The other day I was pitching a baseball to grandsons. If you know me, you realize I am balding…all except for a little patch right in the front. The wind was blowing and this little bit of hair was standing up in the wind and —lets just say it looked a little unusual.
Suddenly grandson said with admiration, “Pop you have a Mohawk!”
A Mohawk? Now I am cool but not that cool.
You never know what people are thinking especially kiddos.
But I have noticed that negativity occupies a lot of self-talk when we are depressed.
Negativity is a contagion that lodges easily in our mind. Like a virus it infects those around us.
Thoughts like: “I know I will do a lousy job.” “I should never make a mistake.” “I should have known better.” “If I am not best I am a failure.” “Why me? Bad things always happen to me.” “It is not fair.” “I should have known better.” “I always ruin every thing.”
These thoughts become automatic. The more we talk of them the more embedded they become in the brain. It is possible to change these thoughts, but it requires self examination. A counselor can hep us identify cognitive distortions and replace these thoughts with truth. In time the truth can become our new automatic thoughts.
We can turn to promises God gives us in the Bible as substitutes for negative thoughts.
But God loves us and has given us promises of hope. We don’t have to carry negative rumination as we move into an our future. Circumstances may not be easy or comfortable. But we have hope for today and tomorrow. Our hope in Him is not a “maybe”, “might-be”, or “could be”, it is certain.
As we travel into the uncertainty of life, here are some promises that can give us a new way of thinking.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“If God is for us, who can be against us? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.”
Reprograming our self-talk combats the thoughts of negativity. It takes time to change our negative-talk to faith-talk. But living by the truth of hope in God is worth it.
And it can protect us from scary looking things like this old grandpa with a Mohawk.