I am a HEAD CASE.
“You’re in your head a lot.” This is what my friend Erin tells me all the time. She quickly follows it up with, “Don’t get me wrong. It takes one to know one!”
It’s true, I can get trapped in my “own head” a lot. I love that I am able to critically think and analyze something until I fully comprehend what I should do or how I can teach it. However, when it comes to “self-talk” and even my relationships with others, it can be my greatest downfall.
If I stay too long in my head, it prevents me from acting and doing the things I know God wants me to do. It delays me and distracts me from my Greater Purpose pathway and the peace that He can give me when I dwell with Him in the Spirit.
When it comes to our health, our MINDS make all the difference. Our thoughts cannot be trusted to tell us the truth, but our Spirit can. Our Spirit is our inner “knowing,” or divine intuition that leads us in the direction we should go, even when it doesn’t logically make sense.
When we are in tune with our Spirit, we can learn to trust it as our guide.
Paul encourages us in Ephesians 6:18 to, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers.”
The problem is, how can we tell, then, when we are in Our Spirit versus when we are in Our Head? How can you understand your own intuition versus your regular thought life?
I don’t think I recognized my own Spiritual voice in my head until I was being tempted beyond my normal “head case” ways.
I remember, I was angry with my husband for something. I honestly have no idea what it was for on this occasion, because, let’s face it, husbands can do this to us ALL THE TIME, or at least mine does!
But my anger was manifesting itself in the worst ways— ways that I think we can all relate to.
I was playing the “worst case scenario” in my head. I was worrying and over-analyzing and OBSESSIVELY role playing what I was going to say to him when I saw him. I overwhelmingly felt like I was the victim of some great marriage tragedy, which, since I CAN’T remember for the life of me what the issue was today, tells us all that this was NOT indeed the case. Ha!
Nevertheless, I was miserable, unable to do any work and crying, A LOT (this is how I release a lot of emotion, unfortunately).
A deep part of me somehow knew I was overreacting in some way. It naturally turned into my need to PRAY to God and frantically ask for help. (Sign #1)
All of a sudden, when I stopped “talking to myself” in my head and starting “talking to God” I would physically feel the angst in my chest lift and I would be able to relax, even if for just a moment. (Sign #2)
It was not easy, my prayers would last about 30 seconds at the most. I could not concentrate on God very long before my mind would take over again and start spiraling.
But, again and again, I felt this tug to turn back to God in prayer, and each time, would relax a bit more. (Sign #3)
It was a tough day, and I was exhausted by the constant back and forth and inner turmoil, but in the end, I felt resilient.
As I reflect on this experience now, I know that I won that battle against the temptation taking place in my head. That’s right, when we feel the anxiety, worry, victim mentalities, that is the tell-tale sign that we are under an attack.
However, when I sought God and found my Spiritual self again, I was then able to gather my thoughts and have a rational conversation with my husband to get to a resolution. We were able to talk without it escalating and making it far worse, which, had I gone with my original conversation in my head, would have done just that.
What I learned was….
I would liken our “SPIRIT SELF” versus our “WORLDLY SELF” as the inner *KNOWING* that is tugging at our heart and gut and biding us to share our burden.
The voice that I take on when I speak to God sounds different than when I talk to myself…and yet, it’s still me talking.
As an aside, there was a time where I tried to sound really eloquent and “spiritual” in my prayers….now I just talk how I would talk to any of my closest friends and family members. I remain authentic to my personality and communication because, well, God knows me anyway. I can’t fake it with God and it makes my prayer life much easier.
Plus, when I speak to God versus when I speak to myself, I will say things like, “God, I’m really angry right now and feel frustrated by x, y, z (and usually l, m, n, o, p!)….” but then I start saying things in my prayers like, “BUT, I know that you will handle all of this. BUT, I know that you want me to be (faithful, loving, kind, gentle etc etc). ” (Sign #4)
Those sentences, where I start to say, “I KNOW” is not my head talking to me. My head is being attacked. That is my divine intuition, my “inner knowing,” speaking through me that is the Holy Spirit guiding me back to the *me* that He created me to be—> the Spiritual Self.
So, how do you find your “Spiritual Self Talk” and distinguish her from your “Worldly Self Talk?”
How you truly start to recognize your “INTUITION” versus your “HEAD” is characterized by what happens as you PRAY versus what happens as your THINK.
The more you start to pay attention to what is going on in that PRAYER SPACE, the more you will be able to embody that space throughout the day. Prayer doesn’t always have to be a secluded, quiet event. It can be a inner dialogue just as your regular thoughts are.
That is how you can indeed, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” as Paul so rightly recommends. Those days where I can walk and talk with God all day long are my greatest days ever.