A thought by H. Norman Wright from his book, When the Past Won't Let You Go (p. 43). Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition. (Click on the book title to go to Amazon to buy the book.)
Yes, they do!
"The Brain follows patterns of established neural connections (habits) built over the years. This unique organ of the body—with its billions of neurons and millions of pathways, circuits, and memory cells—doesn’t erase or 'write over' what it’s stored. So when we begin changing patterns, we should expect the old ways of thinking and talking to challenge the new ways. Change is possible; it just takes time and effort.
He goes on, "Our thoughts influence our character, shape our attitudes, determine our behavior, affect us spiritually, and even influence our immune systems. Our thoughts create emotions that can have lasting physical effects on our bodies. If we dwell on old hurts and wounds, we build a mental habit. That’s how the past can dominate the present. Every time we think about that pain from the past, stress—and its toxic effects—surfaces with increasing speed. Each time we think that Negative thought, we build a stronger pathway to that negative emotion, and we’re more likely to express ourselves in a negative way. Just think of that thought as a cutting tool creating a groove in the brain. Each stroke makes the groove a little deeper, a little more permanent.
"The big question is, 'Where do our thoughts come from?' Let me share what I call the 'Thinking Triad.' In this triad, you and I have the following: our Memories of the past, our judgments of the present, and our imaginations of the future. All of these create emotional responses. Sometimes we’re not even aware of what is taking place inside of us.
He continues, "Perhaps the big question is, Where do we spend most of our time? Some live in their memories of the past—and these could be wonderful, fulfilling memories or they could be laden with pain. They could be sharp and clear or vague and fleeting. If this is where we live, how does that impact our daily life? Does it help us move forward or remain stuck? Think about this. If we had to determine how much of our thought life resides in our memories, what would we say? Yes, it’s a strange question and perhaps difficult, but think (there’s that word again) about it."
He later says, "For the majority of us, the negative is not what is occurring in the here and now, but it’s reaching either into the past for the painful experiences or imagining the worst in the future that might happen. So which of these voices is strongest in your life? Is this voice helping you move forward or stay where you are? There are times when our mind (thought life) is in balance and productive and other times it seems like our worst enemy. Perhaps a good question is, 'Where is most of the chatter in our minds coming from?' We all have these voices within us. Some are talkative and seem to shout and control our lives. Others whisper and have little influence. We also have an 'interior commentator.' What does our commentator say most of the time? Are the thoughts positive and creative and in line with what Scripture says about life and reality? Are they fearful and worrisome?"
Very good questions and insight, aren't they