I have a feeling I am about to tell you something you have heard before.
I know I have heard it, read it, talked about it more times than I can count.
Somehow though, it hasn’t been until recently that I have actually started going after it, like really-truly-whole-hearted going after it. I guess something about the ump-teenth time finally sunk in.
So even if you’ve heard it all before, maybe this will be the final push for you too.
Lets chat about thoughts, your inner dialogue, self talk, whatever you call all the chatter in the wonderful mind of yours.
Take a second and ponder the thoughts that come up most often for you in a typical day. How about when I tell you to think about specific things like your personality, your value, things you are good at, things you are not so good at, your fears, your dreams.
If your anything like me, much of what wants to pop up is negative. It is very easy for me to think of things I am not good at, but harder to come up with things I feel confident in. When I consider the thoughts that come and go through out the day its often a litany of scolding to myself about silly things like spilling my coffee and thinking “story of my life.” Or when I consider my dreams it is way to easy to think “yeah but your not smart, fit, organized, you-name-it enough”
Off it goes, the black hole of negativity and shame all at the hands of my wild running thoughts.
Here is the thing though, the thing that I am finally doing something about, I have control over my thoughts, you do too. (I know, I know, but I did warn you earlier that you have heard this before). Here is the reality, when I live from a place of “every bad thing that happens is ‘just my luck'” I am creating that narrative. I am choosing to take pause at the negativity and claim it as the thing that defines me.
Lets pretend your thoughts are like water to a plant, and your garden is only filled with two things, positivity or negativity. Where you choose to invest that water is what will grow, simple as that.
Often though, we live like the choice is made for us. That negativity section of the garden somehow screams loudest for water, even tricks us into thinking that feeding it will magically change some of the negative plants into positive ones (oh you know what I mean, like all the times you (read “I” ) have thought, “if I just hate my body enough I will beat it into being ‘beautiful'” or “If I believe I am bad at something, I will be motivated to try harder”). I don’t know about you, but I have never watered a weed patch well enough to turn it into a flower garden, mostly because I have never had a garden, but you get the metaphor.
2 Corinthians 10 tells us to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” In case you didn’t know, there is not one time Jesus calls you dumb, stupid, or ugly. In fact God calls you his workmanship, says you are beautiful, and has chosen you to accomplish good works. So making those thoughts obedient means getting them in alignment with what God has already said about you.
Remember earlier when I said you create the negative narrative? Guess what that means, you can also create a positive one, and its all about that thought garden. Choose to tend positivity. When the negative thoughts scream for you, shut them down and go after positivity instead.
Seriously though, I know the temptation is there to write this off as woo-woo or whatever your dismissive descriptor of choice. Its easy to wallow in your circumstances and believe your powerless to them. It’s why I have heard this a thousand times and never did anything about it. But I am telling you, its worth trying. I mean, even if it seems woo-woo to you, what do you stand to lose by taking a couple weeks to try and change the script in your mind?
Nothing right? If you try, and it doesn’t work, your mind can go write back to fighting those weeds into flowers just like it has been. But what if you try and it works? Oh my, it could be amazing!
Start simply just taking notice of your thoughts at all. Become aware of moments and circumstances that are triggers for negativity, think about how you might be able to change that. If you believe in God, try to think about what He would say to you about that.
How about we start there and next week we can get more practical? If your already a pro at this, I would love to get your input on some tips and tricks.
Until then, I want you to know, you are a work of art, you are capable of greatness, you offer something so special to the world, who you are is wonderfully enough, and I am grateful for you.