Thursday, December 04, 2008

Squish the ANTS! (Automatic Negative Thoughts)

Forgiveness isn’t a feeling. It isn’t something that is done automatically. It’s a choice. Being hurt is a feeling. Remaining hurt is a choice. It’s difficult, but when we choose to remain hurt, we become the victim. We choose to be the victim because it “feels” better. By choosing to remain being the victim, somehow in our minds, we are getting back (or seeking revenge) toward the individual(s) who has hurt us in the past or present, when in fact they have probably resolved their issues and have completely gotten over it.

Keep in mind a few things while I begin the steps: bitterness, anger, resentment and holding grudges can and will kill you both emotionally and/or physically. Depending on the type of person you are, you will experience a number of things while remaining the character of “the victim”: depression, low self-esteem and loneliness due to people avoiding your negative energy. People –even animals pick up on negative energy. If you remain bitter, most likely you are lonely and have very few friends that’ll spend a long duration of time with you. They’ll find they can only take you in small doses.

Steps toward forgiveness and emotional recovery:

1. Seek forgiveness from a higher power first. If you lean toward a particular religion, pray for forgiveness from your God. Personally, I’m of Christian faith, so asking for forgiveness from God is most important to me.

2. Forgive the person who has offended you. You might still have strong intense feelings of resentment and anger, but it’s important to purge all of these negative emotions for your own health and well-being.

3. Forgive yourself. The worst thing someone can say or internalize is that they have nothing to be forgiven for. Forgive yourself for anything that "may have” hurt others in the process. You’ll find that you’ll feel lightness in your heart. The heavy weight of being resentful and bitter can emotionally and physically damage you.

Sometimes, you just can’t change things; it’s just out of your control. You can change your attitude about things and live a more fulfilling life by purging all of your negative thoughts, feelings and choices of remaining in that dark place.

Squish the ANTS! ANTS (Automatic Negative Thinking) can truly ruin your life and make those around you uncomfortable. I just recently learned this term and couldn’t help but relate to it all. We all have negative thoughts that fly in and out of our minds. If you give water to a plant, it usually grows. If you give more thoughts toward anger and bitterness, it’ll grow too.

Again, it’s a choice. It’s totally up to you.

By changing out thought processes, we can try to get out of that rubble and climb up to a more comfortable place; a place of forgiveness and love. If we choose to stay under the rubble, we’ll never be saved. We’ll have heavy boulders weighing us down and keeping us down.

Which will you choose?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!