In my experience, it’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of shaming myself for feeling a certain way or thinking certain things about myself: judging myself because I think I “shouldn’t” be feeling a certain way or “shouldn’t” be thinking certain thoughts.
Have you ever been there? Left feeling bad about yourself, simply because…if you’re honest… the way you think or feel doesn’t line up with how you think (or others tell you) you “should” think or feel?
In my experience, I’ve found that shaming myself or holding judgment around having certain thoughts or feelings only gives them more power. Sometimes debilitating and detrimental power.
If we attach ourselves to all the negative thoughts and feelings that bombard us on a daily basis, we can begin to view ourselves through a very skewed and distorted lens.
If we always ingest our thoughts and feelings as “truth” or “fact” without asking ourselves whether they have any credibility and/or whether we choose to accept them, they can be internalized and become a part of our perceived self identity.
Which is very dangerous, because it gives away our power to a very unreliable source that, if left on “auto-pilot,” can lead many to a very dark destination.
Thoughts and feelings are unreliable. A thought is just a thought, a feeling is just a feeling.
What I have found helpful in my own life is when negative thoughts and emotions arise, rather than immediately ingesting them as “truth” or accepting the invitation to fear and shame, I choose to look at my thoughts and emotions with curiosity and non-judgment. And lean in with a whoooooole lot of self-compassion, which is key.
By taking this approach, we are able to separate ourselves from our thoughts and emotions and assess them more logically. It allows us the ability to identify and interpret them, notice any patterns, explore their source with curiosity, unveil any limiting beliefs, unearth any suppressed emotions, and assess whether there is any truth to them.
It also provides an opportunity for us to FEEL the emotions that arise – making space for them – without letting them impact our identities. WE are not bad just because we FEEL bad.
When we take the time to assess our thoughts and bring them captive rather than immediately attaching to them, we are able to learn lessons from those which hold truth, and cast out those which snarl and have teeth meant only to inflict pain and keep us in bondage.
Any limiting beliefs that are present must be exposed for their inherent value: worthless lies that prevent us from embracing the beautiful, brave warriors God created us to be.
Remember: we have the choice to reject any thoughts and feelings that do not line up with that which God tells us we are: beautiful, unique individuals with unsurpassable worth and purpose.
I encourage you to take notice of your thoughts and feelings with curiosity instead of judgment.
Instead of letting them control us, we have the power to decide which ones we choose to hold on to.
Something I need to remind myself daily. On some days: moment by moment.
The more we seek God, the more clearly we are able to see ourselves as the individuals we were created to be – our TRUE SELVES.
And when we find our true identities and see ourselves for who we truly are, we are able to realize how incredibly and unsurpassably loved we truly are. There’s nothing we need to do to be more loved than we are right now. And EACH of us has a unique purpose and gifts to bring to this world.
So then, how about we harness any negative thoughts and feelings that may be limiting us from our stepping into our true potential.
Let’s choose to take offense against those lies and limiting beliefs that try to enslaved us and rob us of experiencing a life full of purpose and joy.
Let’s live bravely as our untamed incredible True Selves!