“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.” (Anne Lamott)
Does this sound like you?
We tend to believe our horrible thoughts while we completely ignore our honorable thoughts. We give extreme power to the thoughts we do not wish to have. The horrible thoughts just seem truer somehow. It’s as if we say, “If it scares me, it must be true.”
Horrible thoughts seem real because they are familiar. We practice them daily like a child learning how to play scales on the piano.
Thoughts become “realer” through the power of emotion.
We think “I am unworthy,” or some variation on that theme. It feels “bad” to be unworthy. This feeling “bad” causes an identifiable yet often unconscious physiological reaction. This reaction anchors the thought in the body. We feel something – so we believe the thought must be true.
Then, when we believe a thought, we see it. We gather evidence to support our inner environment. The evidence seems to support our thoughts, whereas in reality, our thoughts support the evidence. We see what we believe.
We think our thinking is true.
But what if our thoughts are not necessarily true?
What if the bad thoughts you think about yourself – your perception of inadequacy, failure, unlovable-ness and unworthiness – are simply a learned, rehearsed and falsely realized habit?
What new thought could you think instead?
Try it and see. It will feel like lying at first. But soon, with a little emotion and belief, you’ll see things differently.