Who Do You Want to Be For Me Right Now?
Recently I was sharing with my mentor that daily I encounter a thought of our separation; these thoughts did not always bring sadness with them, but I would think about that period of time in some capacity daily. Because it was such a normal occurrence, I had formed the habit of just allowing these thoughts to run their course quietly in my head. It became so regular that I hardly ever mentioned them to anyone; i’d often times ignore them, but other times I’m sure they altered my mood and affected how I treated those I love because I had this unhealthy dialogue within my mind that was constantly popping up at inopportune times. Well, needless to say, I was tired of this happening and shared that I wanted to be free of all the residue from that season of our life.
She began to remind me about trauma and the affects it has on the neural pathways in the brain. As we experience something traumatic, our brain is shocked by the occurrence and quickly creates a plan to protect itself; often times creating a new pathway of thought to deal with the trauma. As you continually experiencing this trauma and then continue to process it, this pathway becomes worn-in and well-traveled. Neural pathways are like superhighways of nerve calls that transmit messages. You travel over the highway many times, and the pathway becomes more and more solid. Making it a go-to route within the brain. Well, God is amazing! He allows a very simple solution to rewire your traumatized brain, and this is achieved through repetition and consistency.
Think of it like forging a new path in the forest; as you continue to consciously move from the well-traveled path to the uncharted one, you begin to wear a path into the dirt. Each time the new path is chosen, it gets more and more engrained in the ground. Soon this path is the more evident of the two and the one easily picked from the beginning, and eventually this ‘new’ path is the only path left! Amazing, right?
Here are a few simple step to follow to create a new neural pathway:
1. Identity the habit/thought pattern you’d like to transform and set the intention.
Take notice of the feelings, thoughts, and how the body is responding to the habit/thought pattern, and see what results you’re creating in your life. Is it negative? Change it! You must be intentional + consistent. If there is high intention, then creating new pathways in your brain will happen.
2. Shift your focus.
This is very important. To create a new neural pathway, you take the focus off the old habit, and then that old habit eventually falls away. Begin a new practice of reciting scripture or saying declarations over your life so you begin hearing this within your head instead of the old negative thought patterns popping up.
5. Interrupt your thoughts and patterns when they arise.
Take each and every thought captive when it arises! Then turn to the Lord and ask him ‘who do You wish to be for me right now?’ listen to His answer, and repeat it over yourself! This turns you toward the new neural pathway you’re building and intentionally keeps you going in the right direction.
The simple way my mentor told me to re-wire my brain was to practice this every time I found uninvited thoughts popping up: Take each thought captive and ask God ‘Who do You want to be for me right now?” whenever I experienced a thought related to anything from that time-period of life, I began to practice asking God for truth; training my brain to think new + differently! This was about a month ago and has been just one of the best thought-shifting practices/experiences. In asking God who He wants to be for me, I get so many different + fun answers! I especially love that this question invites Him into a conversation where He tells me things He loves about me and I get to speak these truths over myself and partner with heaven instead of allowing unhealthy made-up thoughts! By choosing to ask this question, I am creating new thought patterns within my brain and soon enough this path will be well-worn, and the other unhealthy path; overgrown and soon completely forgotten about!
Man, isn’t God just so good?! I love His intentionality and simple ways of healing our minds + bodies wholly, fully, and easily!
Philippians 4:8 The Passion Translation (TPT)
8 So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God,[a] praising him always.