Negativity is toxic… and it doesn’t always come from the outside in. It can even originate as toxic thoughts from our own minds and begin polluting our inner world. These thoughts often render us hopeless and defeated when we give them the power to speak into our identity.
I recently became a first time mommy and it’s been an absolute dream come true. My one-and-a-half year old daughter is fun, adventurous, and full of life! I truly know that being her mommy is one of the greatest callings on my life, but ironically, it’s in this season that I’ve faced some of my toughest battles, all taking place in my mind. I battled thoughts and pressures I didn’t even know to prepare for.
Am I doing a good job at this mommy thing? Am I feeding her a balanced meal? Did I breastfeed for long enough? Am I wiping her butt right? I don’t know! Babies don’t come with manuals! Will I ever have the opportunity to pursue my own dreams again? Will my body ever look the same?
I struggled silently with all these internal thoughts as they chipped away at my hope, my zeal, and my identity. It was only after I got to my lowest point that I just couldn’t hold it in anymore, and it exploded out of me in the form of word vomit onto my oh-so-patient husband. He listened as I verbalized these negative thoughts into the open. As it came out of me, I realized just how ridiculous and untrue these thoughts were. These thoughts were lies. Lies against my character and reality. I AM doing a good job at this mommy thing. I AM feeding her awesome meals. I DID breastfeed her as long as my body could possibly hold together. And I’m almost positive I’m wiping her butt right. My dreams are not dead, and I will absolutely have the opportunity to pursue my passions again. And my body might not look the same, but my husband still thinks I’m sexy, and our intimacy hasn’t skipped a single beat.
No matter the season of life, each of us faces similar battles in our minds at some point. Do you notice your thoughts leaving you discouraged or defeated? Do you notice accusations circulating in your mind? For some, it could be a struggle with constantly feeling like you’re not doing enough. For others, it can be a struggle with rejection or with shame. I want to encourage you that theses negative thoughts don’t define who you are and usually don’t reflect reality. I encourage you to rise up and fight as you take back your mind from these toxic thoughts. Don’t be afraid to verbalize your thoughts or share your struggles with loved ones (and be there for your struggling friends and family, too!). The more we challenge these thoughts and bring it into the open, the easier it gets to conquer them.
When we cultivate a victorious mindset, something beautiful starts to happen. We start to emanate the fruits of that victory from our internal world to the external world. We begin to positively influence the atmosphere around us with our peace and our assurance rather than letting whatever is in the atmosphere to negatively influence us. I hope we never forget to be our greatest champion so we can thrive in a life of wholeness and victory.