I’m a recovering pessimist.
Honestly, I’ve never been an optimist. I learned worry at an early age, and I grabbed on to the idea that if I expected nothing, then I would never be disappointed. It seemed to me that this was the only practical way to view life, and my experience confirmed this.
Along with this, I found negative thoughts often swirling through my mind.
You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re a failure….
These thoughts turned round and round in my head, creating well-worn grooves in my brain that were often revisited.
Can you relate?
I pray you’ve never experienced this mindset and have always had a joyful, grateful heart. For those of us who tend toward a Daria rather than a Pollyanna perspective, though, this darker view of life has been the norm.
I’ve been told, “Just think positive!” Or, “Think good thoughts!” As a Gen-X’er, this only brought to mind Stuart Smalley‘s slogan, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
In a quiet, desperate moment, I searched Amazon and found Lynn R. Davis’ books and eventually got the chance to read and review an advanced copy of Deliver Me from Negative Self-Talk Expanded Edition: A Guide to Speaking Faith-Filled Words. In the book, she says “give faith-filled words a chance.”
So I did.
Let me say I’ve read the book twice now. What I love about it is that she provides a “how to” for us Daria types. When I’m tired and stressed, I grab that book and look at one of the many Bible verses noted in the book. And you know what? It helps. As Davis says, “It’s about having a mind that is stayed on Jesus.”
In addition to reading Davis’ book, I’ve been doing a lot of Bible reading every day. Meditating on God’s word every day helps remind me of God’s faithfulness and His promises.
Boy, we all need those daily reminders, right?
I’m still a work in progress, of course. I still have my dark, dark days, but it’s getting better. And for that, I’m grateful.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” —Matthew 11:28-29