What you think about, you bring about.

Let me just start off by saying…..how unfair is it that men can literally only be thinking about 1 thing at a time???? Meanwhile, women are constantly thinking about 583 things at any given moment. Let me explain it in a way I learned years ago and has stuck with me.

Men are like waffles; Women are like spaghetti. Meaning…..men can compartmentalize their thoughts. One square of a waffle=one thought, and they can only be in one square at a time. However, women are like a bowl of spaghetti noodles. One thought leads to another thought that leads to another thought that leads to another thought, and so on. Hardly ever are we EVER thinking about just one thing. This is why we stress our men out when we sit down to talk. We can start off a conversation about the grocery list and within 5 minutes we’ve talked about the kids’ grades, what our weekend plans are, why the grass hasn’t been cut, how we’re the only ones doing anything around the house, and now we’re crying about how overwhelmed we are. And we wonder why our men check out and don’t seem to care. It’s because they’re lost in our bowl of spaghetti noodles!!!!

What can we do about this?

Heck if I know!? I wish I had the answer, but honestly-this is something I’m in the middle of right now. But my thoughts aren’t just overwhelming thoughts, they’re depressing. These negative thoughts lead me down a path that I just don’t want to go down. So, how can I find a new path? Well, one thing I’m learning is the importance of taking every thought “captive.” What does captive mean? To imprison or confine. So….we either take our thoughts captive (lock them up somewhere and throw away the key), OR they will captivate and imprison us.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10: 5

Let me just share with you what my bowl of spaghetti noodles looks like these days….

“What am I going to do today? I mean, I can’t do much, because I’m 35 weeks pregnant and I’m tired and miserable. But I don’t want to just sit at the house all day. But there ARE things that need to be done at the house. Who cares. It can wait. I just need to get out of this house. {Guilt enters because laundry is piling up, baby stuff needs to be done, dirty dishes are overflowing out of my sink, sheets need to be changed, floors need to be vacuumed} Maybe I should just stay home and clean. But what are other people doing today? {Facebook check} Gosh, every single person on my Facebook feed are out doing something today. I wish I was on a beach trip, or shopping at Canton Flea Market, or playing tennis, laying out by a pool, planting a garden, exercising at the gym, having a lunch date with my husband, shopping, getting a massage. Crap! I’d even be happy sitting behind a desk at work!!! JUST GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE! {Jealousy creeps in and now I hate every one of my Facebook friends} Apparently nobody likes me. I’ll just go eat worms. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Because eating worms doesn’t seem so bad. I mean, it’s better than just sitting here.”

Ok, so I’ve never really eaten worms. BUT….that’s how one thought: “What am I going to do today?” can turn into depressed feelings. And just know–this is not something that’s easy for me to talk about. I honestly don’t even want to be sitting here writing about this, but I feel like someone else may need to hear this and know that they’re not alone.

I’ve already told you that this is not something that I’ve mastered. Taking my thoughts captive and not allowing myself to fall into a pit is easy some days…..but some days I fall into the pit. And I fall hard. The hard days are few and far between, because I. Am. A. Fighter. And I refuse to live in darkness. Here are some things I do to protect my mind:

*I don’t get on social media! Yes, this probably seems silly, but social media drives me NUTS! I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, but when I scroll through my Facebook news feed it’s just a reminder of what I don’t have, what I’m not doing, and who I’m not. Why does social media define us? Why do we feel the need to take selfies and tell everyone every single thing we do every day? Is it because we love our life that much…..or because we want everyone else to love our life that much? I’m talking from personal conviction. I started realizing that I wasn’t enjoying my life as much as I wanted to, because I was too worried about posting pictures (perfect, filtered, photoshopped pictures) of what I was doing. So, for ME, I decided to take a break from social media. I want to enjoy my life without needing “likes” and “comments” from other people. And also, I want to stop comparing my life to other people’s.

*I pray! Simple and cliche. But POWERFUL! When negative thoughts start to creep in, I start to pray. I know that if I don’t nip it quickly, then satan will continue to feed the negative thoughts and before you know it-I’m eating worms. When I pray, I name God’s promises and claim victory. If you need help in this, google: God’s promises and just start saying them out loud.

*Lean on family and friends! Now, don’t confuse leaning on family and friends with relying on family and friends. I still get confused with those two things, daily. When I start relying on my husband….or my mom….or my sister….or my friends….to get me through a bad day, then I usually end up more depressed. Why? Because people will always disappoint. They can only lift you so high for so long. And plus, when we’re drowning in negative thoughts, we start to set unrealistic expectations of what we want other people to do and say. And when they don’t do or say those things, we’re even more frustrated and disappointed. Now, don’t get me wrong….it IS important to talk to other people. But make sure that you’re not relying on those other people more than you’re relying on God. He’s the only one that will never disappoint you. He will never leave you. He will never stop loving you. And He will always take care of you. (I just keep repeating this to myself, because some days I just don’t feel it).

*I force myself to take the next step! This just means being intentional about getting up and doing SOMETHING! Some days it’s doing housework, or planning a lunch date with a friend, sitting at the reservoir and enjoying God’s creation, running errands that I’ve been putting off, or finding someone else that needs to be loved on. That’s the hardest one for me, because when you’re waiting for someone to love on you, how can you try to love on someone else? Yeah, I’m still working on that one. But the point is….just take the next step. Whatever that looks like for you.

So, as I wrap up this post, let me just go back to the title. “What you think about, you bring about.” This was a motto for one of my husband’s jobs a while back, and I’ve never really understood the depth of it until recently. But it’s so true. If you don’t take negative, overwhelming thoughts captive, then you’ll bring about those things. They’ll start to become your reality, and you’ll continue to spiral into more and more negative thoughts. Trust me, I know. Instead, fight against those thoughts. Replace them with God’s promises, and then rest in His peace. And on hard days, just remember….this too shall pass.

God will never bring you to it if He doesn’t plan on bringing you through it.

 

your #reallife friend,

Tonya

 

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