Thursday, December 11, 2014

"I can't believe we said no to free beer!"

The reality we live in is shaped by the narrative we tell ourselves. We have the power to influence our actions and behavior in the external world through focusing on our internal monologue. For those of us plagued by persistent low spirits and outlooks tending towards doom and gloom, an objective glance at the content of our thoughts can be helpful. Although it’s not an easy feat.

 Cultivating metacognition is a task that takes time. Through the discipline of meditation, analyzation, and introspection, one can perceive their own thoughts as both ethereal and ephemeral.  You can take away the clout and emotional impact your thoughts have on you if you understand that they don’t control you, they just exist, like clouds in the sky. Maybe that’s a lazy or generic metaphor, but it’s true. You can fight the sky if you don’t like the shade of blue it is, but you’ll change nothing and you’ll experience less consternation if you simply acknowledge the color and go about your day.

You can consciously reject the negative and interject your own positivity. Create a new narrative for yourself. Tell yourself a new story about who you are and who you want to be. Tell yourself this new story every day, and with time it will work itself into your subconscious. It will become your new reality. You will become the person you are creating in your mind. A person you love. A person without the negative perceptions and self-imposed limitations. Perhaps a person you always were, but didn't realize.

This isn’t to eschew the reality of depression. I don’t mean to be pedantic or falsely oversimplify things. Depression is real, and not just something you can simply will away with a few minutes of positive thinking. It a process. It's changing yourself by changing not just your thoughts, but the very way you think, or how you perceive those thoughts.  It’s a commitment. And I'm making that commitment.

Every day.

I will imagine and design the person I want to be, and I will put forth the effort, discipline, and hard work it takes to be that person. I want life to be something exciting and rewarding. Not the burden of doubt, insecurity, and self-hatred it once was. I want to look out and see possibilities, not daunting tasks I must grit my way through. I want to simply live life.

And live it well. 

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