The Sadness Snowball

The Sadness Snowball

Can you believe its halftime?  This week I wanted to check in on (y)our progress with prayer and goals, but I feel compelled to talk about something else.

But we will get back to checking in our six-month goals, next week!!! I promise.

Something is heavy on my heart today and I want to talk about it with you. I’d like a moment to be transparent. Eleven years ago, my mother passed away and I (with the help and advice of a dear friend) realized that that I needed therapy. You see, I was sad a lot. Who am I kidding? I was sad pretty much 100% of the time.

I was able to get the help I needed to process what happened and I became a stronger person because of it. Today, I’m better and life is good. Of course, I still get sad about my mother, but I am better able to cope with those feelings.  But Women of Judah, attempting at adulthood every day can throw some negativity and sadness your way sometimes. Amiright?

Let me tell you how this goes for me. When I’m feeling sad about something, I tend to throw other sadness on top of the pile.  It’s negative and it’s like a big sadness party. Let me give you an example:

I don’t get a promotion at work. It makes me sad.

I think….

“Lord, I didn’t get the promotion and I don’t feel appreciated. Also, my work clothes are tight, today!”

Then, I think….

“I don’t weigh what I want to weigh, because I don’t work out.”

Then, I think….

“But, I don’t work out because I’m always working here.”

Then, I think….

“And you know what, my husband didn’t kiss me or say goodbye this morning. What’s his deal? He doesn’t appreciate me either!”

(It’s sad, but I can keep this going for a while…frfr)

I even have a term for this.  I call it a “sadness snowball.” Snowball sadness is when I start with an initial moment of displeasure and then I just keep adding stuff on, adding to the sadness. So that emotion starts to form as a snowball does…. slowly…but bigger and bigger, heavier and heavier.

I’ve realized that this is wack thinking! Even more so, wack behavior. I do know I’m human and I know I’m allowed to feel these emotions (and moments) fully. But, I also realize that this ‘snowball sadness’ doesn’t do me any good. It doesn’t elevate me, improve my situation or strengthen my relationships. In fact, it often makes me feel worse.

In a moment of self-awareness, I realized that I started exhibiting this behavior back then and remembered that I started exercising intentional gratitude when it happened.

Now, when I’m feeling like that, I immediately grab a journal, notebook, or go to the notes application on my phone and immediately list 10 things I’m grateful for. I’m serious! For me, this action refocuses my thoughts or at least gives me some balance. Like, I know I’m sad about ____(insert thing here)____, but look at all these other amazing things I have (or have experienced).

Another friend of mine can tell you that if she calls me and says, “Can I complain?”, I’ll make her list three things she’s grateful for, first.

I’m not saying that we can’t be sad, have moments, or be simply be human. I’m saying we get to choose if we dwell there.

In Philippians 4:8, the word says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Here, Paul is telling us that what we put into our mind determines what comes out in our words and actions. He encourages us to program our mind with thoughts that are true, noble, right, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy.

Woman of Judah, do you have problems with negative thoughts, too? Do you ever dwell and feel heavy? NO more sadness snowballs, let’s choose differently.

Examine what you are putting into your mind. Whether it’s through Netflix binges, social media scrolling, impolite conversations, books or negative self-talk. Replace the harmful input with intentional positive and wholesome material, like saying affirmations, writing gratitude lists or calling the friend that always encourages you.  Above all, read God’s Word and pray. Ask Him to help you focus your mind on what is good and pure. It takes serious practice, but we can do this!

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