Shlomo Ezagui

Getting Rid of Negative Thoughts

Thoughts are very powerful. The energy of positive thought will eventually mold the soul itself, a person’s surroundings, and even other people. The same is true for negative thoughts.

How does a person take control of his thoughts? We are constantly thinking. What is a person to do when a wrong thought enters his mind? How can a person be expected to ‘serve God in joy’ all the time when other thoughts are pushing their way in?”

Thoughts are not the soul — they are an outer garment to the soul that the soul uses to express itself. The only way to alter unwanted thoughts is to ignore what you do not want to think and conscientiously think of something different.

There are two forces inside a person: a good, positive and Godly force and a bad, selfish, and impulsive animalistic force. These two forces are eternally battling to take control of a person’s life. One of the tactics these forces use to take control is through thoughts; since thought is external to the soul, it is easiest for these forces to manipulate and thus control the soul. Through thoughts, either the good or evil forces may influence the actual soul.

This is why our (initial) thoughts are not always our fault. These forces do not consult with us. They operate by their nature and feed us the thoughts they generate.

A person should never blame himself or feel guilty for the thoughts that “enter” his mind. They are being generated by something God has placed within us. The Talmud tells us, “There are three sins every day from which one cannot escape, and one is thoughts of sin.”

However, this is only as far as the first moment of thinking is concerned. Once the thought gets its first foot in the doorway of our brains, and a person is aware of his thinking, the choice is squarely placed on the shoulders of the person — the choice of whether to relish and enjoy the “guest” who made his way in through the door, or to chase him out by quickly inserting a positive thought in his space.

When a person at that moment decides to think positive, worthwhile thoughts, that is how he chases out the current thought he does not want to think of.

If a person has an unwanted thought and he wallows in guilt for having thought it, he is still thinking about the negative thought.

If a person is stuck in the mud and keeps fighting it, he is still mired in the mud. If a person is caught in high waves and fights them, he is still lost within the waves. He transcends his thought only when he stretches his arms out to someone else or to a lifebuoy (other more positive thoughts) outside of the mud or the water. Only when he sets his eyes and focuses away from where he is can he get himself free.

The same is also true of thoughts. The way to save oneself and escape from bad, harmful, and destructive thoughts (in whatever area of life) is not by fighting them or engaging in and with them but by diverting the mind away from the negative and holding on to a more positive thought.

Chapter 16

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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