Last week we explored the excuses we use that keep us steeped in negativity. Just like some people never run out of excuses, I felt like I could go on and on with writing about them!
But I wanted to move on to explore another major contributor to negative thinking: emotions.
Emotions that set off our negative thinking rise up so quickly that it sometimes surprises us. We think, "Where did that come from?"
Most likely, it came from the past. The dark recesses of our brain where the memories are kept. Memories of someone hurting us, mocking us, criticizing us, abandoning us. Deep within the soul, where the wounds lay, some still festering, like anger and resentment which cause us to hold grudges. Some that we thought were buried, like unforgiveness. Somehow they get resurrected each time someone hits a trigger. And the feelings go from our heart to our head to our mouth. Unfortunately, for me, that wire connected to the head is often shorted out, and it gets bypassed right to the mouth, where I verbally vomit all over everyone. Ugh.
Let's talk about guilt for a few moments, shall we?
There are two kinds of guilt. The first kind is the one which is steeped in insecurity. The one that comes from growing up in a negative environment. What you hear in your head constantly about not being good enough. About messing up. About not being able to be forgiven. About being bad.
That guilt comes from a lifetime of lies.
The lies may have been from people we love, but ultimately, they came from the Father of Lies-Satan.
I found this great article by Charles Stanley which explains (so much better than I can) God's love for us. Below is an excerpt, but if you struggle with how God sees you, click on the link and read the short article:
God likes me just the way I am, because He created me to be just the way I am. His approval of me isn’t based on anything I have accomplished or might accomplish in the future. He approves of me because I stand forgiven before Him, and I’m forgiven because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and have received His forgiveness. That makes me totally acceptable to Him.
The other kind of guilt is healthy guilt (which is kind of an oxymoron). When you do something wrong, and you're guilty, and you need to suffer the consequences.
Both can lead to negative thinking.
I had an opportunity to get sucked into negativity today from something I felt guilty about. Truth is, I was guilty. (It was the oxymoronic "healthy guilt.")
I was asked to keep something confidential. I didn't think, and said something to the person about the issue in front of another person...twice!
I was called on it today. I hadn't even been aware and I really should have been. What made it worse was that I was reprimanded by my grown child, who is also my boss! Luckily, I raised a son to believe in grace and forgiveness. He needed to call my attention to it, but simply told me to be more careful.
Did I feel terrible? Yes. Did I stay there? No.
I could have attempted to excuse my behavior, but I didn't. Step one to leaving the land of negativity is taking responsibility for my behavior. So I apologized and said I'd be more careful.
I could have gone to that place where the wounds lay, grooming themselves, like my dog does at night.
I could have recalled the memories of being told that I am bad, or stupid or not good enough or not deserving or a host of other guilt-inducing sayings.
But I've learned that all that does is make me feel more guilty, more worthless, more stupid, more undeserving.
It keeps me in bondage to Negativity.
I really did feel bad about what I'd done. When I was alone, I started to say this:
"Why do I always do things like this? Why can't I remember things?"
But I realized I was speaking forth negativity and stopped.
God knows what we're thinking, but the devil can't read our minds, so he relies on us speaking it forth into the air.
Then he can have a field day with it, tossing it back to us like a hot potato.
Become aware of what you're saying about yourself. Make the choice to speak only positive things into the air.
If God is for you, who can be against you? (Rom 8:31)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
Blessings Along the Path,
Song of the Day
Amazing Love, Oh What Sacrifice! (Graham Kendrick)
Linking up today with Mel at Essential Fridays, Deb at Blessing Counters and Laura at Faith Filled Fridays