Saturday, January 3, 2015

Published 6:08 PM by with 1 comment

Changed Thinking Changes Things

Changed thinking changes things | Yes, We Rise

Happy New Year and Welcome 2015!

Many have productive moments of reflection during this time of year. In the time I spent thinking of my 2014 life events, I thought of me coming out of the darkness of depression. As I’ve been sharing, during 2013 into 2014, I experienced a debilitating bout with depression. Although I had struggled with depression at other times in my life, this particular time seemed to be most crippling; maybe because I was attempting to look as if I was doing better than I was, for the sake of my child. My days were motivated by putting on a brave face to get her started on her daily activities. As soon as I could get her to school, I came home and stewed in misery until it was time to pick her up and resume my fake, happy mommy role.

One day while on Facebook I came across one of several memes that I routinely saved to my phone. It read as the usual positive, affirming, inspirational plaques did. However, maybe because of timing, there was something about this one that caused me to stop and think on another level. It read:

8 Things to Give Up

Doubting Yourself
Negative Thinking
Fear of Failure
Criticizing Yourself and Others
Negative Self Talk
Fear of Success
People Pleasing

As I read these words and milled over them in my head, I realized that if I followed the advice given, to stop doing those things, I would be utterly bored, I would have nothing to do with my time as those poisonous habits had become my way of being. It’s a simple list, not wordy, plain and somewhat rhetorical as self-help, motivational statements go, but on the day I saw it, it gleamed like a huge, bright, flashing mental billboard. Life’s circumstances had caused me to become bitter and that opened up a space for depression and anxiety to come in and strangle the life out of me. I spent way too much time doing all of the things on the list to the point that I didn’t even like myself. I tried to keep up appearances as with my daughter, but hurt, rejection and defeat crept out masked as justified bitterness. It was scary to think that if I stopped being the person I was being, I wouldn’t have anything to do with myself or my time. All of my energy, time and focus were spent creating this negative space. I needed help, but I would have to be honest about what was happening with me. In an earlier post, Confession Time: Depression Exists Among Us, I spoke about knowing that I needed to share with someone, but who, how, when?

I prayed and I believe God created an opportunity for me to receive a breakthrough. I believe beginning to deliberately change my thoughts and conversations helped take small stabs at the monster of depression. There’s a quote attributed to Mahatma Gahndi that says,

"your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny." 

Although, I wasn’t totally convinced that the new, positive, life affirming, full of possibilities and solutions based perspective I was embracing would work, but I knew that I had to learn to control and navigate better beliefs in order to get to better destiny. I had to get back to me. I had to dream, speak well of myself and others, take risks and live in the moment again. I had to start believing what I said I believed again. I could see a little light if I could practice giving up those eight things, in order to take in all of life.

So at the beginning of a new year when we are all contemplating some reinvention of ourselves (we won’t call it making resolutions, okay) I challenge all of us to create new ways of thinking and gaining perspective that don’t include the negative mental habits included above. If you have been consumed with the counterproductive, venomous, depression inducing behaviors and depressive symptoms on the list… be honest with yourself. Reach out for help. Turn the light on for someone; you never know how your positive affirmation could nudge them forward.


** Jamesgirl **

1 comment:

  1. Great reminder not to sweat things you can't change - you could be blocking your next blessing!