Monday, January 21, 2013

Cows and Cuds

Rumination is a fun word to say. Say it out loud and see how it rumbles around in your mouth as it tickles your tongue with soft vibrations and finally exists your mouth in a slow swishhhh.

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. This is what storytelling is all about.

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 ,“My parents shouldn't have mistreated me.” Or, “I’m not a very good parent.” or "My neighbors shouldn't be so messy," or "My spouse should appreciate me more." 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, begins to regurgitate 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.

Negative Storytelling only generates Unnecessary Pain and accomplishes nothing good. So spit out the story and Live in Truth.


Wendi said...

I ruminated this morning after waking up from an unpleasant dream I had that reminded me of an unpleasant situation in my past. Thanks for this reminder to change my story. :)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, I'm glad it helped!