I was recently introduced to Bruce Van Horn. An old friend told me about his podcast because she said some of his messages reminded her of mine. I’ve just started listening to this guy and I seriously wish I knew him. He lives in Richmond, too, so my new dream in life is to be a guest on his podcast. Maybe someday.
Bruce said something I can’t stop thinking about. He said “when you think about it, we really have no private thoughts”.
Over the last couple of days I see it everywhere. I see how my thoughts aren’t private because they are playing out in my interactions everywhere. When I dislike someone, I have a really hard time pretending I do. If someone were to watch my interactions with someone I had “bad” feelings toward, surely it will show in my body language (or, in my case, my face. My face has a really hard time keeping secrets). Sure, my words may be polite and even friendly, but my mind has made up how I feel and my energy towards these people is not warm.
I thought about this from the perspective of others too. I thought about all of the times that I felt judgment from friends or family, who hid their judgment under a layer of disinterest or indifference.
The best example I can think of here is when I was about 6 months pregnant with Lucy. My older brother was graduating from college and my parents threw him a party. Of course I was thrilled for my brother and proud of him. Some of my relatives from all over the country had flown in for his graduation. So here I am, pregnant, a recent college drop out, at my big brother’s college graduation. No one acknowledged my giant, growing belly. I know that they all felt like if they didn’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So they didn’t. And the unspoken judgement was there and clear.
I do this too. I have bitter or resentful feelings towards a family member and it shows. I might physically show up for a gathering, and not say a single thing about how I feel towards someone, but all parties involved can feel it. My private thoughts in my head are spilled all over that room.
I’ve done this with friends, too. A friend will sign up for an MLM and I will go silent instead of congratulate or ask her questions about her new venture. In my head I’ve been wondering when this was coming since the last thing she signed up for 6 months ago.
We see this all of the time with people we know have crushes. Suddenly they’re wearing make up to the gym or buying the cutest new sports bras when they know they’re going to see that guy they like at cycling. Her private thoughts aren’t private at all.
Our thoughts shape our attitudes, words, and actions.
So how does this play into joyful motherhood? Well, our private thoughts are being played out in our role as moms too.
Our worries that our kids won’t be popular therefore accepted? Played out in many ways, one being when we overspend on the latest and greatest everything so our kids are not (or don’t feel) left out.
Our competitive need for our kids to be the best at a sport for our own sense of accomplishment? I’ve had some not-so-proud dance/gymnastics/swim mom moments.
Our need as a woman to feel beautiful/admired/loved? We sometimes play this out by priding our daughters on how they look. Sometimes even going as far as feeling the beauty of our young girls is validation of our own beauty… and therefore worth.
I’m starting to notice my “secret thoughts” really aren’t so secret. And it’s time I start changing my inner monologue.
Our minds are so much more powerful than we realize. Our own happiness and contentment are there for the taking. I’m eager to learn more about healthy mindsets and how it plays out in my own life. What books have you read? What podcasts have you listened to? What speakers have you learned from about healthy mindsets? Please share with me!