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Reigniting Hope When the Days are Tough

Some days are tough, that’s true. But the good life is one where your best days outnumber your rough ones. To be honest, there was a time that I used to really struggle focusing on the good days compared to the rough ones. It’s like in the midst of everything, I would often turn inward because I felt like I didn’t measure up or I’d get overwhelmed.
“Why can’t I just get over this?”

Something’s Missing

Even now, I can look back at some of those times and realize how empty and dark those seasons were in my life. I remember thinking, “Why can’t I just get over this?” Many times I desperately longed for someone to mentor me and lead me, believe in me. There have been many people who have, but I always felt like something was missing. Until just recently, I didn’t know that the very thing that was missing—it was myself.

I know who I am. I am a child of God. He tells me I’m beautiful. I’m made in His image. I’m His confidante. Do you believe this too? Do you know who you are? Do you ever tell yourself you are beautiful? What? I can hear you saying it too, “Why would I do that?” Me too, I never would’ve said that to myself let alone look myself in the mirror and say, “Sonya, you are beautiful.”

Your Strengths Tell the Truth

Ironically, I thought I believed what I know to be true, but in the past when I would have a rough day, I actually was listening to the voice of negativity and believing it instead. The voices kept saying, “You’re not pretty enough. You are not creative. You are not a writer.” I could share more. I wanted to be excited about life, but when I was struggling, happiness and joy seemed to be out of reach. Often I didn’t know how to fix how I was feeling. Sometimes I would feel like I was faking joy. In fact I think I was probably a good faker, but deep down I was tired. I knew God had promises to prosper me and to give me abundant life—so why didn’t I feel like it?

Today I have a diagnosis of my problem—my mental and emotional fitness was weak.

Why Fitness?

Today I have a diagnosis of my problem—my mental and emotional fitness was weak. Why fitness? Well, some would describe fitness as how much weight you can lift or how far you can run, but fitness is really how well your body responds and recovers. I am fully convinced that this is true when it relates to your mental and emotional well being. The good book refers to it as renewing your mind and taking every thought captive. There are countless studies that talk about the brain being a muscle. So if the brain is a muscle we should also be keeping it fit too, right?

Honoring the Truth

Recently I heard Marcus Buckingham share something profound that pretty much sums up well what our mantra should be to maintain mental and emotional fitness. He shared some more pretty insightful things as well. You can take a listen to the podcast here.

Today I tell myself, I’m beautiful…It’s honoring the truth of who I am as God sees me.

Today when life gets hard—and it does—I am better prepared—I am better today than I was yesterday at bouncing back when I feel like life is knocking me down. The missing piece for all of those years—the person I was looking for to believe in me, was looking at me in the mirror every day.
Does it mean I don’t have rough days, no, absolutely not. In fact I had a couple last week, but instead of solely focusing on my bad day, today, I remind myself that I’ve had more than 200 good days this year. Today I tell myself, I’m beautiful. I’m a writer. I’m a runner. Why do I do this? It’s healthy living. It’s redirecting my thoughts on to the truth and helping me to strengthen my emotional mental fitness. It’s honoring the truth of who I am as God sees me.

Negativity Is Still Pervasive

You can’t just expect to exercise positive thinking once and have it stick because weaknesses are still going to speak to us and negativity is still pervasive in our world. The key to mental and emotional fitness is daily practice. I'm Better TodayYou can read more about what I’ve written under the topic positive thinking. I have to continually practice positive self talk. I have to continually plug in to things that inspire me—like nature, reading someone else’s inspiring story, and giving insightful encouragement to others. As I’ve been doing this, my perspective has changed. Things in the past that rocked my world, don’t even come close. Are these things still hard, yes, but not as hard as they once were.

Tired of life?

If you’re tired of the rough days ruling your life, trust me, if you make up your mind to pursue a daily practice of taking those negative thoughts captive—and replace them with truth—it will reignite hope and dreaming. You will be renewed and transformed. This is the good life—a life you love—it starts here.

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