By Reverend Sherri L. Board, M.A.

Years ago, I shared this saying with a therapist, as I was seeking help in having a more positive mental outlook, “You cannot live a positive life with a negative mind.” He said something to me all those years ago that still to this day impacts the way I think about my thinking. He said, “We can think of depression as being caused by a huge tank driving around and around year after year after year in the same grooves of our minds. One way to stop forming deeper grooves is to get rid of the tank and fill in the gutters with positive thoughts.”

It has since become a habit for me to monitor my thinking and when I catch myself thinking negatively, I will think positive thoughts. For example, I might replace the thought “Why was I abused as a child?” with “God’s will for my life is to bring support and understanding to others who also suffer from the effects of childhood abuse.”

It takes time, practice, and being consciously aware of one’s own thoughts. It gently fills in those harmful timeworn grooves of one’s mind with a seeping balm of tenderness.