I’ve been a ruminator for as long as I can remember.
In high school, I’d lie awake at night thinking about all that could go wrong the next day.
As I grew older, I realized that by ruminating on what could be, some part of me believed I could prevent it from happening. Surely, I thought, if I experienced it enough in my own mind, I could keep it from manifesting into the real world.
Simultaneously, I believed that somehow those repetitive thoughts, cycling through my mind like a preview to a movie I never wanted to see, were preparing me. If this ever became reality, I would be ready, it would leave me unstung because I had already lived it.
So eyes closed, in the darkness of my room, snug under my covers, I lived a life that hadn’t happened yet.
Dear friends, the reason I’m sharing this with you is because none of this has turned out to be true, and I want you to know it. Ruminating on what could be has never been prevention nor preparation. It’s never had the power to stop the world from turning as it will, nor lessen the sting if what could be becomes what is.
What it did have the power to do was rob me of the present moment. I lived exactly what I said I didn’t want, time and again, inside my own mind.
Though my ruminating thoughts have no control over what happens in the outside world, I learned they have all the control of what happens inside of me.
But do you know what else I’ve learned? I have the power to take them captive. And so do you.
In these uncertain times, our minds are grasping for any sort of control of the future, something to anchor us in a sea of unpredictability. It’s normal, instinctive even, and if that’s you, please know you’re not alone.
But I want you to know that you don’t have to live at the mercy of your ruminating thoughts. Instead, I encourage you to ask yourself:
How true or helpful are these thoughts, really?
What alternative thoughts might be more aligned to who I want to be and what I want to believe in this moment?
Though it may not be easy, especially now, we have the choice to take our thoughts captive.
I wonder how your thoughts and this present moment might be different if you did just that. ♥
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