Just because he sees his shadow...

February 13, 2017

 

So, a couple weeks ago, this chubby little critter known as Punxsutawney Phil popped out of his cozy little hole and saw his shadow. As we all know, Groundhog Day comes around once per year and, apparently, we depend on Phil, its furry mascot, to tell us whether we will have 6 more weeks of winter or not.  Well, as we all know here in Southeast Texas, we haven’t had winter in some weeks, so Mr. Phil is already 0 for 1.  But I digress.

 

Going back to this whole shadow thing: if he sees his shadow, we will have a longer winter; He doesn’t see his shadow, shorter winter.  But did you know that, in reality, it is a group of humans in top hats who actually decide whether the groundhog will see his shadow or not?  Not the groundhog at all?  We’ve been duped.  We’ve made all these plans about our long winter or early spring activities based on this rodent and it wasn’t even real!  Can you believe?!?!

 

Now, of course, I don’t believe that a rodent can predict the weather, much less the future.  But, so often in life, don’t we allow all sorts of myths, falsehoods and superstitions to determine our plans, our dreams and our future? 

 

Growing up, people give us a pile of mental baggage that we carry with us into adulthood.  The “you will never be” or “you can never do” decrees that we take as gospel.  Whether we keep them at the forefront of our minds or not, they may still become part of our internal speak.  As we make our plans for the future, they creep up like a bad dream and interrupt our momentum forward.  And when we listen to them, they become self-fulfilling prophesies. 

 

So, how do you keep these “mental groundhogs” from popping up in your life?  Well, you first have to acknowledge that they are what they are – lies.  They are made up stories that someone told us about ourselves or WE told us about ourselves.  There is no more truth in what they have said than the groundhog predicting the future. 

 

Once you understand that, then you can start to overcome them.  The bigger the lie, the harder it can be to get over, but you can do it.  You just have to speak truth to the lie.  When you start to hear that record play in your head, think about taking it off the player and smashing it into a thousand pieces.  Speak back to it – “That is not the truth.  The truth is that I am a child of God with unique talents and gifts that will allow me to reach my goals.”

 

It may feel a little weird to speak back to your mental voice.  But it is powerful.  That immediate answer to the lie starts to rewrite the script.  And as you continue, you will see change.  Major change. 

 

So today, right now, decide that your goals have value, they are attainable, and any mental groundhog will be taken down in his tracks.  You are worth it.  Your dreams are worth it.  And you need help figuring out how to make a change, I’m here when you need me.

 

Natalie 

NatalieBarnhillCounseling@gmail.com

 

 

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