To be completely honest, I’m probably the last person on earth who should be telling someone else to give themselves grace and change the negative narratives in their minds. I say that because it’s something that I struggle with daily.
I am very hard on myself. I’ve just come to accept that truth. I find it very hard to forgive myself when I mess up, and I sometimes overthink to the point that I believe everything wrong in my life happens because I failed to do something right. This is my reality. This is something that I’m currently walking through with God. Earlier today, I found myself laying on my bed, looking out the window at the sunset. It was beautiful. I watched as the light disappeared between the trees, and continued staring until there was just a tiny light in the sky. Laying there, I became fully aware of the thoughts that were circulating in my mind. They went something like:
You could have tried harder.
The reason you’re in this predicament is because you didn’t work hard enough.
You’re never going to achieve your goals because you’re not enough.
You’re so far behind. It makes no sense trying again.
Everyone around you is living, and you’re stuck right where you are.
These were honestly the sort of thoughts circulating in my mind as I watched that beautiful sunset. As the light disappeared, I could feel my joy disappearing with it as the negative thoughts consumed my mind. I remember just laying down, staring up at the now dark sky when I felt a tug on my heart to change the narrative that was playing in my head. I knew that it was the Holy Spirit. It was almost like He was prompting me to stop allowing the lies of the enemy to consume my mind and keep me in a state of defeat. He was prompting me to change the narrative. Now, I want to be honest with you. I didn’t feel like thinking about anything else. I just wanted to lay in bed and wallow in self-pity; but, I’m so grateful that God gives us the push that we need-- the extra strength that we need to fight against the enemy’s schemes.
The first thing I did after the Holy Spirit prompted me was take out my Bible. I read Psalm 121 and was reminded that my help comes from the Lord, and He loves me. I was also reminded that the narrative of negativity that was constantly playing in my mind was not from God and I needed to be intentional about changing it. So, still laying down in bed, looking at the dark sky, I began to think positive thoughts. Literally, every evil thought that the enemy placed in my mind about my life, my future, my dreams, etc. I spoke truth to combat it. I low-key became like a motivational speaker for myself in my mind and reminded myself that:
1. I need to make peace with my journey. The Holy Spirit reminded me that my journey was not meant to look like everyone else’s, because I’m not like everyone else. My journey is specific to me. It is specific to my story, and I must stop allowing the narrative of negativity to keep me from finding peace in my journey. I pray that if you struggle to find peace in your journey, you’re reminded that you aren’t meant to be like everyone else. You are unique and God has a unique plan for your life. He knows the plan that He has for you. (Jeremiah 29:11) Trust in Him.
2. Just because I’m not as far ahead as I hoped to be, doesn’t mean I’m not doing my best. Many of us are working hard to achieve our goals, and because we seem so far away from actually realizing them, it’s easy for us to believe that we’re just not working hard enough. We fool ourselves into thinking that we are where we are because we didn’t put our all into it. For a long time, I had this mindset, and it’s still something that I struggle with. If I’m honest, I’d say that this thought pattern contributes to most of my worry and unhappiness. I always feel like I should be doing more and because I’m not doing more, I’m failing to reach my dreams. If you’re working towards something but feel as though you’re not doing enough or working hard enough, please, take this to God. He will lead you into all truth and remind you that it’s not about working yourself to the bone, but its about working as unto Him and allowing Him to help you achieve those dreams. (Colossians 3:23-24)
3. I will walk into my destiny. I had to remind myself that no matter what lies the enemy tried to bombard my mind with, God’s purpose will ultimately prevail in my life. The Holy Spirit helped me to remember that He never begins a work that He never intends to complete (Philippians 1:6). I pray that this truth brings you peace, as it did for me. You will walk into your destiny. Stay close to God, entrust everything about your life to Him and I assure you that you will live the life that He predestined for you to live on this earth.
There were many more thoughts that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind as I stared up at the night sky, but I just wanted to share those three with you. If you’re anything like me and you struggle with negative narratives in your mind, I encourage you to change the narrative. Take every evil thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and begin to speak the truth of God’s word.
This post may not appear to be the typical self-love post, but when you think deeply about it, it is about self-love. We must learn to love ourselves enough to change the narratives of negativity that we tell ourselves everyday. I pray that this post is the first step to freedom from these narratives for you. I’m still on the journey. I won’t pretend that I’ve completely slayed this giant, but I will say that healing is possible because I’m walking on the road now. God will help us. God is with us. He will help us change the narrative.