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I’ve been thinking about my internal dialogue a lot lately … if you’ve been reading my previous posts, it’s probably pretty obvious. I have experienced quite a shift in how and what I’m thinking. I’ve realized that I don’t have to be a victim of negative thoughts and emotions anymore. I actually have control over them. I’ve realized just how disempowering it is to allow my self talk to dwell on the negative – it makes me feel hopeless and like a victim.

What you tell yourself …

I can’t _____ (fill in your blank).
I am a failure.
I am inadequate.
I am an emotional eater.
I can’t eat that donut.

These thoughts lead to feelings which eventually spiral out of control and now …
I feel like I have no choice. Trapped.
I feel like I can’t do anything right.
I feel depressed.
I feel out of control. Hopeless.
I feel deprived.

Once I slowed down long enough to recognize what I was feeling, I would spiral down into the pit of depression and self pity because I allowed my emotions to control how I responded and they reinforced my thoughts, which reinforced my feelings …. and so on.

And then a few months ago, I saw this qoute from Lysa TerKeurst …

Feelings are indicators not dictators

Feelings are indicators not dictators

What? You mean to tell me that my emotions don’t have to be in control of me?

This got me thinking…..
{I think a lot – especially while driving…and gardening…}

If my feelings aren’t dictators, then that must mean I have a choice. I can choose to change my response even if I don’t feel like it. Yeah. I can do that. Sometimes. But it seems kinda like a brute force attack. There may be times when I need to suck up and do the right thing despite how I feel but this doesn’t really address the heart of the matter, does it?

The quote says that feelings are indicators. So what are they telling me?

I started questioning the feelings … to clarify, I didn’t question what I was feeling … but rather put the feeling on trial … like this –

I feel deprived.
Is is true? Am I really deprived?
No. Not really. I have lots of things I can eat.
Ok. So you feel bad because you can’t have this donut.
Why are you choosing to not eat this donut?
Because it is not a healthy choice for me to make. Eating donuts make me very sick.
So what CAN you eat?
Oh, there are actually a lot of things I can eat. I can eat dark chocolate, apples, pears, kale, avocados, mangos, coconut, squash, pumpkin, chard, bok choy, cabbage, chicken, beef, bacon, asparagus, ginger, taro, sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, radish, strawberries, blueberries … and more!

Reframing the thought

Then it dawned on me. It starts with the thoughts!

I can’t do anything right….
Is it true?
No. There are lots of things I do well.
Like what?
Well, I am good with technology, cooking really nutritious meals, talking to people …
Great and the other areas where are you are weak are simply opportunities for growth.

I can’t talk to this person ….
Is it true?
Well, not technically. I am afraid to talk to this person.
So you are choosing not to talk to them?
Yes. I choose not to have a conversation with this person.
(and now we can address the why … which is fear in this case)

Instead of “I can’t” now I say “I choose to …” or “I choose not to …”

I can’t eat this food ….. becomes …
I choose not to eat this food because it not beneficial to my health. There are so many more healthy things available for me to eat. Look at all the options I DO have.

Now, doesn’t that feel more empowering? I choose this … instead of being the victim of circumstance.

The missing peice for me has been tying those feelings to my thoughts. And now that I can change the thoughts … the feelings will follow.

But there is one more thing …

What I call myself & The power of intention.

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna go all new age on you. But I don’t want to ignore something very important in our self talk and that is what we call ourselves.

I’m an emotional eater.
I’m codependent.
I’m fat.
I’m ugly.
I’m …..

Those statements are very powerful. Have you ever had a thought about something and then just HAD to have it? I am naturally drawn to things … even crave them when I think of them. {Think KALE! Think BEETS! Think BRUSSELS SPROUTS!! … hungry?}

I’m not a fan of labels. I think they become self-fulfilling prophesies. So if I’m going to claim to be something, then I want it to be good. I may struggle with eating when my emotions are high, but that does not define who I am.

First and foremost, I am a child of God. His beloved daughter. As a child of the King, that makes me a princess. Oh, yeah … you can call me “Princess Tracie.” I am dearly loved, treasured and cherished. Created in the image of God … He calls me beautiful and He rejoices over me.

Knowing and BELIEVING this …. well, nothing else really matters. I choose to claim these truths. I reject that other stuff. Those labels are just things I struggle with – opporunities to rely on God in these areas of weakness.  I’ve even been reframing how I talk about Rheumatoid Arthritis. I used to say “my RA.” But not anymore. It still affects me, but it doesn’t own me nor I it. It is now referred to as “the RA.”

I believe that our minds and bodies are connected … not separate. And just like we move toward the things we think about, our bodies respond to the directives received from our minds. If I’m constantly thinking I’m fat and ugly, then the body will reflect that. I’ve seen people change. I’ve seen people blossom into new creations when they start believing the truth … yes there is a physical change! I’ve experienced it myself! So be careful about the words you say to yourself. Reframe. Set intentions.

I have a healthy relationship with food.
I choose healing foods to nourish my body.
I am beautiful. I am lovable. I love and am loved.
I am fit and getting healthier every day.
I love myself and choose health for myself.

This is what I’m moving toward.

Flipping the switch …

I had to draw on this reframing self-talk when “the RA” recently flared up. My dr suggested a pretty aggressive elimination diet. If I would have sat there and dwelled on everything that I could not have, I would have been overwhelmed and feeling extremely deprived. Instead, I made note of what to avoid and focused on what I could have. And the reality is, there is A LOT that I CAN have. And I even get to try some new things. When I pass by something that is on the “no” list, I remind myself that this item will not help me heal. I am healing my body and have committed to choosing only foods that will heal. (all things are permissible but not all are beneficial) Also, I quit calling it an elimination diet. It is a healing diet.

Now, that feels more empowering.

So, what phrases are you needing to reframe? How are you flipping the switches in your thoughts?

~Princess Tracie, Digging Deep

Ecclesiastes 8:1
How wonderful to be wise,to analyze and interpret things.Wisdom lights up a person’s face,softening its harshness