I would describe myself as a glass half full kind of girl, and I can usually see the silver lining on every cloud (this annoys some people). But this week I was struggling with fears and unanswered questions, therefore pessimism consumed my thoughts. I felt like I was stuck in a pit, which I had begun to decorate with my curtains of discouragement, my couch of grumbling, a couple of throw pillows of complaining and my coffee table full of “What if’s.”
By Tuesday, I was in a funk and no fun to be around. Something needed to change.
Can you relate? Have you ever found yourself in a pit decorated with negative thoughts?
When you’re blinded by negative thoughts, the tendency is to think we’re okay and everyone else needs to change. If they wouldn’t have done this, I wouldn’t be acting this way…Sound familiar?
Something needed to change, but it wasn’t everyone else, it was me.
I’m grateful to have a loving and understanding husband, encouraging friends that stand in the gap for me, and a loving God who draws me back to truth. None of them would let me continue to decorate my pit — thank goodness! After verbalizing my struggle, spending time washing my mind with truth and being filled up with the encouraging emails and text messages from friends, helped to change my perspective. I was doing much better by Wednesday.
I don’t know where you are today, but if you are stuck decorating a pit, precious friend, can I help you get out? If you’re willing, there are few things that you will have to do to start your climb out, but they are totally worth it!
- Verbally confess your negative thoughts. There is power in verbalizing your negative thoughts. It’s a sobering exercise, like a splash of cold water to your face, snapping you out of that negative fog. Also, when you verbalize those thoughts they begin to lose their power. Find a person you trust (spouse, close friend, counselor) and verbalize your thoughts.
- Admit that your the one that needs to change. I know it sounds harsh, but truthfully, the only person you can change is you. We want everyone else to change and we may even use manipulation to get the other person to change, but this only last a little while. Any lasting change, has to start with you. Humbling yourself and taking responsibility for your attitudes will put you on the right path for effective change.
- Make the choice to change your perspective. Your circumstance may not change but you can change how you view them. Perspective is the ability to view things in their true relations or relative importance. Our perspective can get clouded with inaccuracies like exhaustion, hormones, insecurities etc. A friend sent me a quote this week from Andy Andrews that best describes perspective…
“…you can look up in the sky, and if you’re looking for rain clouds you’ll see them…but if your looking for the sunshine, you can spot that, too”
You choose your perspective. Most days my prayer is this, “Would you give me vision to see things like you do?”
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. One of the best ways to cultivate a grateful heart is to count your blessings. As the old hymn goes, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings see what God has done…” Counting your blessings is not so you can remind God what he has done, it’s to remind you just how good and faithful He really is. Also, it is never good to wait until you feel like counting your blessings, because Satan will make sure you don’t get around to doing it. I dare you to start naming and counting your blessings. Gratitude will flow from a heart that acknowledges God’s blessings.
We all have seasons of struggling but those seasons do not have to overtake you. And if you find yourself trying to pick out paint colors for your pit, let me know! I want to pray for you and encourage you!
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts or helpful tips in getting out of pits of negativity.