Stop believing the lies you tell yourself.
That is what bubbled up for me last night as I was falling asleep. A very appropriate statement considering my husband, Mike, and I had had an incredible heart-to-heart earlier in the day. It's an amazing thing to be with someone for over 14 years. We are each others best friend, we read each others mind, we finish each others sentences, life is just better with the other in it. However, when you're with someone for so long - and this goes for any length of relationship, including the relationship to yourself - it is so easy to fall into habitual thinking, consistent thoughts that we believe are true about ourselves or the world around us, without even realizing it.
Here's the thing, we are changing every moment of every day. We look at past experiences, periods of time where we really had to work through a situation and we came out the other side a different person, as the defining moments of our lives that 'changed' us. But considering the fact that we are experiencing life through the lens of our thinking on a moment-to-moment basis - even if we have a 9-5 job, or the same routine every day - it is impossible to be having the exact same experience, because our thoughts are always changing, all day, every day. Without being conscious of it, what gets frustrating to us (and makes us feel 'stuck') is the fact that we are in this constant evolution, yet certain thoughts have turned to beliefs about ourselves that go around and around in our head, and they don't fit with who we are anymore - yet they're still there, like a tumor. And similar to a tumor, the habitual thoughts live and breathe off of our life experience. We find things outside of ourselves that we consider to be totally real evidence for the habitual thought/belief/tumor and we say "AHA! I knew it! SEE!" and there it grows, stronger and stronger, becoming part of who we think we are.
But here's an interesting concept to think about - look around you wherever you are right now and take in what you see. Ok now I want you to think of the color red - got a picture of the color red in your mind? Now look around where you are again and look for the color red. Isn't that amazing? Before, you probably didn't see red things, but now you do. It's because you're always seeing life through the lens of your thinking - if you have a habitual thought about yourself or something, you will ALWAYS find evidence in life to support that thought.
I digress. Need an example? Here's where Mike and I's convo comes back in. A little backstory: Over the last several years, I have had some incredible stress - we all do - but looking back, it was stress coming from my habitual thinking, even though I thought it was my environment making me fall apart. As a professional dancer, I would go in thought circles (habitual thoughts!) around my career: "When am I going to 'make' it? Will I ever be able to fully support myself just from my dancing? Am I good enough?" (<-- That last one is a BIGGY, and a very common habitual thought we all have that unfortunately becomes a belief about ourselves). Then while I was working at the agency, although any career on the business side of entertainment is truly non-stop, I would get caught up in: "I never have time for myself; I'm not going to be able to truly take care of myself til I'm in another career." All of these thoughts felt so real in the moment, especially because they would ruminate underneath the thousands of other thoughts I would think all day every day, so I would consistently gather moments of evidence to prove them. Every phone call, every email from a casting director after hours. "SEE! I can't do anything for myself because it's non-stop!" Therefore bringing a truck load of stress, because our feelings come from our thinking!
Back to Mike and I - due to said stress over the last several years, I had found myself feeling like I had to work at our love life. God bless my husband for being so understanding (and never giving up at knocking at my door after being rejected more times than I will EVER admit), but the other day before we talked, I had this huge realization that I had a habitual thought that I had become completely unconscious of: That I was always too stressed, and there were too many other things that needed to be handled first, before I could relax and be intimate.
I have a completely different life now, I am 100% in line with my purpose for the first time ever, bringing me so much happiness. The understanding of how my mind works has brought me so much peace, there's absolutely no need to be defaulting to this "I'm too stressed" thinking when I, or Mike, get the intimate itch! But here was this unearthed habitual thought that made me still react the way I would in my old way of being. Now, if I were to have the understanding I do now back then, this "I'm too stressed to let my guard down" would not have become an issue because I would know it's just a thought (a LIE!) I was believing to be true. But I didn't know then. I did the best I could with the state of mind I was in at the time, and frankly, ANY type of self-care and self-love came last because all of my stressful thought-lies (or what I like to call, thought TURDS) were what I believed over what my wisdom was urging me to act on. I am SO grateful this insight came through me. The dissonance between this part of my life with my husband and how I feel on a daily basis finally woke me up!
My point is this - I wanted to share this story for two reasons: One, if you're in a relationship and you feel your love life is on a boat out in the middle of the Pacific, as opposed to alive and well in your relationship, check in with your thinking. Did some past experience get in between you and your partner, and the thoughts around that experience ended up putting a giant wedge between you? And two, whether you're in a relationship or not, notice if there are any moments throughout your day where you don't feel right, or you become upset out of nowhere. Is it old, moldy, habitual thinking? Is it a belief about yourself that isn't true? Is it a lie that you've told yourself over and over that has become so real to you that you'd swear it's truth? How can you tell what is old habitual thinking? Any time you feel terrible - sad, lonely, upset, anxious - whatever you're believing in your head isn't true, plain and simple. Our natural state is at ease, healthy, and content - so any time your thoughts are at odds with your wisdom, your body physically reacts. It's the most amazing alert system that I wish I would've known about sooner, and why I'm here telling you, so you can live a more peaceful life.
Here's to you ~ See you next week,