Monday Morning: struggles with thoughts
I’m currently listening to Vance Joy as part of this week’s Lenten mission for myself...
Okay, I’m going to be vulnerable for a bit because I KNOW so many others deal with this issue: I have always struggled with overthinking and anxiety. Maybe it’s my personality, maybe it’s baggage and bad mental health habits I’ve accumulated, sometimes it’s a result of poor eating and lack of sleep and self discipline. The negative and bad thoughts and words tends to creep in when it is quiet.
I wrote a post about silence during Advent and how it can be either a blessing or a curse, and for me it tends to be a “curse.” Since I was a kid, everyone told me my brain went faster than my lips moved, than my hands moved, than I moved. It still is true if I don’t keep it in track. I’ve had to work so hard, and still do, to train myself on how to deal with all of the battles within myself. Sometimes they are simply worrying if I am capable enough to do whatever task it is at hand, other times it is questioning everyone else’s motives and wondering what I can do to minimize conflict towards and opinions about myself. It’s a nasty game, I will acknowledge that. But bad and negative thoughts aren’t the issue, thoughts come and go. It’s entertaining them, giving into their lies, and believing them that is the real issue. Letting those thoughts dictate who you are and how you react and how you perceive others is THE danger.
So that’s why this week I am going to try to revamp an old habit from days of yore: listening to music during times of quiet. You may laugh because I have a toddler, but our days are still filled with lots of quiet, and in order to focus on reality with one half of my brain, I’ve gotta keep the other half of the brain occupied. I’ve always been like this; I’d bring silly putty into classes I wanted to focus on the most, and I would focus. I would listen to music when cramming for a test, and I would do well on said test. One half of myself always wants to tempt the other, and to fight that half, I need to distract it with innocent, mindless things to keep it calm. Some have said it’s either ADHD or ADD, or just because I’m smart, or just because I am distracted easily...regardless. It’s something that needs to be reined in because I do not deserve to let thoughts control my life. I am loved by the Lord, He only wants the best for me, He is all joy, all love, all peace, and all comfort. As one version of the Jesus Prayer goes, “Jesus King of love, I put my trust in thy loving mercy.” He WANTS us to be at peace, meaning that we accept our situation at hand with grace and calm as peace truly does not mean an absence of war.
Here is my Monday morning reminder to you: even though things may seem just so on the outside does not mean that all is well on the inside. Take the photo above for example. I wasn’t sure at first how it quite related to the post until now, but you may think both candles are the same length, and both salt and pepper grinders are fill. In reality, one candle is almost at the end of its life and the other is still tall. The pepper grinder is nearly empty, but the salt grinder is filled to the brim. I try to view life as full though my inner self may roar that that just isn’t so. But I carry through, and will this week by recitation of the Jesus prayer, and with music and sounds I enjoy and love. I pray that the rest of this Lent I can cultivate and nuture habits that help me to combat the thoughts so I can easily derail them as soon as I see they enter the track.
Peace be be with you this morning!