And adding... FIERCE.
This is me.
There are so many words we can use to describe ourselves. And the words we choose are very powerful. When you speak words, they somehow become real. Our thoughts are very real, too.
We have the ability to choose what we think and say about ourselves. Our thoughts and words move us in the right direction... or, if we aren't careful, the wrong direction.
Never underestimate the power of your words and thoughts.
I can't help but wonder why it's sometimes such a challenge to think positive thoughts about ourselves. Why do we take on what other people think about us? Why do we create stories in our head about what others may or may not be thinking or feeling about us?
Last fall, an older man who hadn't seen me in a few years approached me and said "Boy it doesn't look like you've missed too many meals."
After catching my breath (as the wind was completely knocked out of me) I thought "Really? Did he just seriously say that out loud to me?" I couldn't believe it. I was absolutely crushed. Who says something like that to another person?
After leaving the room I became hysterical... crying so hard, barely able to breathe. I felt like I was going to fall to ground in weakness. I still can't believe how hurtful that comment was. But fortunately, I had some amazing women around me to comfort and lift me up. They helped me remember how God sees me though His eyes. They helped me feel so loved and supported in that moment of pain.
Even though I know this comment came from the mouth of an insecure, spiteful, cold-hearted man, it has stuck with me. It tries to wear me down. It tries to hold me back. It tries to keep me stuck in my miserable bondage of emotional eating. But I refuse to let it define me. I refuse to let it consume me and hold me back from the great things God has in store. I pray about it constantly and God just takes that pain away. He replaces it with His love and grace and I begin to feel beautiful again!
And I don't believe the lies of negativity that try to enter my heart. I make every effort not to say negative thoughts out loud or think them internally. It doesn't always happen. And, believe me, it takes a ton of work. Somedays more than others.
But thinking positive thoughts and speaking positive words pulls me in the direction of my dreams. That's where I want to go! My past does NOT define me. I've learned from it, I'm a better person because of it. And I thank God for it. I don't hang on to the past, but I do embrace what it taught me. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I truly believe I've ended up where I needed to be. And I'm beyond ecstatic to see where I go from here!