Have you ever seen barnacles attached to a ship? These little crustaceans latch onto a marine vessel and hold onto the ship to feed. While they may seem harmless enough, they cause many problems for the vessel. Similarly, you can have things that become attached to your mind over time. You may not be aware of them at first, but eventually they can cause you many problems.
People who work on a ship understand that it’s important to remove the barnacles. In the same way, it’s important for you to get remove these things that have become attached to your mind.
Here’s what you want to prevent becoming attached to your mind, how they are similar to barnacles, and what you can do to clean those things from your mind.
Barnacles disfigure the appearance of the vessel. They prevent the vessel from being seen as it truly looks. They make the vessel look like just a bunch of barnacles. The ship no longer looks as it was intended. Instead it can become nearly unrecognizable.
In your life, you may have had your true nature changed by events over the years. Your personality may well have changed as a result of the things that have happened to you. As a result, you may no longer appear to be the same person that you used to be. Your true self may be covered up by thoughts and emotions that have attached themselves to you as a result of these events. And the key is to recognize when this has happened to you so you can do something about it.
It’s important to inspect your mind and find where these barnacles have attached themselves to you. Look for evidences of fear, self-doubt, worry, comparison, bitterness, perfectionism, anxiety. Don’t let these things have a hold on you. Choose to not listen to these voices in your life. Do not harbor unforgiveness against people who have hurt you or let you down. Don’t allow them to continue to distort the person that you truly are.
Choose instead the thoughts that you want to have in your mind: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). It’s your mind; you get to decide what takes residence there. Do not these barnacles stay in your mind.
Barnacles inhibit the progress of the vessel. They slow down the vessel’s forward motion because they make it harder for the ship to move through the water. They inhibit the ship’s ability to glide through the water as intended. And they prevent the vessel from moving forward as it was designed to do.
In your life, you may have had your personal or professional development slowed down because of thoughts and emotions that were unhealthy or unhelpful. You may have alienated some people in your like or work as a result of decisions that you have made. As a result, these decisions may have isolated you from the very people who you were closest to at one time. And the key is to recognize when that has happened so you can do something about it.
It’s important to identify those relationships that have been stunted in your life and make amends with those people. If it’s possible, as much as it depends on you, have peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). Ask forgiveness of those whom you have let down. And be willing to forgive the people who let you down.
Mend the broken relationships in your life so they will not prevent you from experiencing the fullness of relationships in your life. Do what you can to fix these relationships so you can move forward unhindered in your life.
Barnacles cause the vessel to use more energy. For a ship to travel the same distance as it would without barnacles, it has to exert more force to travel through the water. That requires the vessel to use more energy than it was designed to use when moving forward. And that additional energy usage wears down the vessel faster than it should.
In your life, you may have had a rougher time navigating through life than you thought you would. The thoughts and emotions that have come as a result of events—and the broken relationships that have happened in your life—can have an exhausting effect on you. As a result, these unhealthy and unhelpful thoughts and emotions will drain your energy. And the key is to recognize that so that you can do something about it.
By getting rid of these barnacles in your life, you will have more energy. You were not designed to process your life through a lens of fear, self-doubt, worry, comparison, bitterness, perfectionism, and anxiety. You were not designed to live at odds with other people. These barnacles are in effect sapping your energy. By processing how you think—and changing the way you think—you can move through life without as much difficulty—by cleaning the barnacles off of your mind.
Allow yourself to become a person who is not encumbered with the barnacles that you have experienced up to this point. Realize that you can have a more full life without all those things holding you back from your life. Resolve that you will be the person you want to be, and not the person the barnacles in your life have made you to be. It’s your life. And you can choose to live a life without the barnacles on your mind.
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