The Trap of the Enemy
I went through years trapped in a negative mindset. It robbed me of my joy, daily. Anytime I looked in the mirror, all I could hear were negative thoughts screaming for attention. I fed the negative thoughts and let them run rampant. I would pinpoint everything I hated about myself. It was a tape stuck on autoplay…over and over and over again. It became so deeply ingrained I could hardly function. They ruined every friendship I had. They ruined my intimate relationships over the years. My family relationships were always being threatened. On the outside, I was beautiful and upbeat and everyone looked to me for encouragement, since encouraging others came so easily to me. Yet, on the inside I was craving for someone to build me up, but it never came. I withered away day by day waiting for someone to come save me like it happens all the time in the movies.
As I was looking at myself in the mirror one day, I just kept hearing… YOU’RE A FRAUD! How dare you! Who do you think you are!? You go around and tell other people they are beautiful just the way they are, yet you then turn to the mirror and tear every inch of you apart with the worst thoughts. How can you love others, if you don’t love yourself?
Do You Really, Really, Really Want Something Different?
It is not easy to change our thinking. IT IS POSSIBLE, I PROMISE YOU THAT!
You have to want it!
But how can you get something if you don’t know exactly what it is you want?
The change will not happen overnight. There may be times you slide backward. In regards to growing and moving forward with changes in life, I always think of the childhood game Mother May I. Mother May I take five steps forward and ten steps back? Yes! Mother May I take twelve steps forward and zero steps back? No! We have to keep pressing in while accepting the truth.
The truth is life throws curve balls at us and we either let them make us better or bitter. I choose better, what about you?
1. Identify what it is you want exactly. Is there a specific memory that causes you pain every time it comes into your mind? Commit to replacing that memory with a new healthy picture, memory, or phrase. Do you want to feel happier with your life? Identify exactly what you believe would make you happy and figure out how to get it, or, determine you are going to be happy right here, right now, despite your circumstances. Whatever it is you want, identify it. Write it on your mirror like I had to. Repeat it to yourself as much as possible throughout the day.
At times I wanted to bury my head under my pillow and sleep away the days, but I refused. I got up, got dressed, and showed up, despite everything in my body and mind yelling don’t do it, you can’t do it, you’ll only give up! I am so thankful I didn’t listen to those ugly words because I would not be where I am today. Change starts with honesty. True change cannot come from a place where pure raw honesty does not inhabit.
It was difficult to replace the negative thoughts that ran through my head all day with positive ones. To actually think positively and put myself out there again was a daunting thought. The likelihood of ending up being a swimmer in the pool of pain, rejection, and heartache was inescapable. I was uncomfortable. Comfort could not come from any person on this earth. My strength came from somewhere else. It was something new. I just kept pressing in. After canceling out and replacing negative thoughts and spoken words with positive ones for just a few days, it started to feel more natural.
“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7
My mom used to tell me all the time, “Honey, Don’t cry… if it’s not good, it’s not over.” I used to get angry with her because I thought she didn’t know what I was going through or what she was even talking about, but I see it now.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phillipians 1:6
We will not be stuck in our negativeness for the rest of our life, if we turn our attention to the positive and deliberately chase after what is good. Remember:
“Where your focus goes your energy flows.”
It Takes Action
Read books. Blogs. Everything and anything that will encourage and motivate you. When negative thoughts come up, have something positive to replace them with. Something along the lines of, “sure I did that once upon a time, but that is no longer who I am today. Today I am strong, courageous, and always working towards bettering myself and my life.” Instead of getting stuck on repeat, the second step is to consciously push past the negative thoughts and visualize what you time, but that is no longer who I am today.
Ask yourself, “Am I actually ready to handle the responsibilities of what I think I want? Am I doing everything to the best of my ability with an attitude that is pleasing so I am ready to receive what I want?
It takes dedication and constant awareness to come to a place of change. It is worth it in the end though.
Not Just Reading About and Desiring Change, You Must Do It!
It all flows smoothly together, reading posts to get inspired, setting an intention or goal, getting pumped up and motivated about it. But without action, it is just another fruitless atempt that sets us up for even more sadness.
Don’t set out on a huge goal where in a week from now you won’t have the desire or time to do it. Blend it in slowly with your everyday life. Do what you can do, but then push yourself. Make a few small changes, or one small change a month, like working out more days a week while repeating an encouraging phrase, meditating, doing yoga while being thankful for the ability and health to do such a practice (although if you are a Christian, I advise modifying yoga so you are giving thanks to God to ensure the two practices do not get tangled), or replacing a negative thought with a positive one. For even better and faster results, combine as much as you feel comfortable with, but only enough that you will stick to it!
Sometimes we do not get because we do not ask. Other times we do not get because we are not ready.