I’ve found my true calling: recognizing (“rationalizing”?) the echoes and underpinnings of the Christian message in popular television. It’s a difficult job–watching lots of television and searching as for a needle in a haystack to find something true to affirm–but it’s the calling I’ve been given. (tongue-in-cheek, my friends)
But seriously: in this year’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, a main character realizes that she and her ex-husband/companion/lover (that is, they got divorced in order to keep their love alive…) have mutually exclusive life goals, and that she must end the relationship. The nugget of wisdom I heard in all this mess was this woman telling her not-husband, as he tried to convince her that their relationship didn’t have to end over the difference they suffered, “It’s already happened.” He’d had a desire to adopt a child, and while it was only a desire, it was one that he dwelt on and dreamt of, all the while, not telling her. It didn’t work out, and he didn’t try to adopt the boy, but the not-wife knew that the damage had already been done. The irreversible change in their relationship had already happened, though he hadn’t made any physical, procedural, or preparatory moves toward this life change.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.'” (Matthew 5:27-28)
In our relationships, how much damage is done by both the fleeting thoughts and the thought-patterns that we allow to seep into our heads? I’m aware that just by saying out loud to everyone who asks, “this move has been bewilderingly easy and wonderful!” I’m teaching myself to believe it’s true (of course, it helps when, as in my case, it happens to be true!). Hearing yourself, or someone else, say the same positive thing again and again makes it seep into your head and heart, and you begin to believe it–because it’s true (a lot of life is which details we choose to underline).
However, if we aren’t active about the sorts of things we habitually say and think, we easily slip into negative habits and thought patterns, looking at others with contempt, focusing on our exhaustion (as we complain to everyone how tired and achy and over-worked we are). Or, in the case of our favorite Grey’s Anatomy characters, our minds run away with us and our plans, knowing that at some point the new life we’ve created in our heads will come crashing down when reality–that is, trying to life out this dream-life–sets in.
There are times and places for honest discussion about those things in life which are challenging, and perhaps even suffocating for us, but being aware of our mental tape loops can allow us to create new, powerful, more truthful thought-and-speaking patterns about our lives.
With (spoiler alert!) Yang & Hunt on GA, Christina Yang knows that Owen Hunt’s foray into fatherhood through adoption in his mind has already planted the growing seed of desire which will turn to resentment; “it’s already happened”–our thoughts count.