Naturally I wasn't even out of bed yet before my first thought went astray. It was harshness, a kind of self-directed bitterness. Sure, I've been in the middle of yet one more ridiculous busy season at work. But it was getting to me. The thoughts inside my own head were turning nasty. I told myself, "It's no use job-hunting: even if I succeeded in finding something else in this economy, the only thing that would change would be the name of the person whose unreasonable demands I'd have to satisfy." (Content warning, obviously. Not healthy thoughts.) There were a dozen more trains of thought, regularly occurring, that were just as nasty if not worse. "It's just a way of venting" I told myself. But it was a way that made the frustration worse by adding hopelessness and resentment to everything else going on.
"Get rid of all bitterness, anger, rage ... malice ..." (Eph 4:31)
"The things that come out of the mouth come forth from the heart and defile a person." (Matt 15:18)
"Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." (Luke 6:15)
And so Lent is starting out like running an anti-virus on my mind. I've identified several repeated trains of thought that are now stopped in their tracks before they really get going. I suppose those problems are "isolated" but not yet "removed". And so Lent becomes my idle-time scan, to get rid of some of the harmful things in my mind.
I'm not proud of the problems, but I'll say this: I've noticed an improvement already in the atmosphere inside my mind.