What’s it like in your head? Is it an easy, relaxed place to be? At the end of the day, do you feel positive and excited for the next day or drained and discouraged, dreading what the next day will bring?

I have good news if you’re in the drained and discouraged camp: you can change your mind and change your mood.

Years ago, my mind was like a neglected alley, overrun by opossums eating out of knocked-down trash cans under dull yellow light. My thoughts were a daily toxic stream of unforgiving words and mean judgments directed toward myself. I could do no right in my own eyes. It was exhausting.

I cringe when I hear an adult say to a kid, “No! What’s wrong with you? You’re so stupid!” I know from experience that kids can be super recorders and replay hard words in their heads for a lifetime.

You have competing elements for your inner voice. One is a cruel self-critic, and sounds like a opossum that hisses and eats trash. The other is the voice of your spirit, less noticeable and more fragile. Like a fledgling songbird, it needs to be nurtured to grow stronger. The opossum can climb into the songbird’s nest and crunch its bones if you let it. Or you can feed the songbird until it’s strong enough to fly and carry your thoughts with it.

An old opossum message might have been I’m so stupid! What’s wrong with me?

If you find yourself thinking that, try following it with a songbird message of, It’s OK. Mistakes happen. I can learn from this.

You might think a opossum thought such as, I’m too fat/skinny/bald/hairy/old/young. Nobody likes/understands/wants me.

Your new songbird thought can be, So what? I’m going to try things and enjoy life regardless of my weight/hair situation/age. I’ll do what I can to be a blessing to other people.

Be a friend to yourself. Let your mind be a place of song and spirit. Tell that trash talkin’ opossum, “No thanks!”

Do you want to make or have you made a change in the way you think? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

PS—No hate mail from opossum lovers please! Called “America’s finest marsupials” by Logan Howard, I recognize opossums as creatures that deserve respect but all’s fair in love and metaphor.

Baby birds

http://genevievehoward.com

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