Negative Self Talk

I had made a mistake a couple weeks ago. A mistake at work. It caused some confusion. I had to work quickly to rectify things and get the information back out. And really, it all worked out. No major damage was done. At all! PTL.

But, you guys. I made a mistake. I couldn't believe it! Ya know, a mistake that I didn't catch before. People had to see. I was embarrassed. I was annoyed at myself. I was just really bummed about it.

And then I was feeling a little down. For a couple of days.

All the thoughts started running through my head. See, you can't actually do this job. You aren't that good at it. Why do people trust you to do this? Just proves that you aren't good at much of anything. Then everything starts flooding into my head. You are so stupid. You can't do your job. You are still single! No one will love you. You're impatient. And rude. And on and on and on.

Oh, but, this time. Before I really spiraled, like I usually do. I stopped. I pulled out my journal.

And I wrote.
I acknowledged my frustrations.
My sin.
And reminded myself that those things don't define me.
I wrote down a little bit of how God sees me, and that is who I want to be.
I chose to be around people the following days.

And it was a beautiful Grace. I didn't spiral. I mean, it was seriously amazing! And that grace, I am SURE of it, sailed me right into a beautiful and blessed Holy Week.

Negative self-talk. I am a PRO. It's not something I am proud of, but it is definitely something I am always, always dealing with. And only just recently (even with the years of therapy!), have I begun to figure out how I handle it best.

It's a choice I have to make, almost, every day. I have to choose to ignore those thoughts. I have to remind myself that when I become that person, it is NOT who God has created me to be. It is most definitely not my authentic self. Especially when I have the days when I am down about being single. Sometimes it seems too easy to see why I am single. But, those reasons? They are not from God. They are just a deep seated hold that the freakin' devil has, that I am working SO HARD to get rid of.

For me? Writing down and rewriting and rewriting (and rewriting) the things that I like about myself, the things that I am good at, the ways that God sees me has finally proven to be fruitful. Choosing to ignore those thoughts. Surrounding myself with people. Because when you are thinking way less of yourself, why would you want to be around people? No, I have to choose to be with people. Most especially people that build me up, inspire me and encourage me to be the best that I can be.

It's a work in progress, but for now? I am SO enjoying where I am. To finally be breaking free of this chain that has tied me up for FAR too long.

Do you struggle with this? No you aren't alone. And let me remind you... you are so so SO loved! Even when you feel down. Even when you sin. Even when you don't love yourself. You are absolutely, 100% loved... :) Praying for you!



So, SURPRISE! I am hosting Not Alone Series this week!!! WHAT?! Thanks for having me back this week! And for Lindsay and Rachel for reaching out!

Being single can leave us feeling unworthy and unloveable sometimes, but we know that it's not true! How do you avoid negative self-talk? How do you lift yourself up instead of allowing yourself to be down? How can we continue to acknowledge our low-points, but encourage each other to something more?

Please, please join us!!!


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Alleluia!

By Catholic All Year via her FB Page.


Happy, happy Easter, Friends!!!

Gosh, in some ways, I can't believe it's Easter already! In other ways, man! I am SO GLAD it's Easter already! :)

I basically bombed Lent. It wasn't my best one.

Holy Week, though. That was my jam this year, guys.

It started out with a beautiful (and quick!) Lenten retreat with the Franciscan Sisters up in Steubenville, OH.

Such a wonderful day reflecting in God's mercy and love.

I was able to go to a beautiful Palm Sunday Mass at my alma mater.... by one of my favorite priests! It was perfect. Jump started the week perfectly.

I just really felt present throughout this whole week, and it was wonderful. I was able to enter into each day, so that by today I could REALLY celebrate! Ah! Such an amazing thing!

I hope you all, too, have had a blessed Holy Week and beautiful Easter day!!
May God continue to pour His blessings upon you!

Love,
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I tried to stop yelling at people in my car

Key word: tried.

I gave it up for Lent. The yelling at the obvious stupid people who don't know how to drive. The getting incredibly frustrated. The interrupting conversations with people (mostly my mom!) to FREAK OUT at the person who cut me off.

I tried I'm trying. But, dang.

You know what I have learned? This is an incredibly deep-seated habit. It is my guttural reaction to get angry. Yell. Freak out. #%@^*!.

I said a lot of quick Hail Marys at first. "God BLESS you" in a very frustrating tone. But, as the weeks have gone on... the prayers have almost stopped and the frustration just remains.

I am not proud of that person. I don't like that person.

I started saying the Rosary in the morning. It has helped tremendously. Imagine that.

Last week at Mass we heard the Prodigal Son parable that we are all pretty familiar with. If you aren't, check it out, but here is the quick and dirty: a dad and his 2 sons live on a farm-- the younger one takes his earnings and inheritance and blows through ALL the money on feasting and prostitutes. The older one is loyal and stays, of course. The younger brother realizes that he can have a better life as a servant of his father, so he returns. The dad rejoices and throws him the biggest party!! Slaughtered the best calf, gave him a fancy robe! And the older son is... jealous and angry! He did all the right things and his dad NEVER threw a party for him. "My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found." ~ Luke 15:31-32

So, the priest talked about this parable in a way that I hadn't really heard before. Together, the sons represented the 7 Capital/Deadly Sins: Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Sloth, Envy, Anger and Pride.

The younger son seems pretty obvious- greed, gluttony, lust and sloth.
The older- envy, anger and pride.

The priest focused on Pride. Of all of the sins- pride is the most dangerous. It can infect all areas of ones life, when you think that you are good enough or the best at certain things (work, faith, etc)-- you stop growing. You stop seeing others as equals in life. It prevents you from truly loving. And then...you start judging.

Gosh. How easy it is to find myself in the older son. Hence, the reason I bring up my road rage tendencies- it pretty much stems from pride. I know better about driving, and NO ONE IS DRIVING CORRECTLY!

Which is completely false. I am not a perfect driver. No one is, let's be honest. ;) Those other drivers deserve love... and I am not loving them. Even if it's from the inside of my car and I never speak to them.

Then, I started to evaluate my life a little deeper. Look, I in no way think that I am perfect- in life, in my faith, at work, with my friends, with my family. Not at all. Buuuuut, pride still creeps in. That's the thing with pride. That's why it's so dangerous. You can be humble it a lot of ways, and be prideful in many others.  For me, it creeps in mostly with my faith (and when I'm driving, I guess). The way I choose to live my life, and the way that God calls us to live through the Catholic Church. It's so easy to fall in the trap of "these are things that we are supposed to do- I do them... you don't. Or I do them better... you don't."

It's such an ugly trap to get caught up in, ya know? I fall prey to this sin particularly with fellow Catholics- mostly the ones who say they are Catholic, but so obviously don't live any of her teachings. You know the ones.

But also with my friends at certain times. And even with my family. I am the only practicing Catholic in my family. A lot of the time I feel as if I am on the defensive about my beloved faith. Lots of misconceptions fly around. Lots of misunderstanding. Lots of beautiful moments to bring the Truth. But, also perfect moments to be prideful.

Which has caused some moments of tension. Some heated, passionate discussions. This is how it is! I say. But it doesn't have to be that way for everyone, they say. And off I go to Mass, no eating meat on Fridays during Lent, ticking off all the "things" that a "good Catholic" should do.

Bringing the Truth and showing love is hard sometimes. Especially when people don't see where you are coming from. Or I don't see where they are coming from. I don't want people to see me check off the "Catholic To-Do List" and that be that.

It's so much more.

I want people to know Love. I want them to know a love so deep, so wide, so beautiful, so captivating. A love that only God through Jesus can bring. It's a love that few understand. It's a love that we are all deserving of. All of us.

It is through this love that I am able to live life. It is through this love that I am able to see my fullest potential. It is through this love that I am able to love others. Imperfect, yes, but love just the same.

Pride takes away that love. It stomps down my ability to love and replaces it with judgment. Jealousy. Frustrations. Misunderstanding. Attitude. And sometimes, downright ugliness.

I pray, Lord God, that you will tear the walls of pride down. I pray that I can love my family, friends, coworkers, strangers, more fully and deeply. Remind me, Lord, that each person on this Earth is an encounter with You. Each moment is a moment to share in your love. Your grace. And your mercy. Especially in the car!!! Amen.

How do you deal with pride?? I can't be the only one!

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