We all have them. Toxic thoughts and behaviors. What I mean by toxic is unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that destroy relationships, not only with others but with yourself and God.
Lately, I have been on this lets call it “spring cleaning” mode where I want to rid my life of all things toxic before my son enters this world. I want to be the best mommy I can be and that starts with ridding myself of the “not so great” things I have noticed over time about ME. This journey sounded like a great idea at first, and then once I started to delve in and peel back the layers of myself to get rid of these unwanted demons, it seems like they had set up shop to stay! The way I approached this experiment was to really pay attention to myself without the distractions of social media or “staying busy”. I wanted to get to know the real me inside and see where I was going wrong within myself. Well, lets just say this will probably be a never ending journey since we grow daily and evolve daily.
But, in the mean time here are a few things I found:
- Negative self talk. This is a huge one. Do you know how many times a day that you may say negative things to yourself? “I can’t” is a very popular term if you struggle with this.I noticed that I do it ALOT. I am my worse enemy at times and I will say some crazy things that aren’t even close to being true out of fear of being great. I have to constantly remind myself of who I am and when these thoughts arise that they are lies straight from the pits of hell. I am great and God placed me on this earth to do and accomplish great things!
2. Feeling inadequate. This happens as a result of negative self talk and comparing our lives to others. Comparison is seriously the thief of our joy but why do we always find ourselves doing it? It is easier to compare your life to someone else’s versus being content with what God gave you. Let me tell you this though, this is a very dangerous behavior because it leads to insecurity, jealousy and many other toxic companions. Social media is what makes this a beast because you are constantly bombarded with the lives of others. We have to learn to be content with what God has given us and see the beauty in our own journey. THIS, will demolish this toxic behavior because you are no longer focused on where you fall short all the time, or what you don’t have compared to so and so. Instead, you will focus on where you are strong!
3. Being defensive. Lord. This is another huge one that I didn’t want to come to terms with! Easily offended, always on the defense instead of listening to what others have to say first. This comes from a lack of trust, it also comes from wanting to be in control and not allowing anyone to tell you about you. Furthermore, it comes from not believing the person correcting you has your best interest at heart. You assume negative intent every time someone suggests you change something. Listen, everyone who gives you advice is NOT a hater. Stop thinking SO highly of yourself. This is a VERY immature way of thinking. It comes from PRIDE and not wanting to be vulnerable, admit failure, or to just accept that you are WRONG. To help here, just try to listen more, talk less and actually consider what someone is saying and always assume positive intent unless stated otherwise.
4. Un-forgiveness. Yes, I’m going there. This is really bitterness towards a circumstance or person that has been unresolved and there’s literally nothing you can really do about it. This only hurts you. I know you have heard un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. It is true. In reality you rot and suffer inside while this person lives their life. Now this one will take some extra effort. You will have to really seek God and remember how much he forgives you and how you have no right to hold things over others heads if you think about your own sins that need to be forgiven.
5. Being Petty. Yes I STILL struggle with this. I remember a blog I wrote a while ago saying I had gotten over this like I had arrived. Well, God gave me a huge slice of humble pie. I’m still growing here. This is actually a toxic behavior I’m ashamed to admit I enjoy. I personally think women have a harder time letting this behavior go than men. There is some sort of evil joy you get out of being petty. Especially when you are the one who has been wronged. Let me say this though, being this way, whether in private with some close friends or in public is still wrong. Remember God sees our hearts. So you can screenshot things and be messy “on the low” but the God whom sits on high, sees everything! To help here ask yourself is this really worth it?
Now, this list can get quite lengthy if I was to dissect every toxic behavior I have ever experienced within my 28 years here on earth. I’m not going to do that. My point in stating these 5 are to inspire and encourage you to take a long look in the mirror and see what toxic behaviors maybe holding you back. Our character should be very important to us and these toxic behaviors we hold on to have a great tendency to ruin that. Let’s do better and love ourselves and others better. Let’s love ourselves enough to admit our need for growth and actually take the steps to GROW. I hope this inspired you to do a self check, like it inspired me! Never be ashamed to expose your areas of needed growth.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9
“My Grace is all you need. My power works BEST in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”