Once upon a time, I feared and dreaded everything. My school work, my work schedule, my living arrangements, my next meal, my lack of self love, my family, and my marriage. I just didn’t put a larger value on happiness then. It would have been nice just not to feel.
Every realm of my life was polluted with anxiety and anticipation. I never felt like I had a handle on anything. I was just subsisting, putting out fires, and living re-actively.
With the discovery that I was in fact not made of what I felt, my journey to heal myself and find out who I am without all that mayhem has proven slow but positive. My days did not have to whirl off and away in a predictable storm of anxieties and fears. I was given permission to listen to and then refute the crazy shrieking voices known as Cognitive Distortions. I get to choose how I feel and thus how my day goes. And it’s been going pretty well and a lot better than even a year ago.
The process of being mindful of my emotions and wrong angled thoughts started by knowing that how I react to my thoughts is a choice. Sometimes thoughts want to dive and dodge off into directions that aren’t very nice. But when I read and understood that the bad feelings were being created by a short list of erroneous conclusions I was making about my life or what might happen, then I realized I could refute my conclusions. I could argue with the bad feelings and their validity.
I have the power and the possibility to redirect my thoughts and say that all of my days as a parent won’t be filled with a screaming misbehaving toddler, just some of them. Some of the others will find me enjoying her. Or I might think I’m never going to have enough money to feel secure and enjoy a lifestyle of comfort. And I may refute that with one day I will feel even better about my finances and I will continue to make plans towards that time and save for what I need.
The strongest most powerful tool we have is our power of suggestion. If I believe in something and it’s possibilities, I’ll be open for them to happen. And if I don’t, I won’t. I’m a really big fan of hope and happiness and want to hedge my bets at every curve. So here’s to turning the volume down on the voice of Disaster Sister in there and turning up the sound for the music and rhythm that is the dance of a happy life. I plan on stumbling but always keeping my eye on the choices and steps I’m choosing to take and how to feel about them.
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I think the largest lesson I’ve learned about making choices is that you have to keep on top of your emotions and reactions. Every day. But it works. Big kudos to you for being present and in charge! xo
This stuff takes dedication and practice and sometimes I find myself chewing on my lip even though there’s nothing apparently in my path. I discovered even lack of stress can stress me out. Thank you Jennifer !
When I think of my own cognitive distortions, I know how much they are like their own version of a screaming toddler on the inside. No one should.have to deal with that! Glad you’re on a journey of getting a handle on this <3
I’m thinking most people have them Claire but don’t even realize they haunt their heads in whispery voices. I appreciate your acknowledgement so much