It takes work to retrain a negative way of thinking. Let's be real about some things, our ways of thinking most often stem from a lineage of negativity. If you’re around my age or older, your parents grew up during the Jim Crow era (major respect and appreciation to the ancestors for their endurance). You don’t have to be from the south for your baby boomer parent to recall and/or retain some of the oppressive traumas from that time. Or if you’re younger, your mom and dad may be two generations removed, and of Gen X or an infamous millennial. Big love to my fellow parents of those eras since we tend to get a bad rap. But can we imagine our elders' experiences for a minute? Always walking on egg shells from fear that they may be spat on or killed for simply walking down the street minding their business. Not too different from recent events in this country, I must add.
Unfortunately, the culture has only recently evolved to a point of believing in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or the need for psychotherapy. As a result, the inability to cope with emotions get passed down through lineage. I learned over the years that when you have a negative mindset, it's usually a trauma response. Its difficult to see the glass as half full, and even harder to expect the best outcomes in life. It becomes a normal occurrence to see the worst in everything or everyone. So disastrous, that if someone offers a solution, the person will combat it with more negativity. And as the confidant, you're left spinning your wheels and carrying the weight of their issues as if they are your own.
I came to the realization that some people are addicted to negativity. They feed on it like a hungry tigress. I, too, was one of those people. So, I'm not just speaking from an observer standpoint. I suffered in silence for a long time. It requires emotional maturity to deal with the residue of one traumatic situation after the next. Since I came from a household with the façade of togetherness, I witnessed a devotion to chaos, and that disarray deeply affected me. As a result of seeking, I put all of my energy into a young relationship. Albeit a beautiful experience that produced the best parts of us, I had no real direction in life. I had no clue who I was at that tender age. Then when it ended abruptly in tragedy, it forced me to emotionally mature beyond what I was able to do. These are a few of the encounters that led me to expect the worse in every instance. I had only seen greatness spiral down to pain. My denial made it even more prevalent because as the law of attraction goes, the more you refuse to address what's hindering you, the more you welcome that hindrance into your life.
No matter how many times others would say "Kristal, you're so blessed," I would think to myself, look at what I'm going through, look at how I'm left to explain to my daughters something that I don't understand myself. Those were the negative thoughts I replayed. The facts were, I was extremely blessed. I had gone back to school and wasn’t far off from finishing my college degree, which I ultimately finished at the top of my class. My babies were happily frolicking around a nice home and yard I had established for them at that time. However, I struggled to stop focusing on the glass being half empty. Granted, the stages of grief were involved, but even in grief we have to find the light. After all, we were put here to live.
Think about how many people you know who seem to have it all, in a basic sense at least. Yet, they are unhappy and unable to focus on what looks like glory. This is why I always say, tangibles ain’t everything, and access doesn't make you whole. Of course financial stability eliminates some stresses, but what it can’t do is reprogram a mindset. If you're emotionally/spiritually broken with 50 K a year, you'll be broken with 250 K a year. Well, unless you put some ends toward a good therapist, chile! And that's not typically what people do.
I don’t claim to be a psychological professional. I leave that line of work to my husband, ‘cause the way my patience is set up, I could never deal. However, I’m a liver of life. I am a testament to growth. I’ve had to overcome a bunch of foolishness and bypass toxic people to get to the level of peace I’m at today. And it is an ongoing journey that I’ll forever endure because let me tell you, going back to those dark places will forever be a no for me. I bask in each and every blessing in my life these days. No soul-suckas welcomed in our world. Not one. And I don't apologize for living my life that way. There was a time when I tried to appease others at my own expense. Nowadays though...
So how did I do it? How did I reshape my mindset? Well, I had to first recognize my thought patterns through journaling. Anytime I felt a way, I would record it, and then after a couple weeks, I’d go back and read it to determine the commonality of those triggers. When I tell y'all my way of thinking shocked me. It didn't take long to recognize how we are products of lineage. We’re mere replicas of how our caregivers were taught to think and respond. I realized that my inner thoughts were based on judgments of myself that involved past happenings. And most of them were absolutely false.
Negative thought patterns might be stemming from the self-talk you have on a regular basis. Have you ever told yourself something like, I don’t have what it takes to do this, I'm stuck, I’m not good enough, or I’m lucky to have this person, they could’ve chosen anyone (as if you’re not a prize your damn self)? These are the silent conversations we have with ourselves and most often we don’t even realize we’re voicing them. Oh, but they do come out! They shine through your eyes like high beams, welcoming toxicity into your life. Quan with the slick tongue peeped the holes in your self-esteem as soon as you opened your mouth. And yep, that family member or homegirl who only reaches out when she needs you, recognized that you like to feel needed a long time ago, so she takes full advantage.
If you don’t get anything else from this blog, please get this. A warped mindset will continue to attract broken people who are selfish in their dealings with you. You will continue to run off good people who could add value to your life. You won't be able to manifest the life you foresee in your future. If any of this sounds familiar in the slightest, I welcome you to start your journey to reprogramming your mindset. Take it from me, it'll be the greatest gift you can offer yourself.
Be beautiful inside and out until next time!