FAITH & SELF-AWARENESS
'Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.' - Psalm 42:5 NIV
One evening I was co-facilitating a parent seminar event on behalf of the National Family Resiliency Center. It was after a long arduous day at work in a new school community where I would explain to people that the stress level of one day was like a week's worth at another school community lol At least, that's how I felt. It must have been written all over my face and visible in my body language, as I do recall being upset that particular day, that one of my colleagues leaned in to me and simply mentioned to me the tip of Positive Self-Talk as a suggested tool for coping.
As one who practiced the unhealthy habit of brooding and ruminating over my thoughts, that simple strategy provided to me by my colleague might as well have been a winning lottery ticket. The thoughtful advice was a timely word that provided me a tool, at this point in my life, I realized I did not have. My life skills toolbox did not include this technique to help me fight against what overwhelmed and sought to consume me. At that time, brooding and ruminating over my frustrations, fears, disappointments, journeying down the rabbit hole was all I knew how to do. I hadn't learned, yet, how to become unstuck. How to work through intense emotions and habitual thought patterns that eroded the health, vitality, and quality of life I desired, but didn't quite seem to know how to cultivate and protect from even myself, as far as my negative thinking.
'one of my colleagues leaned in to me and simply mentioned to me the tip of Positive Self-Talk as a suggested tool for coping.'
Psalm 42:5 is a reminder to me and an example of what Positive Self-talk looks like from the perspective of faith and also reminds me of what is mentioned in the scriptures about David encouraging himself in the LORD. 'And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.' - 1 Samuel 30:6 KJV
In Psalm 42 you can see the psalmist acknowledge how they're feeling, downcast (sad, troubled, depressed) and disturbed. Then, as David did, they shifted the focus, talking with themselves, from how they were feeling to hope and God. This practice of Positive Self-talk is not easy when facing intense emotions and debilitating thoughts, especially if you've made a habit out of thinking negatively (brooding and ruminating). I do believe it is possible to change unhealthy thought patterns and shift the atmosphere of our hearts and minds, because all things are possible with God and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It's possible because God wants to help us and bless us to live victoriously and He lives inside of us to do it, by faith!
Like any new skill mastered, time, effort, and patience can help us learn to do what the psalmist and David did to encourage ourselves and be effective in the use of the life skill tool Positive Self-talk.
but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.' - 1 Samuel 30:6 KJV
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