Hi, my name is Kirsten, and I’m a negative thinker.

I’ve been suffering from negative thinking a lot longer than I realized, but I’m finally becoming more aware of it.  In my attempts to be realistic and analytical about everything, I’ve convinced myself that I have to be pessimistic as well, assuming the worst and becoming suspicious of anything I can’t explain or don’t understand completely.  You know what’s the worst thing about my becoming aware of my negative thinking?  I develop negative feelings toward my negative thinking, which in turn causes me to think negatively about my feelings, which causes me to feel all the more negative about my thinking, until suddenly I’m hit with the thought that I am stuck in the middle of a ravaging cycle.  I think the hardest thing to do is to realize that positive thinking is not always natural, that sometimes it is simply a choice I have to fight for.

I thought about that while I was running yesterday.  I love to run.  But lately I’ve fallen out of it, so as I get back into it I have to accept that I can’t run the entire length I used to run.  I do, however, have to try to keep running as long as I can, even when my body starts feeling tired.  If I was to base how long I ran on how my body felt, or on the heat of the sun, or on how much I ate beforehand, I would be done after half a mile.  After that half a mile, it is my choice to fight for more running time.  And each step I take at a run builds my endurance and my strength even through the circumstances of tired legs, or the hot sun, or cramps.  I have to apply that to my thinking… when my circumstances become more difficult, it’s not an excuse to give up.  It just means it’s time to fight for those next steps in positive thinking.  And the more I fight, the more I will develop endurance and strength in my mind.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” – James 1:2 & 3