I think it’s safe to say that most ALL parents like to give advice and most ALL children, especially teenagers and young adults, like to give back to said advice a “yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever you say, blah, blah, blah.” But oh gosh, as we go through life, and heaven forbid it start to get older, I’ll be darned if so many of the things I rolled my eyes at and brushed off as “oh parents, you don’t really know what you’re talking about – get with the times!” are actually pretty darn TRUE! Oy.
Most recently I’ve come to realize that the obnoxious and repeated way too often very accurate useful phrase my mother used to say “You’re either feeding the white dog or the black dog” is quite a bit more relevant, and annoyingly with the times, than I once thought. Now, for all intents and purposes I don’t really like the metaphor here: the idea that white = good and black = bad, but for the sake of this anecdote I’ll keep to the original data… I digress.
So, what this little saying is actually saying is that we can expose ourselves to, make choices about, chose to experience, or engage in thoughts, behaviours, or activities that are either good for us, or not so good for us. But unfortunately the lines are not always so obvious. As ridiculous as I once thought it sounded, we really are significantly influenced by that which we expose ourselves to, and thereby fill our thoughts and minds with whether it be forms of entertainment, people with whom we spend our time, ways we speak about others AND more powerfully how we speak about and to OURSELVES (oh those pesky self-criticisms, they can be SO relentless!!)
So here are the questions we really need to be asking ourselves on a very regular basis: Is watching this, reading that, saying this, doing that, buying into this, talking to myself like that good for my soul? Is it in my best interest or probably not so much? Will this nurture me or be destructive and toxic for me?
Ultimately, how much of my mind, body, spirit, thoughts, and emotions do I want as well nourished and healthy?