Mind Held Hostage

What an amazing day! I am always so pumped when November comes along, as I’m a sucker for the holiday season (LOVE IT)! Crazy to think Thanksgiving is already next week! Looking at local stores, you’d think we’ve been in the holiday season for over a month now given the plethora of Christmas decorations available for purchase since early October! The other thing I love about November- we’re cooling down quite a bit in Arizona. We’re three days into what seems to be constant rain, which we needed here in the desert! Cooler weather means more opportunities to be outdoors, which is the one place I feel God’s presence the most. I ran six miles in the rain on Tuesday, which made it more enjoyable as I was focused on not stepping in puddles over the aches of running that distance. I’m committed to my training regiment for the Tough Mudder rain or shine!

I love the word “abundance.” The word resonates because it can be used in many ways. I can have an abundance of love. I can have an abundance of generosity. I can have an abundance of surrendering daily. I can have an abundance of serving others. I can have an abundance of success, perhaps even correlating to wealth. Side note- I’m a believer than making a great living and having wealth aren’t negative; it’s when our identity is trapped in our money and possessions that we flirt with the danger zone of bondage.

Why is it so hard for me to have more abundant thoughts? Why doesn’t this come naturally?

There is a big difference in living an abundant life and living a long life. One can live abundantly based on perspective alone. I find it fascinating how many of my natural reactions are of a limiting nature. Whether related to my self-worth, my abilities, or my reactions to situations, abundance isn’t my hard wiring. In fact, my first train of thought is often figuring out why something won’t work instead of believing that it’s possible. How sad! Why is this? Why are so many of us stuck in a place of begging for scraps mentally, while the minority are experiencing a truly abundant life? I realize I haven’t interviewed the entire world to back up this statement, yet I believe it to be true based on thousands of encounters that I’ve experienced. I’m still stuck with the majority at times with depleted thinking, and I especially was in my past.

I’m not saying I’m poor, yet I’ve certainly lived the majority of life poor in spirit. I’m not saying that I haven’t experienced great blessings, because I have. I’m saying that I realize how many of my thoughts aren’t designed to build myself up, yet instead to keep myself down. I’m saying that words spoken over me as a child mattered. I’m saying that being picked on as a teenager mattered. I’m saying being talked down to throughout the impressionable years of my career mattered. I’m saying being talked at or down to by loved ones over the years mattered. WORDS DO MATTER! I realize more than ever that words spoken can truly pierce our hearts and minds. Words spoken can also dampen others’ spirit, even if this isn’t the intention. What we say to others matters!

I’m reflective of late as to why my mindset often goes to a place of limit, a place of scarcity, a place of negativity. I’m reflective why my reactions and thoughts aren’t naturally more positive. I’m reflective as to why I don’t always respond with grace, even though I know I have a great heart.

Fish don’t outgrow their fish bowl. They stay within the confines of their environment. Like fish in a bowl, it’s certainly challenging for us to outgrow our own limiting belief system. For example, if I start a career and am force fed only my company’s information and beliefs for a plethora of years, that will certainly shape my own beliefs and outlook. If I grow up in a household where shame and fear are normal forms of communication, I’m probably going to have self-worth issues coupled with anxiety in my adult life. If I’m told I’m terrible at a sport over and over again, I’m probably going to reach a point where I no longer believe in myself enough to keep trying. Our beliefs are formed throughout life, and our subconscious and conscious thoughts are as well. What we say to others matters!

I realize that I simply get stuck in circumstantial habits and thought patterns sometimes. I’m becoming aware of how many of my thoughts are actually “handed down” or “projected onto me” from others. I realize how many of my thoughts are conditioned by previous life experience. Crazy to think of how much of my self-belief, self-worth and daily thoughts are actually from others. Once again, what we say matters!

I don’t believe everyone wakes up daily thinking of ways to shame, ridicule or put others down. I do believe our ego can often use outward abuse as a method of coping with our own internal fears and pain. In other words, pulling someone else down can temporarily make us feel better about ourselves due to the lack of worth we feel within. At least, that’s the ego’s perspective. Yet this is like trying to cover up a black eye with make-up, the black eye is still there hiding beneath. Speaking down at and treating others poorly are survival mechanisms for our egos. We do this to cover our own self doubt, self-lack, and the insecurities we carry because people implanted these beliefs onto us, which we naturally project onto others. My point- if we keep spreading this negativity, shame and abuse, then we’re continuing the same cycle. We don’t have to live a life conditioned this way. We can choose to spread encouragement, love and abundance over negativity, fear and shame.

Thank God for God! I realize that wounds spread in this world, whether intentionally or unintentionally, are nothing compared to the worth of God’s love and grace. I’m so grateful that I’m able to grow beyond much of the worthless beliefs placed in my heart from others. I’m grateful for my realization of how much of my negative self-talk stemmed from others’ pain and self-worth issues. I’m grateful that I can work toward abundance and grace with the only Being who truly shows unconditional love. I pray we can all propel beyond our circumstance into the spiritual realm experienced via a relationship with Christ Himself. I encourage you to pause at the next negative or scarce thought that enters your brain “out of thin air.” Think back to times in your life that you heard someone say those same words to you and realize that these words simply aren’t true.

Whoever told you that you shouldn’t chase your dream- don’t listen because they probably didn’t chase theirs due to someone telling them the same thing.

Whoever told you that you’re ugly, not pretty or not good at something- don’t listen because they’re simply reiterating words they heard and unfortunately now believe about themselves.

Whoever told you that God doesn’t exist- don’t believe them because they haven’t experienced His love and abundance (yet), because most likely someone projected that belief system onto them. God opens doors all throughout our lives, yet we often walk past ignoring His invitation because someone fed us a lie that He isn’t there. I have GOOD news for you- HE’S THERE!

We have to stop spreading hate, lies, scarcity, lack, fear, worry and limitations. We have to spread love, faith, hope, abundance, encouragement and human decency. What a better world this could be if we simply stopped projecting our own internal hurts onto others. What a better world this could be if we simply heal ourselves and then help others do the same. What a better world this would be if we looked up instead of out, looked within instead of externally, looked with love instead of indifference.

I’m committed to taking every negative or limiting thought captive. I’m committed to recalling their source of origin (another human), and then letting these thoughts go. I’m done listening to the lies within. I’m guilty of spreading my hurts in the past, yet I’m here to spread love today! I hope you’ll join me! The holiday season is a great time to start! May we never forget, the world doesn’t define us- GOD DOES!

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