The following is a post by Marissa Freyling, a therapist in our Network of offices. Marissa is an excellent therapist and works out of our Grand Rapids office (Creative Solutions Counseling) and our Lowell office (Joe Martino Counseling Lowell). Call our office today if you'd like to make an appointment with her. 616.481.3784
I have been thinking lately about the power of words. Words can hinder or they can help; they can hurt or they can heal. Words are powerful.
Summer 2016, just 6 months ago, while I was weaning myself off my narcotic drugs due to a major surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, I battled with feelings of depression I had never felt before. I would wake up with thoughts and words swirling around in my head, simply with no origin, but they were there and I was listening. Almost every thought and sentence began with two words: What if….and from there on it went downhill. Thoughts and words that were rooted in negativity, fear, and doubt seemed to swarm throughout my mind, taking me to places and situations I didn’t need to go.
It was in this same summer month that I read a quote- “Don’t listen to yourself, talk to yourself.” **
This became a motto, a habit, a way of life. I had to focus, I had to train, and I had to will myself to speak words of affirmation, words that instilled positivity and peace, words that combated the negative and fear based words I was hearing in my mind.
We all have life stories and as we live out our stories, we begin to form a past, we live in the present, and we hope for the future. I believe what we have learned, what we have heard, and what we have lived through can radically affect who we are in the present and the words and thoughts that are swirling around in our minds. We may not be able to control what we have experienced in life, but I believe we can control what we tell ourselves.
In those moments where we find ourselves listening to our thoughts, I encourage you to trample over the temptation to wander down the road of what if. To avoid the notion of always, to carve out can’t, and to nix the idea of never. Instead, tell yourself to firmly plant positivity, to keep can, to will worthiness, and to treasure truth that can be brought through others encouragement.
**Quote by Joe Martino