I’m in the mood to count my blessings. It’s way too easy to get wrapped up in what’s wrong, and we need to stop and take a look at what’s right.
I tell my clients this all the time: When your automatic negative self-talk sets in, you have to STOP IT, kick it out, and replace it with what you know is truth.
What is automatic negative self-talk? We all do it, to one degree or another. Here’s an example of my own monologue that can run in my head if I don’t do something to stop it:
“I’m a failure as a therapist. There are people who have come once and never returned. I’m the fattest person in the room. Everyone thinks I’m just a pig. People just tolerate me. Three of my four children have moved so far away that we almost never see them–it must be because they’re running away from me. I failed as a mother. Other people have all their children close by.”
Do you get the idea? Horrible, ugly, “stinkin’ thinkin’ that just isn’t true, even if it seems to have a seed of truth in it. And that’s the way Satan works–he wraps that seed of truth in a big fat lie. So let me take my own negative thinking apart for you.
It’s true that some people have never returned to my therapy office after only one visit, but the vast majority come back many times. I often receive notes of thanks from people I’ve been able to help through some pretty terrible things. I’m NOT a failure as a therapist.
I may be the fattest person in the room, but I have no way of knowing what other people are thinking about me. It is wrong for me to assume that I know what they are thinking, and not one person has ever said “You’re a pig” to my face. What they say behind my back is none of my business.
People do seek me out. It is not true that EVERYONE just tolerates me.
It is true that three of my children live very far away, but we raised them to be strong and independent. After all, Terry and I moved across the country too, and it wasn’t to get away from our parents. It was to follow what we believed God was leading us to do. Other people do have all their children and grandchildren nearby, but that has nothing to do with me.
See? You have to learn to recognize the negative thoughts that can run in a continuous loop in your head. Once you recognize it, you can toss it out and replace it with truth. Often, my truths are scripture verses. Some of my favorites: Phil. 4:4-8; Psalm 119:165; Jeremiah 29:11-14. So many more, too many to count. The Word of God is the best pest repellant 🙂
So count your blessings today, and don’t allow your mind to dwell in the dark. It just isn’t worth it.