“Wow! You really know how to care for yourself.” The sarcastic thought roams in my head after I finish my 5th slice of pizza. I quickly put up defenses to counter my poor eating choices.
“I will eat less and add extra exercise tomorrow.”
I can hear the chains clinging.
I have been down this road before. This is the road of shame. Nothing good comes from here.
This isn’t the first thought of this nature. Negative self-talk loops have been increasingly present over the past several weeks. Most of these thoughts stem from the same negative thought, “Who do you think you are? Failure.”
I feel the weight of these thoughts. Heavy like chains. I feel the spiral. If these thoughts are not interrupted I will be buried under their weight.
“Stop thinking like that! You have nothing to hide and nothing to prove. You do believe in eating to fuel your body. Not allowing your emotions to be in control. But you also believe that you should not be punished because of your choices. Punishment is not the goal! Living freely is the goal.” I say to myself out loud. Sometimes just thinking the truth isn’t enough for me to fully interrupt the thought, I have to hear it out load.
For 2 years I have experienced freedom in my life by being intentional about the wholeness of my body. I have focused on my well-being from physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. I have grown in all of those areas, but I have seen the greatest growth in my mental wellness.
I spent years chained by my thoughts. “You aren’t good enough.” “No one likes you.” “You are a failure.” “You will never matter.” “No one cares.”
Mentally I was held captive by my negative self-talk. Many people wouldn’t believe it because I could hide it. I would never say the things to other people that I said to myself. And I wouldn’t want anyone to hear me say it to myself either. I was ashamed. And shame multiplies in hiding.
Shame keeps us feeling alone. It keeps us feeling different. Shame locks the chains and throws away the key! We become prisoners. But we aren’t mean’t to live this way. We were set free by the work of Jesus.
He died for my freedom.
I am calling it out! I am done hiding. I will not be shamed. I will not live in shame.
Wellness is wholeness! You as an entire human. Not just because you are a particular size. Not just because you can run a marathon. Not just because you read your Bible every morning. It is everything that makes you up, and living in contentment and gratefulness with what you have.
I am a work in progress. I will not stop being intentional about my whole wellness. If you are with me, I invite you to join me in reading “Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts” by Jennie Allen. (Description: “You can choose hope in the midst of chaos. The visionary behind the million-strong IF:Gathering challenges you to exercise you God-given power to shift negative thinking patterns and take back control of your thoughts and emotions.”)
I will be hosting a book club on Facebook where we will go through the book together. We will start reading on Friday May 22, 2020. Now is the time to be intentional with our mental wellness. We have been set free by the work of Jesus, it is time to start living like it.
“We can’t curl up on our couches, read the pages of a book, pray, and simply will our minds to change. Go is concerned not only with the posture of our hearts but also with the people on each of our arms. In terms of fulfilling our mission in this life, we can’t do anything worthwhile alone.”Jennie Allen
Leave a comment if you are interested in joining.