This may come as a surprise to some people, especially those who know me, but I used to have periods in my life where I would wallow in some pretty heavy stinkin’ thinkin.’ (Still do sometimes!) Even though I appeared to be a positive and optimistic person on the outside, inside I was constantly tearing myself apart and didn’t have such a rosy outlook on life. I wanted people to believe I did because I didn’t want to bring anyone else down or make them feel bad.
It really wasn’t anyone’s fault. Today, I totally believe that my soul came here to play a role, and that everything I went through was what I chose to go through on this adventure called life. Looking back, I see how all those experiences, what I perceived to be good and bad, made me who I am today, and I pretty much like who I am. It’s with who I am not that I still struggle with because there are still so many things that I’d like to do in life and changes I’d like to make in myself.
Is it easy? Not always. Our life experiences can be powerful forces in controlling how and what we think. Sometimes our body chemistries can also have an effect. I will never say that because I could do it, so can anyone else. But because I and others could do it, it means it is possible!
What were some of the things I did to help change my thoughts? I learned that my identity isn’t who I am out there, but it is who I am within. I needed to learn to stop trying to please everyone else when they try to tell me who I should be, what I should look like, what I should wear, or how I should act. This meant that I also had to stop worrying about what other people think! As Terry Cole-Whittaker said, “What other people think of me is none of my business!” If you can understand this, then you learn that when people try to bring you down or control you with their negativity, then you discover that it’s all about them and not about you.
I had to stop comparing myself to others. We are all unique individuals and no one is any better or any worse than anyone else no matter who they are or what status they hold in life. I had to change what I said to myself in the mirror. Instead of saying really horrible things and picking myself apart, I instead would tell myself that I was beautiful and magnificent (as we all are!). It didn’t matter whether I believed it or not at the time; what mattered was that I said it. Before I went to sleep, I would tell all my body parts that I loved them starting at top of my head and going all the way down to the tips of my toes, and would include all my organs and even my little fat cells! One of the most important things was that I had to learn to love and accept myself just as I am!
It’s also important to watch what we say to others about ourselves. Women in particular are pretty good at deflecting compliments, but we need to learn to just say thank you and not find ways to negate the compliment. And watch those negative affirmations we tell ourselves and/or others such as “I’m poor, I’m sick (or getting sick), I’m not good enough, I’m not worth it, everyone hates me and would be better off without me, and any other self-defeating words (whether they appear to be your reality or not).
Here are some suggested positive affirmations you can use to work on changing your thoughts in order to change your life: I am beautiful/handsome! I am magnificent! I am miraculous! I am worthy! I am loved! I am healthy! I am wealthy! I am the best there is and it has nothing to do with anyone else! And if negative thoughts occur? Immediately stop the thoughts and replace them with something positive and loving!
Will your thoughts change or change your ‘reality’ overnight? Probably not. For most of us (including me!), it takes a lot of consistent practice, but it can and will change your life for the better!
Buddha said, “You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Wayne Dyer stated, “Change your thoughts, change your life.” And James Allen wrote, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so shall he be.” (For a free download of his book, please go to http://asamanthinketh.net. I highly recommend reading it!)
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper June 3, 2016.