Dealing With Dark Thoughts

One of the main reasons I became a coach was because I was sick and tired of being around so many people who were grumpy and negative.

As I was growing up, the lessons I heard at home and church, taught me that I was supposed to be “a light that shines brightly in this world!”. That sounded fun! I also learned that God’s Spirit would give me things like joy, love and peace, even in the midst of uncontrollable and undesirable circumstances. That all sounded great – I was in!  

But role models and like-minded peers were few and far between.

I noticed, even as a kid, that many church-goers could quote Jesus’ teachings verbatim, but it was quite evident, that their knowledge had little to no affect on their demeanor or behavior. That was sad, but it didn’t dampen my faith – it made me want to be light in the world, but especially in the church-world where people claimed these teachings!!

Being the human that I am, I’ve gone through periods of disappointment that left me discouraged and depressed. It is the Spirit who always turns me around! Yet, that turn is often preceded by people who’ve spoken words life into me. They help me remember who I am, my value and my purpose.

We are all broken, imperfect beings, who will at times, drift into dark thinking but we do not have to let darkness dominate us. I had a dark day this past week. I felt discouraged and a little angry, but, with the encouragement of my youngest son and husband, I took steps, out of my comfort zone, to address what had gotten me down and the darkness passed! 

When dark thoughts are dominating us, it takes effort, (and that effort can be uncomfortable) to move back into light. Like everything, the longer you’ve been there, the harder it is to move. Finding support is important, but ultimately it is up to us to make the choice and put in the effort. 

The great news is that when we continue to make good choices day after day, the easier it becomes to make those choices. As Charles Duhigg says in his book The Power of Habit, our brains are wired for patterns and we determine what those patterns are by what we do and think day after day. This is a gift from God!

Simply asking myself the question, “Suzette, what is dominating your thinking and behavior” helps my self-awareness and helps me stay grounded in the light.