Week 6 Habit: Identify Thoughts

My previous habit was to make weekend plans early in the prior week, because having something to do usually means making advance plans. Waiting until the last minute or thinking friends will magically appear isn’t best. I made plans to hike with a friend last Saturday morning and we had a great time! I was mentally prepared in case she had to cancel or was late, but it turns out she shares my values of honoring my word, dependability, and punctuality ūüôā ¬†We’re also both morning people, and enjoyed our super early start! I joined a trail running group and am going to the group run on Saturday.

This week’s habit is to identify¬†my thoughts. I’ve been tracing back unwanted feelings of resentment, frustration, and being withdrawn¬†to the thought behind it, and found myself stumped. I eventually figured out that the sticking point was because I’d incorrectly identified a certain thought.

“This isn’t fair”¬†is a¬†thought I identified, referring to a situation at work. ¬†During today’s session with my life coach, I wrote my thought on paper and realized the full thought is,¬†“This isn’t fair, and I need to make it right.” Clarity came once I saw the complete¬†thought, and I recognized two errors.

If someone treats me unfairly, it’s reflective on the other person, not me. Unless it’s an abusive situation, I don’t have to take action to change it; this brings a feeling of freedom. I can choose what thoughts I entertain, which will affect how I feel and act toward the unfair treatment. It’s an error to think I have to make it right.

A situation may be unfair if perceived¬†within a finite¬†increment of time, but I believe God provides justice when the timeline is expanded to include eternity. Temporary blips of unfair moments can be viewed as opportunities. If my life maintained a steady stream of perfectly fair events, it would be very difficult to empathize and connect with anyone going through challenges. My experiences shape my perspective and character, and I’m able to mature. It’s an error to think¬†“unfair” is defined with a single circumstance.

Instead of dwelling on an unfair situation, I am choosing to think about the path of my life. I’d rather spend my energy on pursuing my passions than trying to change a situation that doesn’t hold infinite¬†significance.

When you tune into your inner thought dialog, what do you hear? Do you like what you hear? I’d like to hear about any changes you want to make!