How often do we define ourselves by our limitations? Far too frequently, often I catch myself. When you make a commitment to change something in your life, a behavior that is no longer good for you, a chronic pain syndrome, or any kind of change, try to catch yourself in habitual limiting thoughts and speaking. As I write these words I remind myself how hard that can be at times and it is a practice of self-compassion rather than self-critique. “It’s so bad the way I keep telling myself I’m doing things wrong!” I am, you are more than your illness, or pain, or your behavior. I invite both of us to define ourselves by what we love not by how much we hurt.
How do you address the illness or condition? What words do you use? Change it to a “challenge” which can respond to action rather than a “thing” that has its own life. Don’t be willing to give away your power verbally; let your language reflect your new approach.
Positive thinking isn’t a cure all. When you catch what you say to yourself, completely acknowledge that there is a part of you that feels and believes it, but it isn’t all of you. Muster a little compassion for this part. Then turn your focus inward and find a part of you that can believe something else. Even if it is small, engage that part, believe it even if it is tiny and weak, give it permission to get stronger.
Yes, you want to reduce hopeless thoughts and beliefs but don’t expect to annihilate them; or gloss over them. That hasn’t worked for me; I wonder if you have had any better results? Denying pain can make it louder because it is trying to protect you. And denying feelings is similar, it doesn’t help with the underlying issue, there is a reason. Not reason as in logic but as in, of course, no wonder. So acknowledge what you notice and bring in a new way, another possibility. Tiny is fine, new learning takes time.
As I re read this looking for ways I might be more clear or helpful. I think how I am writing this for me. I’m not speaking from the place of I’ve got it handled; let me tell you how to do it. But rather, here is the direction I’ve been exploring, see if it has any value for you too. And do let me know what you discover.