Silence. Does such a thing really exist? I’m not so sure. My thoughts thunder like a triggered minefield. They criticize, they punish. They demand perfection. They repeatedly impose upon me the notion that I have nothing of value to share with the world.
Negative thinking has been a part of my psyche for as long as I can remember. As a trauma survivor, I grew up expecting terrible things to happen. I grew up believing that I was inherently worthless and unlovable.
Negative thoughts are usually the first things that come to mind in challenging situations. They fill my mind upon waking and accompany me when I lay my head on my pillow at night. Thoughts that shout: You’ll never be good enough. Your opinions don’t mean anything. You’ll never lose weight. You’ll never succeed no matter how hard you try.
The effort to maintain a positive mindset is exhausting. There was a time when negative thoughts led me to despair. I had allowed them to define me. But I have come a long way in my healing. I no longer allow negative thoughts to dictate how I live my life.
Through practicing mindfulness meditation, I have come to understand that my thoughts are simply thoughts. They only hold power over me if I allow them to do so. I have a choice. I can run with them, play them over and over in my mind, let them take hold of my perspective or I can gently push them aside.
I choose to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Thoughts that affirm my worth. Thoughts that shine Light on my potential and my inherent goodness as a human being. Sometimes this is relatively easy to accomplish. Sometimes it’s as difficult as removing a bullet with my teeth.
This constant struggle between Light and Darkness prevents my mind from truly knowing Silence, no matter how much I desire it. Meditation does not quiet my thoughts. It merely allows me to notice them, to let them pass gently through my mind without judgment. I can still my body, relax into the moment. But my mind remains a battleground – negativity versus positivity. Positivity usually wins.
I remain hopeful that one day I will be able to awaken with thoughts of Lightness and to carry that Lightness with me throughout each day without the constant need to first push away the Darkness.