There are times to be critical. Backpacking is one of those. You need to make wise decisions about what you’re going to stuff in your pack when journeying through the wilderness for any extended period of time. The finesse is when you have enough gear to get through, balanced out by not being weighed down to the point you’re miserable, and the trip goes great.
Your mind is like the backpack for the journey of life. I was reading about ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts patterns) that really mess with, if not ruin your life. According to Dr. Daniel Amen there are nine ANTs to vigilantly watch for: Always/never thinking, focusing on the negative, fortune telling what you think will happen, mind reading what others are thinking of you, thinking with your feelings, guilt-beating yourself with “should-must-always-ought to” kinds of thoughts, labeling, personalizing, and blaming.
Negative thought patterns are like cramming rocks into a backpack. When I read the ANT-list, I decided it was time for every single ANT to be out of the backpack of my mind. All they do is weigh you down and make you miserable for this wonderful adventure of life God has given us.
Many times negative thought patterns stem from and are strengthened by deeply held wrong beliefs people have about themselves. These are lies (that feel like truth) people cling to because of past hurts/wounding. Ask God to show you if there are any wounds that fuel present negative thought patterns. John Eldredge has a free resource for this kind of healing at www.ransomedheart.com.
You’re in the jungle. What thoughts are sandbagging your mind? Romans 12:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 will help you pack.