will be. There's no way around it.

We can choose to sit on our duffs in the dark theater of our minds, or we can zoom out of that old, tired thinking and zoom in to fresh, new possibilities.

Life is rolling. It may require a few takes (or more) until we get things right, but at least we are taking the action we need to put us back in the spotlight.


  1. This is so true ..I to do this. Its bad I replay it...I'm learning to redirect myself. When I replay it...I tell myself stop n I sends of to the light....I'm sometimes hard on myself...n I have to take of easy on me....n stop torturing myself with unpleasant movies..

    1. The good thing is that you are catching yourself doing this, and you are taking action to rectify it. Give credit where credit is due, my friend. Focus on the action that you are taking to keep yourself from staying stuck in that dark theater. :)