Have you ever had days where you seem to wrestle with some unseen force just to barely keep your head above water? It’s almost like some giant hand is trying ever so hard to push you under the water!
Have you felt surely that you were gonna drown in the depths of despair?
Have you ever tried ever so hard to get away from your own self because of the many thoughts that are fighting one over the other to get to the forefront of your mind?
Personally I often struggle with chaotic thoughts, even stinking thinking. I grew up in an abusive, dysfunctional home which created a perfect cesspool of an opportunity for stinkin’ thinkin’! I learned how to think unwisely as a child. I learned how to think unbalanced, unhealthy. Now I am learning how to think more in a healthy manner! But it’s not always easy, well at least for me anyway!
As an abused child I learned, conditioned if you will, at a very early age to try to think one, two or ever five steps ahead of a situation so I could possibly avoid yet another attack; I learned how to plot various situations in my head to figure out what I should do if this or that happened. When we learn that behavior as a child it makes deep ruts in our brains that if we don’t make the effort to get out of those ruts as an adult could very well end up being our grave! I don’t know about you but I didn’t want that!
So I’m learning to change my stinkin’ thinkin’ by creating new paths in my brain; healthier ways of thinking! Stinkin thinkin only serves to kill, steal and destroy! I want life and life more abundantly!
So what am I learning to do to change that behavior, to change that old way of thinking?
1. Identify Old Patterns
It’s taken me may years but I am realizing I am making progress in this area. I’m learning to quickly identify old patterns that have before caused me pain, grief, depression, anxiety and so much more!
Actually just this week I had an experience where I’d wandered around in this funk, this stinkin’ thinkin’, letting it suck the life outta me like two ticks and no dog! I allowed myself to get into a major depression from listening to the lies, the assaults on my thinking of how bad I am or how I’d never amount to anything or any of a hundred more accusations! While talking with my sweet husband later on I realized that the voice I heard were very familiar from my past, even all the way back to my childhood. Oh wow…revelation!
And as he so sweetly reminded me, “Babe, that’s not your Father’s voice!” (Meaning our Heavenly Father) And he was and is right!
Identify that voice.
2. Assess if the message is helpful or hurtful
So as the day that I heard and listened to the stinkin’ thinkin’ wore on I realized that the words I was hearing in my head were actually giving me a headache. Well that’s certainly not a good thing now is it?! In fact it was hurtful!
By mid-afternoon I was not only fighting depression, I was battling a major headache! I had to make some changes.
So I got out and went for a short walk to hopefully clear my head. I got a shower and actively began to change my way of thinking, change what I was listening to. And it did make a difference!
I was sad to admit all that time I spent listening to those words I’d wasted precious time I would not get back. I had allowed myself to be duped into believing the stinkin thinkin that had plagued my mind for most of that day!
3. Create a new strategy
Remember those ruts I mentioned earlier? I learned to view them as a cow path down to the pond from across the hill round the field. That cow will take the path of least resistance, much like we humans often do, and in doing so by going the same route over and over again, pretty soon a rut begins to form. Oh at first it’s merely a faint path hard to make out but after months and years of walking the same way day after day it becomes more clearly defined.
So in order to get out of this rut I must create a new plan of action, a new strategy! I must choose on purpose to think differently. I’m learning to recognize the accusing voice much quicker! And not only to recognize when I’m being lied to; I must replace those lies with His truth! And in order to know what that is I must discover it! I must search out His truth and what He says about me!
This all takes effort on my part but if I want to grow, if I want to take responsibility for my life, as a healthy adult should, then I must be willing to do so!
You too can do something similar.
If you are fighting stinkin thinkin there is positive changes availiable. I don’t know about you but I’ve decided that life is just way too precious and too short, to spend the rest of my years beating myself up. I am going to adjust my thinking. I am creating a new cow path so to speak. I do not wanta live in a rut the rest of my life!
No! I’m going to explore, discover who I am, who He wants me to be!
I’m so thankful that I’m learning to identify that voice and access whether or not those words I hear in my head is helpful or hurtful then create a new strategy! Good growth is possible!
Be kind to yourself during this transition process. It’s not easy to climb up out of a rut you’ve been walking in for years. You’ll need to be strong to climb up over and out but you can do it! One step at a time! One day at a time!
She carried me in her womb for nine months and raised me until I left home. That doesn’t mean she was a good mother. Maybe she did the best she could though!
Just as there is a dash on our tombstone between our birth and death there should be a dash or some such marker from our birth until we leave home.
Jeremiah 1:5 tells us God knew us before He even formed us in our mother’s womb. I used to hate that scripture because I thought it meant that God had placed me where He had, with the mother I have, on purpose knowing what would happen to me before it did. I used to think He’d planned for me to be hurt all along. That was a lie from the devil!
And the answer is ‘yes’ He did know.
I have no clue why God allowed the abuse in my life. I used to demand to know. Now I am thankful I just lived through it as sane and as healed as I am because I now know I could be dead or in an insane asylum.
My mother told me some years ago, “Well you’re no better off than I am so why shouldn’t you have been abused!” Wow…
After reading some letters she wrote to her siblings I now know just a bit of the abuse she had to endure and I know her own mother had endured abuse as well.
My husband and I went to see my mom today. She’s in a nursing home. She has started down the path of Alzheimer’s and it hurts my heart.
She and I have never had the mother / daughter relationship I so craved and still miss. I’ve learned how to glean that particular desire to be cared for and filled from God. His word tells us He is our momma and poppa as we need and right now my need of Him is to be close to me. Today it’s heavy!
Not only did God know me before He formed me; He knew that I would experience much horrific child abuse. He knew that for many years I’d battle with my mother for her part in all my pain and He knew I’d draw close to Him for my healing and learn how to release all the hurts, all the memories to Him so I could learn how to forgive my mother.
So today we visit her. She still looks the same but her mind is not the same at all. She does remember me which I’m very thankful for.
She frequently asked to go home, to the ole home place yet, she doesn’t seem to remember I too grew up there. She doesn’t remember that there’s now no home to go back to because someone burnt it down years ago.
Sometimes it scares me when she gets that look in her eyes as she demands to get out and go home. I can not help her and pray for peace over her mind.
I am so thankful God helped me to let the pain and hate and fear, of my childhood especially pertaining to my mom, go and be healed!
The old rock foundation is all that’s left standing of the home place yet time has gone on and healing has taken place in my soul.
I’m so thankful I’m now strong enough to love on her in her last years!
Now maybe you’ve got it down pat and know without a doubt who you are! Super great! I celebrate with and for you!
For me, it’s taken me years to realize I have been identifying with a false self, a self those in my family of origin tried to fit on me that was developed out of dysfunction and mental illness.
Now, here today I am learning who I am!
I am shaking off those false beliefs and wrapping myself in Truth! It takes time and practice but I am choosing on purpose to erase those false lies that have been on a continual loop in my mind all these years with a new vibrant, life giving message.
If I don’t make the decision to change the message I constantly hear I will never heal and become the vibrant woman I was meant to be.
You can too!
1. Determine if the message, the words you hear in your head, are life giving or if instead, they make you feel dark and depressed.
You have the power to make a decision to change them so You hear life and not death!
2. Learn to catch those messages quickly and hit the ‘stop’ button in your mind!
The sooner you begin to recognize negative messages and refuse to allow them access to your mind the sooner you’ll have a healthier you!
3. Replace all negative messages with positive ones.
For me this has been the hardest cuz I’ve been so used to listening to the negative ones. Plus its just always been easier to identify with lies instead of fighting them with Truth! I didn’t feel worthy of the Truth!
However, I’m gaining strength in this area as I am now learning to write positive things about myself on sticky notes or my white board so I read them Out Loud frequently. My brain needs to hear my Truth often in order to rewire my thinking process of myself.