Updated: Oct 6, 2022
We think about our thinking. Did you know that? Have you ever thought about that? This is the thing that sets us apart from the animals. It is our soul that creates this higher level of cognition, of self-reflection and the ability to change our minds after said reflection.
“Should I eat first or shower first?”
“Well, you know it’s way easier to cook breakfast than shower if one of them wakes up.”
“That’s true, but I’m soo hungry!”
“Yea but remember what happened last time you ate first…you didn’t get a shower until dinner time?”
“Yea, that was not okay!”
“Why is she looking at me like that?
“Was it something I said?”
“Shoot, you probably said something stupid and now she thinks you’re dumb.”
“But I can’t think of anything that was that bad!”
“Ugh, I’m sure I did though, I always do that.”
“I just can’t win…”
Does this kind of interior dialogue resonate with you at all? We all do it, have conversations with ourselves in our head. We have this ability to self-reflect and analyze without anything overt being done or said. It’s part of our interior world. We call it thinking.
There is a level even beyond this, however, that I think all of us humans are called to and yet few come to practice and that is the ability to think about our thinking. This is what we do in coaching. Let me pull back the curtain for you in a small way…
Let’s take the final statement of Scenario 1, “Yea, that was not okay!”
Define the terms:
“That” - not showering until dinner time
“Not okay” - not acceptable
“Okay” - meaning I was not okay…I wasn’t able to take care of myself, and it made me feel out of control.
Thought Rephrased: When I didn’t get to shower until 6pm, I felt like life was out of control because I wasn’t able to take care of myself.”
What does that mean about you? “That I can’t handle my life.”
Action: I lash out at people who give me more work to do or who don’t help when it looks like they could. I cry in the bathroom by myself.
Result: There is even more chaos.
Is it true that you “can’t handle” your life? What would that look like to you?
Do you “handle” your life some of the time? Yes.
Then it’s not true that you “can’t handle your life.” Truth has to be so 100% of the time.
Are you free to think another thought? One that is more true and useful? Yes.
“I can handle some parts of my life well and some parts of my life poorly, but I can always show up.”
Are you satisfied with that reality for now? Yes.
Does it take some of that heaviness and condemning feeling away? Oh yea.
Okay. Let’s try that out for a week, and for your homework do Exercise 6 in the Journal - repent of the believing the lie “I can’t handle this.”, forgive yourself for doing so and in the name of Jesus renounce the lie and cast it to the foot of the cross. Then ask Jesus to speak Truth into who you are and what you are capable of (Exercise 7).
Scenario 2; “I just can’t win…”
What does it mean to “win”? To do things right. Not to offend anyone. To be clear so that I’m understood.
Thought rephrased: “I just can’t do things right all the time.”
Actions: Isolate, vow to be more careful and not say anything stupid ever again..better yet, just not talk because then I can’t say anything stupid, beat myself up in my head, find it hard to have the energy to do anything productive, go binge watch netflix while I eat low fat ice cream.
Result: I become hypercautious, afraid of messing up, and beating myself up when I do.
As a human being, is it possible to do things right 100% of the time? Well…no.
Is it possible for people to misunderstand you even when you are clear? Yes.
So can you agree that this thought is somewhat unrealistic? To do things right all the time, to never offend anyone and to be crystal clear to everyone? I guess.
Pray for a release from the tendency to want to control other’s perceptions of you, for the acceptance of the reality of what is, and the desire to want for others the desire of their own opinion, an increase in humility to be viewed as errant in another’s eyes and give that right back to God who’s opinion is the only one that matters.
Repent of: Vanity, falling into human respect, fear of rejection, rejection of reality
Forgive yourself for: doing all the things you repented for
Forgive others: for failing to see you through a lens of charity
In the name of Jesus Christ, Renounce: the spirit of fear, of control, of the desire for human respect and the rejection of the limitations of reality.
Sit with Jesus and ask Him to speak the truth of yourself and your goodness and ask Him to see yourself as He sees you and to rest in that.
Now we can get to a new thought. One that is more true and useful. I am in the process of coming to accept that fact that I cannot do things right all the time, but sometimes I do.
Boom! Fireworks. It’s not a massive shift, but it is one that I can wrap my head around, and does change the trajectory of that original thought which led to me isolating and shutting down, basically sticking my head in the sand and wishing reality was different than it was.
This is what thought work does. It shifts your perception of yourself and reality to align with a more accurate view of both those things, so you can be freed from the frustration and tension that inevitably comes when we hold onto an idealized view of how things should be. It may seem small, almost insignificant, but I guarantee you, that one thought at a time, it will change your whole life.
**I am a Professionally trained Catholic Mindset Coach through Metanoia Catholic. I love to work with Catholic women or any woman open to processing their thoughts and emotions through a Catholic world view.
**Check out my personal blog, Grateful Blessed Mess, at gratefulblessedmess.com to get to know me better! Don't hesitate to reach out. I'd love to hear from you if anything has spoken to your heart or you have any questions in general about Catholic Mindset Coaching. Sign up for a FREE Discovery Call on the Services page of this website!