Monday, December 31, 2012

Negative Inside Chatter

Today's Unglued Blog Update
As usual...I'm just mainly putting what Lysa has said in her book with some (very little--actually maybe not at all today more today than usual) of my own insight/thoughts.

I'm starting a new chapter, which means a new verse:
Our mouths are filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." ~Psalm 126:2

It's time to tackle negative inside chatter -- those misguided thoughts that can easily turn into perceptions that then all too easily turn into dangerous realities. And realities based on runaway feelings rather than truth always lead to one thing --insecurity.

You are not liked.
Who are you to think you could do that?
Why did you say that? Everyone things you're annoying.
You're not one of the cool kids.
Your kids just illustrated every inadequacy you have as a mom.
You are a horrible mother.
You are invisible.

I have SO been taunted by thoughts like these (and some days still struggle with them). Why do I let such destructive words fall hard on my soul? Toxic thoughts are so dangerous because they leave no room for truth to flourish. And lies are what reign in the absence of truth.

I've mentioned it before, I had a problem with saying, "I am a horrible mother". My saying this out loud came to a screeching halt when my sweet 5-year-old Kayla told me I was not & practically in tears begged me to quit saying it. Somewhere along the way, something had set off negative inside chatter that said, "Tasha, you are a horrible mother." Because I didn't call that thought into question right away, I gave it free rein to turn into a perception. That perception then became the filter through which I processed future conversations. As I built layer upon layer of skewed confirmations, the thought "I'm a horrible mother" became my reality. But it wasn't reality. It was a wrong thought turned into a wrong perception that because a false reality.

Lysa thinks girls do this way too often (& I agree). All these toxic thoughts collect & ratchet up the negativity inside. The more ratcheted up this negativity gets, the closer I am to explosion (spewing) or an implosion (stuffing). Whether I spew or stuff, my anxiety level skyrockets, affecting not only my mind but my soul & body as well. Want to know why?

Lysa shared what some really smart people are saying about some really amazing stuff (research). In short, God designed our bodies to respond to our thoughts. Negative thoughts lead to a crisis response -- activating us physically but hindering our thinking. Positive thoughts allow us to process a situation accurately & respond in a healthy way.

This truth should challenge me to hold my thoughts to a higher standard. How dare these runaway thoughts be allowed to wreak mental & physical havoc! How dare they simply parade about as if they are true, feeding my anxieties, & manipulating me into feeling insecure, inadequate, & misunderstood! Oh how much trouble I invite into my life based on misguided assumptions

Because God made my body -- & all the emotions, hormones, & chemical responses they contain -- His Word provides wisdom on how to manage it all. Here is a key piece of wisdom written by the apostle Paul:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9)

God knew all along how important it is to guard against anxiety by planting our hearts on thankfulness & inviting His power into our lives. His peace is not just a spiritual blessing, but a physical one as well.

I am to think about, ponder, & park my mind on constructive thoughts, not destructive thoughts. Thoughts that build me up, not tear me down. Thoughts that breathe life into me, not suck life from me. Thoughts that lead to peace not anxiety.

Stay tuned for the next Unglued Blog Update about 3 questions to put negative thoughts in check.

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