Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Art of Rumination

I’ve talked about storytelling and how it relates to Living in Truth several times on Good News! But I’ve never talked about rumination. The word ruminate comes from the Latin ruminari which means “to chew the cud.” In other words, a cow ruminates. Or to put it more graphically, the cow regurgitates a cud, which is food it has already swallowed that has been semi-digested into a cud, and then it chews on it—again. Sounds pretty disgusting, but before that disgusting scrunched look on your face goes away think about how much ruminating you do. Yes, YOU! People ruminate, but instead of a wad of regurgitated grass in our mouths, we ruminate with regurgitated words in our heads.

Besides meaning “to chew again what has been chewed slightly and swallowed” the word ruminate also means “to go over in the mind repeatedly.” The problem with rumination is that it is usually regurgitated negative stories that we tell ourselves over and over again. “I can’t do anything right.” Or ,“No one likes me.” Or, “I’m not a very good mother.” I don’t need to list more, you get the idea.

Rumination is terrible when we tell ourselves stories based on lies like these. But the Good News! is that unlike cows, we don’t have to ruminate. When the old stories, the word cud, regurgitates we can spit it out and refuse to chew on it. The best way to do that is to replace the old cud with something new. For example when the old cud, “I can’t do anything right,” comes up, you spit it out and instead chew on the idea, “I made a mistake, but I’ve learned from that and it won’t happen again.” That thought tastes a lot better, and it will lead you on to brighter and more delicious things.


Wendi said...

I especially appreciate the last two sentences of this post. I've been walking to the library and back lately, which is about a five mile walk. I've noticed that my mind sometimes wanders to past mistakes and it makes me feel regret and sadness when that happens. I have to remind myself of the atonement and then work hard to change my line of thinking. Thanks for this good reminder. :)

Gma Mills said...

This is another of your messages that I especially appreciate. Maybe picturing myself as a cow chewing on the negative thoughts will help me to get rid of them! ;-)

6L's said...

thanks for this. :)