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WOW: By Char: You Are What You Feed

You Are What You Feed

An ode to mental health

By Chardonnay Beaver

Your actions follow your mindset. 

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s quite relevant to address what thoughts we feed. I’m sure you've heard the phrase “you are what you eat.” This phrase applies to our mental and physical health.

In life, you’ll come across individuals with injured self-esteem that’s been bandaged by material possessions, prestige, or unhealthy coping mechanisms. You may be one of these individuals I’m describing.

Whatever experience has led you to this place, I encourage you to consider a promise I made to myself amid self-doubt. The greatest promise I made to myself was to never be my own enemy, nor cooperate with any plan or practice that’s for my demise. This includes everything that opposes my God-given purpose. 

Life is like a coin you only get to spend once. Rather than ‘spending’ that coin, I’d rather invest it into people, places, and things that are fruitful. Feeding negativity, externally or internally, is a divestment in every context.

Today, perhaps more than ever, we leave our front door to learn, see, or hear something negative. Youth are constantly bombarded with messages about who they should be, shrinking every sense of adolescence they have. 

This is why we must identify the power we have in choosing which thoughts we feed or deplete. Not every thought in our head comes from us. Not every thought in our head is truthful, about ourselves or others. Because the inner-voice you’ll hear the most in this lifetime is yours, evaluate what you communicate to yourself. 

The negative thoughts we feed often reflect the status of our self-esteem. For this reason, I’m an advocate for healing on God’s terms. Some of our injuries are manifestations of the things we were supposed to let go of: trauma’s you haven’t addressed, people you haven’t forgiven.

For example, an individual with childhood rejection could take-on two types of personalities – if those traumas remain unaddressed. First, that rejection has manifested itself through silent shame. When they should advocate for themselves, they don’t. When their voice should be heard, they’re anxious to express it. Second, that rejection has manifested itself through hyper-performance. This individual, like the previous instance, becomes anxious; however, their anxiety is present when they’re unable to achieve. 

Socially, we praise the hyper-performer not knowing that the root of their behavior is rejection. They’re fueled by the fear of rejection, not an innate desire to fulfill their purpose. What the two individuals have in common is an injured self-esteem caused by rejection that’s been fed in their mind and manifested in their actions. 

This too affects our mental health. 

Words of Wisdom by Char of The Week: Begin to consider the root of your responses, and of those around you. Remember that behavior is simply the fruit, not the root. Lastly, it’s okay to pursue support for your mental health – but most matters are heart issues, not mental. Proverbs 23:7



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