How’s your thought life?
I learned something this week. As you know, I’ve been in a bit of a funk — this place of life where it seems like I’m not moving forward. I have plenty going on, a lot of irons in the fire, but it’s like I’m spinning in circles and always end up back at the same place. Like a treadmill, if you will. I’ve been on a mission to find a way to shake this feeling that nothing I do is really making a significant difference in where I want to go and who I want to be.
I listen to my fair share of podcasts every week, pastors, self-help, and topic-driven motivation. One of my “regulars” is Elevation Church, with Steven Furtick. This week, he talked about “reversing your worry.” He suggested that “worship is worry in reverse,” referencing Luke 12:22-31. In this passage, Jesus says, “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They don’t labor or spin.” Take a minute with me and consider spinning. You turn round and round but you don’t go anywhere. When you stop you’re in no different place than when you started and to boot, you’re dizzy! I realized THAT’S ME! I’M SPINNING.
I’m amazed at the defeating, self-loathing thoughts that enter my mind every day. And to be truthful, I don’t even have a good reason why. I grew up in a loving family - always supported. I have a husband who loves me and treats me far better than I deserve. My children are respectful, kind, and loving. I feel valued at work by both colleagues and students, and I’m seeing progress (ever so slight) in my personal goals. Nevertheless, I continually fight thoughts of defeat, doubt, and negativity. My mom used to say, “you can’t keep the birds from flying over but you can keep them from building a nest.” I’m trying to apply that. I can’t stop what thoughts comes to my mind, but I can control how long they stay. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Taking something captive doesn’t happen on accident.
And so, I decided I’ve got to stop listening to myself and start talking to myself. Instead of dwelling in the thoughts of comparison and “never enough” I have to start repeating to myself the truth of who I am, and what I know to be in me because Christ. If I want things in my life to be different this time next year I have to make conscious choices to take control of my thoughts and push myself to be the very best version of me. I really believe it’s the only way.
and so, I’m starting to talk. No more listening.