I felt like my brain was about to explode. I couldn’t do another thing until I got the words out. So I grabbed a notebook and just started writing. No rhyme or reason to the words, but dumping them from my brain. After looking at the words I had written, the source of my funk this last week was clearly evident.
Nothing nice. Nothing happy. Nothing encouraging or uplifting. Only negativity. Doubts. Worry.
I do this all the time. I know I’m not the only one. It’s all to common to find the worst things about yourself and pick them apart. Or even to find the good things only to put a negative spin on them. Like, I consider myself a decent cook. One point for the good side. But those cooking skills have caused me to gain weight, overeat, and feel gross. IF ONLY I WAS A BAD COOK! MY PROBLEMS WOULD BE SOLVED! In reality, my overeating is probably more related to my negative thoughts than anything else.
These thoughts are holding me back. Why even try to be better, do better, become better when I’ve already lost the fight in my head. If I think I’ll never make something of myself, why would I put the work in or struggle through learning? If I don’t have confidence in myself I surely won’t be able to stand strong against the criticism of others.
The Bible tells us we need to capture those thoughts and control them, change them to reflect the Truth of Christ. God doesn’t want us to sit around moping in our imperfections and wishing we could somehow measure up. He wants us to think about beautiful and lovely things, pure and admirable things.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
So I repeated my exercise. This time, writing down all the good and kinda good things in my head. You can see the paper is much less full than the first time. This was hard. For a mind that has been stuck in the negative for so long, seeing the positive and acknowledging it without any “buts” or “if only’s” is exhausting.
I’m letting those thoughts go. Or maybe, more accurately, I’m fighting those things. Those thoughts are going to want to slip in there. Quietly, unnoticed, until my mind is overtaken with negativity and self-loathing again. But I’m going to try to take captive every thought because I’m a new creation in Christ and there is nothing that His perfect, Cross-shaped love cannot overcome.
Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 CEV