Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Moderating My Negative Thoughts

Most Negative Thoughts have Little To Do With Truth

Negative thoughts pop up uninvited. But, in truth so do positive thoughts. Moderating them becomes vital. 

Last week I found thoughts of my ineptitude and my lack coming on a regular basis. These thoughts seemed to follow difficult conversations with my students. As I observed them arise I looked for kernels of truth. It helped to ask questions of myself. Did I feel unease because my students were not progressing as I planned? Did I need to change my approach?  Was I expecting too little or too much of myself? 

I liked moderating my thoughts. There was power in sifting through and seeing what had evidence in reality. I learned that negativity about myself arises more often when things don't go as I planned. The furturizing I do about what is going to happen often leads to disappointment. Perhaps it would be wise to admit that I have less control of the outcome as I would like to think.

There is a line in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin where her father and Lizzie are discussing the scandalous affair of her younger sister. Mr. Bennet admits that he is distressed but that the feelings will likely dissipate as time goes on. He is seeing himself as weak at that moment. Well, feelings do change and knowing what feelings are actionable is essential. How can we know? How can we know that a thought is true and needs our attention? Experience tells me that patterns emerge in our thoughts. When a recurring pattern arises it needs analysis. Does this pattern reflect my better nature? Does it require that I change? Is this a pattern I should embrace and nurture? 

Nurturing moderation has proven to show me that setting limits in my life gives me power, that I have changed and can continue to change, and that moderating my thoughts can reveal patterns which can be nurtured or altered.

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.


  1. Similarly I have found myself willing myself to look for, focus on, remember, and appreciate beautiful and joyful even in times where loss seemed overwhelming (as I caught myself overlooking a number of occasions to spend time enjoying family and to celebrate with my niece and another friend in the midst of mourning with several others) and to remember that God's plan is not just A plan. It is The Plan of Happiness.

  2. Thank you for sharing this insight. Life has been a bit overwhelming for me recently and I find those negative thoughts come more frequently. I need to remind myself that those negative thoughts do not represent my whole truth.


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