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!