People have often said that what we say, we eventually become. But is it really true? Are self-fulfilling prophecies valid? With this thought in mind, I knew that during this past season of lent I wanted to give up something that would truly affect my mindset, the way I view the world, and commit to something would be a challenge. My church was promoting a negativity fast and a positivity feast. I knew this was something that would help me tremendously, both in spiritual growth but in my emotional health as well. So how’d it go?
This week has been incredibly hard. I’ve found that I’ve caught myself needlessly complaining or finding things to be overly upset about. Is it really worth getting that frustrated over my roommate’s dirty dishes and living habits? In the bigger picture, no it isn’t. This week I’ve been given a list of statements to begin telling myself. I didn’t realize how much my inner dialogue was filled with comments that were less than honoring to myself. As I looked in the mirror every morning, it felt awkward to tell myself how great I was, that I was a powerful person, how beautiful I looked, and that it was going to be the best day of my life. In the past, I thought that these were statements were only for the insanely beautiful or overly arrogant. I guess this week, I’ll be moving past my comfort zone and be stretched more than I might have realized.
As I’ve gone through this week I’ve been pondering the following, “If happiness truly is a choice, why do I continually choose to be unhappy, complaining, or miserable while processing my day (outside of this fast)?” When I externally process my day with those that are close to me, I can always seem to take about the terrible parts of the day and process those rather than the seemingly ordinary but incredible enjoyable moments that I have throughout the day. I find that it is far easier for me to focus on the negative than the positive. Do I allow my personality and general nature are more pessimistic than others? What if the only difference between a good day and a great day (or a less than great one) was my mindset? In these thoughts, I’m finding that declarations about myself don’t seem quite so silly anymore. They actually have become needed in renewing my mind and focusing on the truth (not over exaggerated or under exaggerated) of the people, places, and ideas I encounter through the day. I’m finding instead they have tremendous power in my life. Instead of making these statements and filling ridiculous about them, I find that it brings about a pause and reset to my mind.
While certain things I have gotten easier with the fast, I’m finding myself in a tension. This week has been incredibly challenging and emotional for me. The stress of living out of suitcases and being in constant motion are starting to take their toll. How do I process with others, remain positive, and simultaneously stay truth to self? This is one that I’m still processing through. I might be relegated to keeping things internal for a bit longer.
I’m beginning to see this fast more as a way of life. Things don’t bother me nearly as much as they used to and I’m finding a lot more joy in the daily rhythms of the day. I’ve been in the airport a lot this week and even delays, waiting in lines, and sitting in the middle seat on planes, haven’t bothered me a bit. While the fast is nearing an end, I don’t know that I’ll be returning back to my previous way of thinking anytime soon.
Over the course of the fast, I learned….
I’m stronger than I think I am.
Happiness is a choice.
Positivity is the best way to live your life.
Faith grows best when challenged and when I choose to step out.
What are some of the ways you pursuing personal growth?