Last week when I wrote about 10 Things I Am Learning through My Journey with Depression I really surprised and hurt some of my family and friends. Why? Because I revealed an underlining thought pattern that has been with me for as long as I can remember. I am a burden. Four simple words that have wreaked havoc in the way I do life.
I have physical limitations that come with a life touched by Cerebral Palsy. There are daily challenges and impossibilities, such as I can’t put on my shoes no matter what they are, impacting my life. I adopted the habit of only asking for help when I really needed it, not just needed it. I would weigh up in my mind whether I have asked that friend or family member for too much help lately before I even approach them with a simple request like ‘sorry but can we please walk a little slower?’ My inner dialogue would get dark at times with things like ‘if you weren’t here their life would be so much easier’, ‘you are such a burden, what good do you add to their life?’
You can see how my family and friends were more than a little upset when I asked them whether I was a burden to them. I wanted an honest answer; and as to be expected they gave it. I got a resounding YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN to the point they were almost yelling at me in love. Yet the negativity and lies had become my ‘truth’. It is time to change what I listen to, especially my internal dialogue. I am tired of my inner critic tearing me down constantly. I want an inner cheerleader instead. After they said I wasn’t a burden on their life; I said ‘I am going to believe what you said to be true’. It was a conscious decision on my part, but a freeing one at that.
I shared a video on Facebook about positive affirmation. I have decided to include some of that in my own life. I am seeing small changes in my life happening. It takes time to change therefore it is progress not perfection.
Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true – think about such things.”
Every moment I am faced with a choice to embrace the positive and push back the negative or vice versa. This morning I chose to listen to my inner cheerleader; I had the house to myself so I cranked the music up high and sang and danced to my heart’s content. I had fun because I let go of the negativity. Negativity that I couldn’t sing in tune. Negativity that I didn’t know all the words or dance moves. And I just enjoyed singing with some of my favourite artists.