From the Archives: Feelings are not Facts

Week 2 of my Journey out of the Pit

Last week I shared insights from my Christian counselor. When I was in the pit of depression, the truths that I learned were the rungs that helped me climb my way out of the pit.

I first had to recognize that what I believed about myself was not the truth about me.

In one session, my counselor was trying to print something and had to change the default printer to a different one. She said that it was similar to what takes place in my thought process.

My “default” feelings:

Blaming myself when something goes wrong

Thinking that everything bad that happens is my fault.

Feeling that I am not worth anything or a bother to someone else.

Believing that I am less ____ than anyone else

Harboring resentment

Feeling guilty for past sins or mistakes

To find healing from the depression, I needed to let go of these thoughts. I needed to learn to Stop, to Catch my Thought, and to Change the Default.

Replace the negative thoughts with the truths about who I am. (see previous posts).

Phillipians 4:8 gives us an illustration about the things we as Christians are to think about:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Remember, our feelings affect our thoughts, and our thoughts influence our actions.

Often times I feel like people don’t like me, or I did something dumb and they now think poorly of me. My thoughts turn against me, telling me that I’m a bad person or I’m unlovable.

When I think like that, I turn inward and pull away from people who care about me or stop going to the places where the events happened.

I am my own worst enemy. But my feelings are not facts.

A few of the facts about me are:

  • I’m not dumb.
  • I am who I am because that’s how God made me
  • I’m okay the way I am.
  • I’m not like everyone else.
  • I might have made a bad choice but that does not make me a bad person.

When we catch ourselves in a negative thought, we can turn it around and replace it with a positive truth, or affirmation. We can learn to change the default thought.

No one can do this for us. We can only do this for ourselves, and by the grace of God.

I’m not suggesting that this is easy. In fact, it’s very hard to change the way we’ve thought about ourselves for so long.

We need to take this healing process one step at a time. One day at a time.

Don’t look at a week, a month, or a year.

“THIS is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)