Reframing thought patterns

#36 Self Talk, Divine Guidance Oracle Deck by Cheryl Lee Harnish
#36 Self Talk, Divine Guidance Oracle Deck by Cheryl Lee Harnish

Hello dear friend,

I hope you are doing well and that your weekend is off to a good start.

I think I’ve already mentioned my recent interest in tarot and oracle readings, yes? I’ve been doing relatively frequent readings to just check in and get some guidance on what I need to work through, particularly in terms of keeping my mental and emotional health on the up and up. In my readings lately, this card has turned up quite frequently. I know I have some negative thought patterns I am working on breaking…and I suspect you have your fair share of ones you would like to break, too. Let’s chat about that for a bit today, shall we? While I can only speak for myself, I hope the rest of this post is of some use or relevance to you, too.

False thoughts I am currently working on reframing: I’m unworthy of romantic attention. I am unworthy of taking up the space I occupy. I am somehow less lovable because of the extra weight I carry. Say what, brain?!

I know where this comes from – while I have found that I am now able to say I love myself as I was, am, and will be, I’ve noticed in recent weeks that when I say that, I’m applying it to my “self”, my soul…and not so much to the body in which I live. I’m really working on reframing these thoughts, since I know they do not serve my highest and greatest good. I know I need to love and accept my whole self as I am now. I also know that loving myself doesn’t mean that I don’t want to make changes – change can be very good! Look at how much I’ve changed since last spring, that was and is a great change! I can be proud of myself for what I’ve survived, for where I’m at now, and still want to continue to improve – that doesn’t mean I need to love myself any less. I can want to get healthy because I deserve to treat my body with respect, not because I feel like I have to because I’m somehow less worthy of the respect and love of others at my current weight – because that’s absolutely false – I am worthy!. I can want to get strong because I enjoy moving my body and I’m thankful for the things it allows me to do.

I know it goes back to being ashamed of my body since childhood. I first realized I had a weight problem at the beginning of third grade, when I overheard Mom saying she needed to get me in some sort of sport or class because I was too heavy for my height – so she signed me up for ballet. I remember walking in to that first class and immediately feeling othered. I was the only child in class with a black leotard – mainly because we couldn’t find the required pink one in my size ahead of that first class. I was the only child with a rounded tummy that poked out. I immediately felt different – and it wasn’t that any of the other children were mean! Quite the opposite, I actually made a few friends rather quickly…it was that I was acutely aware of the differences between us. I can’t say if that was the start of treating my emotions with food – because I absolutely went home and had a few cookies to make myself feel better – or if it started earlier. I do know I started hiding away to eat treats after starting that class, I do know that is when I started feeling shame around my food choices. I do know that emotional eating was, and to some extent remains, a major factor in managing my weight. I’m working on that, too – on learning how to face my emotions rather than eating them.

Seeing a trend? I sure am:
“bad” emotion ->
shove it down/ignore it/soothe it with food ->
emotion not dealt with ->
repeat until sudden breakdown/increase in loudness of Nox.
Yeah…not a good cycle and not one I wish to perpetuate.

So how do I handle this? How can I break this pattern of thinking that has been in place since I was a kid?! Well, I’m learning to face my emotions. I’m learning to work through them and identify why I’m feeling a certain way. I’m learning to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and let them go. I’m learning to stop negative thoughts in their tracks and replace them with positive ones.

I’m unworthy of romantic attention. Uh-uh, false! I’m lovable, funny, sweet, pretty, and absolutely worthy of love of all kinds, including romantic. Fight me, brain! I’ll win!

I am unworthy of taking up the space I occupy. False. I am worthy simply by existing. I have as much right to take up space as anyone else. I have the right to exist as I am. There is nothing wrong with me as I am. I am worthy.

I am somehow less lovable because of the extra weight I carry. False!! Do I love other people solely because of how they look? NO!!! I love my friends and family for WHO THEY ARE, so why in the world wouldn’t they love me the same way?! Jeez, brain, come on. I know it is a bit cliche, but if I wouldn’t say it to my best friends, why in the world am I saying such things to myself?!

So…I guess my point is, for me, the way I am working on reframing thought patterns is threefold:
1 – Acknowledge and process my emotions.
2 – Identify negative thoughts and stop them with an immediate response of “FALSE!”
3 – Reframe the thought, or at least check if it is something I would say to someone else. If the answer is no, why in the world should I accept my own brain saying it to me? The answer is there is no reason to accept it, so I reject it as false.

Easy? Not at all. Worth it? You betcha.

I don’t know if this was helpful to you, but I want to leave you with this:
You are worthy. Right now. As you are. As you were. As you will be.
You are loved. Right now. As you are. As you were. As you will be.
Don’t let anyone, including your own mind, ever tell you otherwise.

Until next time, and with love always,

Katie

P.S. I have a link to purchase the deck in the photo above on the Items I Recommend page of my blog. I also recommend checking out Cheryl’s YouTube channel if you are interested in pick-a-card videos. She’s a really sweet lady and I really enjoy following her. ❤

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