Thoughts vs Self-Talk

It’s no secret that I struggle with trust.  It’s one of my “core issues”.

Years ago,  my husband said to me–as I was in the midst of a panic attack–“Don’t you have faith in life that everything will be okay?”

Honestly, that was the first time I had ever heard “faith” presented that way.  Usually it was about believing in God and miracles  When I heard that word this scripture chimed in my head.  “If you have faith the grain of a mustard seed, mountains can be moved!”  But I don’t  really want to move mountains.  So how is faith even helpful with my current situation!?

Let me explain why I’m writing today.  I’ve been studying lately for a expensive test that I’d prefer to not fail. I want to PASS.  It’s part of a five year goal I created for myself to better my education and hone my skills to be better at what I do.  Also, it’s part of retrieving the educational opportunities that were taken from me as a teenager.

I’ve been struggling with having faith in my abilities.  Lately, when I run into a difficult problem, I hear the negative self talk.  Sometimes I’m not successful with halting that voice and I believe what it says. Then I get down on myself and feel like I can’t pass. I believe I will fail.

Here’s some of the thoughts that certainly need to be challenged…welcome into my mind.

THOUGHTS: There is so much to learn and know, how can I ever pass this test? I can’t know everything?

MY SELF TALK: You don’t have to know everything.  Just enough to pass.

THOUGHTS: The questions are all going to be so hard and tricky that I’ll never pass.  They want me to fail.  It’s designed to make me fail. 

MY SELF TALK: Oh no! This is true!  I’m not smart enough to pass, I will fail.

It’s been my experience that if you listen and are open there are coincidences (some may think of them as signs) that occur at the exact moment you need them.

I have this little magazine that I picked up to read in an attempt to distract my negativity.  I enjoy it because it’s packed full of positive stories and often I find something uplifting to refocus myself.  I read the following within moments of picking up the magazine:

“Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.”

Here’s how those words changed my self talk and debunked my belief.

MY SELF TALK: This is true! I stress and over prepare because I’m afraid I don’t know anything.  I’m afraid I’m dumb or stupid, just like my parents and teachers told me. (In my mind floods memories of many adults on many occasions towering over fearful, tiny, young me demanding “What’s wrong with you!?” Those words echo in my mind.)  I suddenly realize I heard those words so much growing up that I internalized them as a core belief that something is wrong with me.  I can’t learn. I’m dumb.  I’m stupid.  I can’t pass.  This isn’t true!  I must trust myself, because I do know more than I think I do!

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do too!

 

 

 

 

 

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Suppressing the Troll

So the other day I learned something new about myself.  I was famished, it was past the noon hour and breakfast had been scant.

A sleepover had occurred and the boys were starving.  Or so I told myself.  What was really happening?  They were sitting on the couch, brains plugged into devices. No one was actively begging for food.  They weren’t starving.

If you listen to that voice inside your head, you’ll start to understand your (inner TROLL, in my case) reactions to certain situations on a deeper level.  That little voice propels our lives.  I’ve not always known I had an inner dialogue until recently.  What I used to believe was it was me telling myself stories.  In many instances, horrible stories–that I BELIEVED!  Shocking, I know.

Let me digress. I was the one starving. I was the one needing food immediately.  But what my mind was telling me was that the children were starving and I needed, no I HAD TO make them food immediatelyNot something easy and quick to prepare, no. It must be the whole breakfast deal–even though it was lunch time.  Wouldn’t want to disappoint them by not preparing breakfast.

No.” I told that voice.  “What would happen if I didn’t immediately cook for those children.  What would happen if I sat down and fed myself?  What would the boys do?”

Well I don’t know.” said the voice.

“I’m eatin’,” I told my inner voice, “cause I’m the one starving, not the other way around.”

Lately, I’ve been listening carefully to and questioning my inner voice a lot.

While I was eating, I told myself breakfast–which was really lunch–didn’t have to be complicated.  Why not just make Mac-n-Cheese? Boys love it and it’s easy.

Yeah, I was a hero!  “It was the best!” they said.

Turns out I am the one setting up grandiose expectations for myself.  My family will still love me, even if I don’t make an elaborate breakfast.  Turns out they will love me more, because feeding myself and not expecting myself to make a difficult meal diminishes the inner troll completely.  Yeah, I was able to not screech and yell about them being lazy and not appreciative for all my labor–when they never asked me to do that in the first place…meanwhile I’m starving.

Go ahead, I dare you, listen to and challenge that voice.  What will you discover about your inner TROLL?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needs vs. Wants

There’s a movie that I love to watch over and again that illustrates my “needs vs wants” struggle perfectly.

LeapYear

(Spoiler Alert if you haven’t watched it yet!)

Anna grew up with an unpredictable father who chased the next get rich quick scheme until finally one Christmas they lose their home.  Anna is still in high school and has to work two jobs to support them.  After much hard work she lands on her feet in Boston with a cardiologist (MONEY!!!) boyfriend that she very much wants to marry.  She’s been waiting four years for him to ask, and decides when he is on a business convention in Ireland to follow him there and take advantage of the Leap Year day tradition (women propose to men) to propose.  Of course she gets what she wants, but in the struggling she meets a man who can provide for her what she needs.  She doesn’t even know she needs this, but we do.  What she needs is to stop controlling everything in her life, let go, and have peace.

This brings us to my story.  Many times in my life I have struggled to control and fight for what I want, not knowing exactly what I need.  Looking back, I see that many of those struggles resulted not in what I wanted, but in precisely what I needed.

Let me explain.  Last year I really wanted a job, but when I got said job it wasn’t the exact one I wanted, but it was exactly what I needed.  What I wanted wouldn’t have provided the growth (both personal and professional) that I experienced this year.  Leaps and bounds folks!

Right now, once again I am faced with uncertainty and the unknown, which is when I really try to control, because I hate feeling in limbo.  However, what I’ve come to realize, and hopefully internalize, about the unknown is that there are many unknowns. That being said, it is virtually impossible to know with any certainty what outcome would be best in any situation.  How can I possibly know what’s best for me when I don’t even have an awareness of the possibilities?  (Probability)

I am only clearly aware at this exact moment of three possible outcomes for a job next year.  Ah, did I forget to mention, once again, I have lost my job.

Here are the possibilities (that I am aware of):
1. I get the new job I applied for.
2. I get placed in a job where I currently work.
3. I don’t get a job at all and just work day-to-day to keep my employment status.

Here’s what I’m left thinking. There are endless possibilities, many I’m not even aware of that could be just what I need.

You might be asking yourself, “Well what do you need?” I honestly don’t know for certain, but it feels like what I need is peace.

Let me leave you with these last thoughts.  I know that your needs are different from mine and somehow all of our needs work together.  If I could prove this mathematically, I certainly would.  Let me clarify, in case this doesn’t make sense to you.  Every moment of our lives and every movement of our lives are connected.  Humans fit together like pieces of a puzzle sitting on a table waiting for completion.  What a beautiful picture we make when we are complete.

What do you need in your life?

 

 

Depression is a Brain Disease?

DAD
My dad’s full glass
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One of the few times my father saw his three girls

In October my dad killed himself. At first, I wasn’t fazed, I think I was shocked. It wasn’t a surprise really, he’d tried to kill himself two times prior (that I know of).

It’s April now and I’ve realized his death has affected me a lot.

I really don’t know what to write tonight. I just know that it’s different when someone takes their own life.

If you have a father, keep in touch and don’t leave on bad terms. The last conversation I had with my father wasn’t a good one. I was upset with him and he with me. We never spoke again.

I understand that it’s not my fault. Depression is what really killed him. He suffered so many losses and was never able to grieve them properly. I think. He left no note.

In the picture is also his father, who killed himself and murdered his wife (when I was 14).

The art is some of the things that he said upset him while growing up and some of the things that we know now through research and raising babies will upset some people.

In the end I think he felt unloved, unwanted, and better off dead.  I understand he couldn’t have stayed any longer.  The pain was too great, the losses too large, and life was too painful.

Thank you for reading.

Why Does it Happen?

Okay so I’m on this quest lately  (Actually, for the past 10 years) to discover or realize why things happen the way they do.  I’m always looking for connections.

Although this may not seem like much I believe it’s significant.

Yesterday, I forgot to get something at the store and really struggled with going back inside and getting it.  I mean I had a little battle with myself to NOT go in and just accept that I had forgotten it and get the item later.

So later comes and I have been wanting a hamburger for weeks now.  (I generally DON’T eat hamburgers as I am small and they are big and well it’s a lot of calories that I can’t always consume.)

But I couldn’t bare the craving any longer and decided to run home and get my son, who is exceptionally great at eating and buying hamburgers (he’s in the throws of puberty and eating’s his thing right now)

And now I get to the good part…if I had gone back in that store and got the missing item, it would have put me (time wise) in a different spot.

Of course, we are getting burgers from a fast food joint!  Just as we are ordering my other child texts and says, “Come pick me up.”  The entire day had been spent working, so I’m assuming (without asking) that the child is HUNGRY.  So order more food.

Wala…pick up child and of course starving and yes! I scored major points!  Food.

So the next time you’re freaking, do what you feel…everything happens for a reason.  Accept and go on.

Although I still haven’t learned why good people (really good people) die so young sometimes.

I Understand Why You Are So Angry

Do you think I’m a violent person?

No, I don’t think you’re a violent person, but you believe you are.  So much of what we think we believe becomes true (even if it’s a lie).

Violence stems from anger. To witness such anger in one so young tells me the road traveled has been tough.  Maybe violence is what you’ve learned and all you know.

You’re just sensitive.  (Getting angry)  No I’m not!

Looking now at the other girl across the room.  Taller, prettier, more popular, smarter…I hate her.  (Focused now on the lies that you are telling yourself, so far from the truth.)

Being sensitive is a human trait; an important/vital quality.  A good quality…not one to be shunned or seen as weakness.

I wish I had been able to say today that it’s not sensitivity or violence, but passion that drives you.  You are good, you have so much potential, you can accomplish things you’ve never even dreamed of yet.

I wish I could explain that our past creates who we are today.  It drives our actions, thoughts, decisions, our very lives.  If we are unable to step aside and see the truth, we will believe the lies we’ve been told, as truths.

Here’s who I see when I look at you.

A strong, passionate, driving force, that channeled properly can accomplish anything.  But you must be careful, or you will easily become lost in the lies.

You must learn who you are by seeking the truth, by finding your path.  I will pray for you to find your path.  I will guide you as much as humanly possible.  I thank you for trusting me enough to talk to me.  I wish that we could talk more.  In this writing, I extend my HOPE, my faith, my strength.

Thank you for trying, and caring.  Keep working and moving forward.  I know you can do this.  I understand where you are but I see where you can go.

Dear Lord please bless this child who has crossed my path.  Guide them, hold them when they need you most.  Never leave them, as they will eventually accomplish great things for you.  Amen.

 

Two Wolves-A Cherokee Parable

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”

 

Author Unknown
(possibly a Cherokee parable, and going back probably at least to the 1950’s in print – but unconfirmable

Who Are You?

Our mind lies to us everyday.  Surprisingly we believe those lies.

I’m fat, ugly, worthless, no one loves me.

We think if someone would just love us then we’d be happier or more fulfilled.

Maybe what we think we are missing is the possessions others have.  If we had that car, job, dress, house on the hill,  or any earthly desire, our lives would be complete.

We have regrets, lots of them.  My father’s biggest regrets were that he should’ve dropped out of high school to do an apprenticeship at a bicycle shop and shouldn’t have left my mother.  Maybe you think you should’ve taken that job, or not taken the job or married this person or not married that person. We are always looking back.

We’re always looking outside of ourselves for what we need.  But I think most of us are lost because what we really seek is inside.  We’re looking for ourselves, but no one ever tells us that.

Why? Well we’re jockeying for that position of who we want others to think we are based on what we have, where we travel, what we do, where we live. Everything we strive for is done as a means to end, to benefit ourselves.

It’s the tangible things that we can see that we think we need, but we’re forgetting what’s most important, ourselves.

So much of who we are starts at birth, and like a rock rolling down hill it propels us in a direction, that we don’t get to choose.

During our early years, we end up with tons of data inside our heads we cannot remember. So that when we finally come of age, we are a mystery to ourselves.  Some of us “wake up” in a huge pile of (pardon the expression) shit that we mistakenly accept as our identity.

We begin our lives busily slaying the internal dragon. Ourselves?  We run, dodge, and hide; by staying overly busy, drinking, eating, shopping, self-harming, whatever we can to keep the demons buried deep inside. To avoid the TRUTH.

Most of us are not aware that we’re being triggered,  stand ready to attack the next person who stirs our demons.

I believe that each of us has a core person. I believe that if we were untouched by others untruths we would emerge as the “real” us.  However, that’s not possible because we are born helpless, defenseless, and dependent; their reality, perception, story is ours.

What is our journey, our job?  It’s to get back to that core person, and take all the shit and use it for good.  It’s to make the world a better place.  It’s to rewrite our history.  To retell our stories.  To be at peace.

Dedicated to my father who may I pray has finally found peace.  October 27, 2016 he took his own life.  He was a intelligent, kind, giving, caring person, who just wanted someone to love him. I love you dad.

If you haven’t hugged your father today and told him you love him please do.

The BIG Picture – WHOSE Plan?

Can I just be honest?  I’ve been struggling with TRUST in my higher power, whether that be God or nature or the Universe, I don’t know.  (My mother sort of ruined God for me when she taught me he was this mean and vengeful being that was out to get me. He was all seeing and knowing, and on the look out for my every mistake or wrong doing. Then busily punishing me for them.)

But this is not what my story is about…or is it?

Last year I was laid off and this summer all I wanted was my job back.  Then by some miracle I got the call!  Amazing I was back.  Hugs and high fives all around!

Happily I worked, for 5 weeks.  Then the numbers came in and it wasn’t good.  4 people had to be let go.  Of course, I was one of them.  I got the word on a Friday–the following Wednesday would be my last day.  I sat numbly through the process.  I told my friend only a miracle would ever save me.  I was GONE. I packed up my things.

I only allowed the freak out me to have one day and then I shook my freak out self and told them to stop it and forced myself to keep moving forward. I stayed focused on my goal.  I stayed positive that it would be okay.  I struggled to TRUST, that there was a plan, even if I didn’t know it, there was a PLAN. BUT, BUT…This horrible ordeal was part of the plan. Why?  I didn’t know.

However, I stayed focused on my goal.  I was determined to finish on a positive note.  I kept yelling, when asked why I was leaving (Cause everyone was told! it was a lot of people folks!) “I’M NOT LEAVING!”, but rather was being traded to another team, you know like a Pro Ball player.  Happens all the time, I said. “Everything will be alright.” Even though there was that small part of me kicking and screaming and yelling, it will not be okay–there is NO way that this will be okay!  Nope I said, it WILL be okay, you are wrong small freaking out part of me that I wish would SHUT UP already!

Here comes the MIRACLE.

The following Tuesday I was reinstated.  Apparently, someone made a small math error and the body count to lose was only 2.

So now when I fret or worry or tell myself that this job is too stressful or too hard or think that maybe I’m not smart enough to do it.  I know those are lies, because why would He or the Universe or my higher power put me where I don’t belong?

And why did it all happen?  Well it’s completely obvious isn’t it? To show me, to convince me, that I can TRUST that everything will be okay.  Furthermore, I don’t have control over anything – especially THE PLAN.  Also, maybe mom was wrong.  God isn’t who she said he was after all.  I wonder, is he actually watching out for me? Using me and his ability to know all and see all to put me where I can best be of service and share what I know with those who need it the most.

I hope you realize too that there is a plan for you and your life and if you stay on the path, his path you will find peace.

 

 

Donut

Miracles happen all the time in my life.  Here’s another one that happened yesterday. Sometimes life is hectic and I get frustrated and take it out on myself.  This is totally an ED thing, but once in awhile it still happens.    My personal life and my job have been hectic lately and I walked out the door, not eating, but I have food at work and usually eat my snacks while I get ready for my day.  (So don’t get me wrong I was going to eat.)

I drive by Einstein’s Bagels everyday and almost stopped, but my computer was crashing and I needed to get into work to call the IT department early for some HELP.  So I drove on by and didn’t allow myself that treat, no matter how bad I wanted it.  I had other responsibilities to attend to. (I know I know I need to take care of myself first or nothing else will get taken care of, but just read on.)

As I was driving to work, my mind wandered back to a place (that always reminded me of my grandmother’s home, it had the same smells and clutter.) I used to work regularly.  And I wished that just once someone would bring in a treat like they used at that job.

What happened next, I find amazing.

When I got to work, signed in and stopped by my friend’s office for a quick hello.  I told her I am sooo hungry and wish someone had some food this morning.

Oh she says, I have donuts right here.  Would you like one?  Now these weren’t just any donuts.  There happens to be a Donut shop that I LOVE that makes the best non greasy good quality donuts on the planet.  It was from this shop that these donuts were purchased from.

I almost said no, but realized this was a tiny miracle happening and accepted a donut.  Cinnamon dusted and apple filled, the most delicious treat!  My favorite!

So if you don’t believe in miracles, even though this sounds trivial.  It was a big one in my life yesterday.

Thank you for reading and I wish you a small miracle today!

Everything Happens for a Reason

I believe that everything happens for a reason and that humans are connected to one another.

I remember when my children where little, taking them to the nearby lake and tossing a few pebbles into the water. As we watched each pebble fall it would create a ring.  Each ring would ripple, grow and eventually cross into each other.  Ah ha, my first tangible example I had of how we humans are connected.

Today I was grumpy, tired, day dreamy, and driving to my hair appointment.  Not really in a hurry, but I needed to be there on time.  For some unknown reason–even though I had Siri barking out directions–I merged left rather than right.  When I realized I was about to miss my turn I signaled and tried to merge, but (I feel) no one noticed and I was forced to go straight.  A little miffed, I almost decided to continue, but thought I might be late if I didn’t use the freeway.  So I decided to make a U-turn and double back.

Then I did something different, I decided to try to go the new way Siri was taking me.  I passed my normal turn, merged off the freeway, and waited behind another car at the light.  When the light turned green the car in front of me quickly turned left and I proceeded slowly (I drive like a little old lady–always have) when suddenly a man on a bike zipped right out in front of me.  I think the only reason I stopped or even saw him was because I ride a bike and maybe that makes me more aware of bicyclist.

Now I’m left wondering if the events leading up to that moment when our paths crossed were somehow connected. Were we connected today?  Would he have been hit had another driver been waiting?

I’d like to think the reason I was deterred today was for that moment, where quite possibly a life was preserved.

So as you’re going about your business and “things” don’t go your way, remember that everything happens for a reason and more often than not we never know why.

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