It’s such a familiar thought pattern that I almost don’t even notice it happening. So sly and subtle, it can sneak its way into just about any moment.
“She’s so pretty and so talented. I wish I could do that. I have so far to go. Why do I even bother trying…”
“She didn’t say hi. Does she not like me? Is it because I’m not very likeable?”
“The kids are always crowding me and asking me for things. Why can’t I get a moment of peace? Why don’t I have enough time or money for what I want to do? My life is so hard!”
Here’s a breakdown of the thought pattern:
1) I’m frustrated or disappointed by something – c’est la vie.
2) I dwell on the imperfection.
3) My mood drops and pessimistic thoughts follow. One thought leads to another leads to another.
4) I’m depressed and lethargic.
Now were any of those thoughts realistic or worthwhile? Or were they based on assumptions, which is basically NOTHING? WHY in the world would I take myself down this victim-mentality full of pain and hopelessness? And yet I have and do, time and time again. I have suffered so much because of these thought patterns, and not because my life was actually worth hating. I firmly believed I was worthless and headed nowhere. I couldn’t see outside of a perpetual emotional darkness, all based on how I perceived things to be.
But now I see things so differently. I see those beliefs as lies, and the opposite as truth. I now see that every person has something wonderful to offer, and that the world is inherently a place of beauty.
Still, it’s kind of second-nature for me to return to pessimistic thought patterns. But I fight them now – I don’t want them to run and ruin my life or make me a person that I don’t want to be. I try hard to think positively simply because I don’t want to be sad. I don’t get to do this life over!
There are some things I can control, and I make sure I know what they are. My thoughts are one of those things. And then there are things that are completely out of my control – but I can control how I react to them. I know that there is good hidden in everything, I just have to look for it. God is all and is in all. I don’t have everything I want, but I DO have everything I need. I am human – therefore, I am strong, capable, and full of potential. I am not ever a victim; I choose how I approach life and what I do with it. I am not defined by what I used to be, but by what I can become.