Thursday, December 9, 2010

More on Singing to Ourselves

In my last post, I wrote that singing to ourselves in our minds, especially at night (or other quiet times), is calming, comforting, and works well to displace negative thoughts.  The problem is, however, our mind can still wander and let in negative thoughts even while we're singing to ourselves.

Focus is key, or our minds will drift off topic time and time again.  Sometimes our minds are quieted enough that simply singing the songs is enough to keep away unwanted thoughts.  But if our minds are in a turmoil, or even just more active than we want, there's one more thing we can do as we sing.

If I have trouble concentrating on the song the Holy Spirit has brought to my mind to sing, with eyes closed I visualize the words of the song at the same time.  This fully engages my thoughts on the positive message of the song, and negative thoughts creep back only if I lapse in my simultaneously singing and seeing the words. 

I don't know how the lyrics will appear to you in your visualization.  Perhaps it will be like the old-time sing-alongs, with or without the bouncing ball.  Maybe they'll just seem to float by.  Mine sort of scroll by.  But if the devil is battering you with negative thoughts, and saying your thank-yous, reciting Bible verses, and singing are not blocking the thoughts, try visualizing the words as you sing ... or even as you recite Scripture.  But as I mentioned before, for me singing is the most successful method I use in the overnight hours.  And visualizing the words holds my attention longer than does visualizing a pretty scene.  You can experiment to see what works best for you.

I can honestly say that since I began making an effort to practice this method, I have been sleeping better than I have for years.  If I wake at night it doesn't take me two or sometimes three hours to fall back asleep like it often did before.  One minute I'm singing, and the next thing I know it's hours later when I next wake.  If I do wake during the night, I can begin to sing and visualize again.  In the morning I awake far more rested and refreshed, adding to my well-being, which helps sustain a positive outlook during the day.

This is another long post, but I want to touch on one more aspect.  If you don't know many or any hymns, or praise and worship songs, you could use other pleasant/wholesome songs such as nursery songs or old Broadway tunes.  Or who doesn't know the tunes and lyrics to several Christmas songs, particularly since it's the time of year for them?  Start there until you learn other songs that will be especially pleasing to Him (because He'll be listening).

But I really believe the best songs are the many wonderful hymns and praise songs that have been written, because by singing songs that glorify God, we have a connection that we won't feel with the other types of songs.  We'll have that reassuring, peace-enhancing connection with God, our Creator; Jesus, our Savior; and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter.  What bliss.  To get you started, remember this one?

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong;
They are weak but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

"...Sing and make music from your heart
to the Lord."
Ephesians 5:19

"Let the saints be joyful in the glory and beauty [which God confers upon them]; let them sing for joy upon their beds."
Psalm 149:5   (Amplified)

May you be blessed with sound sleep and sweet dreams,