Do you ever find yourself so busy or stressed or anxious that you kind of feel like you might be going nuts?
I’ll be open and honest here and say I’ve been feeling that way recently. I find that I go through periods of time where I put so much pressure on myself to get everything done, try harder, work harder, be better that it tends to have an adverse affect.
We all know that stress is bad, like very bad, for your body. So, as someone who tries to live a healthy, holistic life, stress continues to be my biggest weakness.
This time is different, though. This time I’m taking a closer look at my thought process, because I believe the continuous story in my mind might be what’s derailing me, as it has in the past.
As I’ve taken a more introspective look at what’s going on in my head, I started noticing the way I speak to myself and, I’ll be honest, it’s not always pretty. I’ve been dwelling on past mistakes and beating myself up when I make those mistakes again. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to basically be perfect, which is never successful, and then in turn getting frustrated when I mess up. I’ve been filling my life with a lot of stuff, which has caused me more stress than good.
But, I also noticed something else. I noticed that I’ve been replaying negative, hurtful things that have been said to me about me by others… and even worse, believing them.
I’m going to share something that I haven’t shared publicly with anyone besides my friends and family (and a few others).
When Good Things Go Bad.
A while back, I was in a relationship. It was great. I enjoyed every minute and was truly in love.
But, as the year we had been dating came to an end, things got bad. Like, really bad. I won’t go into specifics, because that’s not something that I’m ready to share, but let’s just say it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. And was completely eye-opening and earth shattering.
A lot of hurtful things were said about me during that time (and I imagine are still being said about me) in a slew of different ways – to me, to my family, to my friends, via social media, in public in front of bystanders who were simply trying to enjoy their dinner, and then a courtroom full of people. While they were being said, I did a pretty good job of ignoring them and just trying to get myself out of the horrific situation. But as the months have crept along since that time, those hurtful words still pop into my head from time to time. I know they’re not true. Those close to me definitely know they’re not true, but I’ve found that even though they’re not true they still hurt. And some days they hurt worse than others.
What scares me is when I find myself believing what was said. When I doubt my character, my work ethic, my morals and say, “Well, maybe that is true. Maybe I am all of those things.”
It’s during those moments of weakness that I, in turn, become more stressed, more anxious, more down on myself. I never noticed this before. So, now I’m hyper-aware of my thought pattern as I work on shifting my thoughts to all good and positive things.
I want you to take a look at your life and what’s getting you down. Are you listening to the noise of others? Are you in-tune and confident with who you are? You should be. You deserve it to love yourself and treat yourself with kindness.
We’ve all been in situations where others try to bring us down. They hurt us in unimaginable ways… for what? I’m not sure. I’m guessing it has a lot to do with low self-confidence and selfishness. Maybe even narcissism in some cases. But, that’s besides the point, because you cannot control others and how they treat you. You can only control how you treat yourself and how you treat others. Don’t let them get you down. Don’t listen to the noise. Kindness is key.
Running always helps me quiet those untrue thoughts and build a tough mentality. It also makes me feel great about myself and releases stress. I feel stronger after I run. I feel more empowered. I laugh at myself for believing the noise. How silly of me.
I recently came across a campaign, #ThatsNotLove, started by One Love, which is a foundation that works with young people across the country to raise awareness about the warning signs of abuse and activate communities to work to change the statistics around relationship violence.
The goal of the campaign is to define the gray area between love and control within relationships. To bring awareness to young people who may not be able to differentiate between someone who loves you and someone who is trying to control you by showing what love really looks like.
Love is not intentionally trying to hurt and manipulate the other person.
Love is not physically abusing the other person.
Love is not controlling the other person.
Love is not verbally abusing the other person.
Love is not lying about and slandering the name of the other person.
Love is not seeking your best interest.
Love is not putting the other person in danger.
I could go on…
But sometimes, when we are in love and vulnerable, we overlook these warning signs. These red flags. Take a look at your own relationship. Is your relationship a healthy or unhealthy relationship? Need some guidance? The #ThatsNotLove campaign can help with that – http://www.joinonelove.org/couplets.
If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, but feel trapped and are scared to get out the One Love foundation has a list of resources here on their website – http://www.joinonelove.org/real_time_resources.
I’m sharing all of this with you, because I believe it’s so important to treat yourself with kindness. Dragging yourself down with negative thoughts is not kind. Staying in a harmful relationship (mentally or physically… or both) is not kind. Believing the lies is not kind.
When you are in a sound and peaceful state of mind, you can spread so much good and kindness. You can love those that hurt you and you can keep yourself safe.
I’m also sharing this with all of you in lieu of the recent acts of terror that seem to be wreaking havoc on our country and our world. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see that kind of evil exist, and while it’s so painful, it does bring us together in a sense – to pray for those who hurt, to provide support, and extend hands of love. But, we can’t continue to be reactive. We can’t start showing love once the evil has occurred. We have to start now. We have to spread kindness now. And maybe, just maybe, our kindness and love will deter someone somewhere from treating just one person unkindly.
This may be a grand notion, but I say let’s give it a shot.