Self talk is a new concept for me. Mervin introduced me to a philosophy called “think before you think” on our first session. I thought this concept was the most idiotic oxymoron that I have heard in a very long time. I asked for clarification, thinking he meant “think before you speak”, which is something I am told often. Nope, he totally meant think before you think.
I am constantly inside my own head. I wake up in the morning and instantly have things running through my mind. I constantly psychoanalyze every small detail of almost every interaction I have with others throughout the day. So, in my mind this must be self talk. Why would I stop to think if I was going to think about it anyhow?
This simple concept leads me to the light bulb moment that I am down right mean! I would never consider myself to be a mean individual to others. Nor would I ever desire to be mean to someone else. In fact if I offended someone in any way I usually internalize it and ponder over it for weeks to come. Prilosec ends up being my best friend and several apologizes are applied to the situation. I have learned early on that the feelings produced inside, when being mean, are horrible feelings. I do not like who I am or how I feel when I am disrespectful to others. The Lord teaches us to love thy neighbors. The act of being mean to others is not displaying God’s desire for us.
Are you asking why I am defining myself as being mean? My self talk is one of my worst qualities. I would be appalled if someone spoke to my children the way I self talk. In fact I would be appalled if I heard someone talking to a complete stranger the way I talk to myself. Why do we do this? What or who gave us permission to talk this way? The answer is I did a long time ago! I allowed the negative thinking to slowly seep into my mind. Like a drop of food coloring into the cake batter. One minute my mind is clean and white like batter and the next the single drop of green negativity infects the entire cake.
I am on a journey to turn my green cake back to a close white cake. I can never turn the cake all the way back white and I will never be able to remove all the negative self talk or the impact that it has had on my life. But I sure can lighten the green hue in the cake of life.
Today in my session Mervin said he felt like I was not getting benefit from him today. This broke my heart. Not because of his honesty, but because of the amount of self talk it produced after the comment. I worked so hard on my first week to think before I thought. Yet in an instant everything came flooding back like a hurricane of negativity. “He is giving up on me too. I must be so broke that even the therapist cannot fix me. I sure screwed this up again” In reality he was probably commenting on the fact that I was avoiding eye contact, disengaging in the conversation and shutting down.
Well screw that! I am good enough to work on getting better. It does not matter if someone gives up on me because that is their opinion, not mine (Disclosure: he is not giving up on me either, that was my self talk perception). Lastly I do not screw things up.
The self talk of Negative Nancy is getting evicted. I am tired of her taking up residency in an area that she is not welcomed in, my mind and my life.
Giving the eviction notice to the self talk of Negative Nancy is not an easy task I am quickly learning. Her roots are set deep and wide. Last week I started writing things I like about myself. This was a horrific task to conquer, but worth continuing. As you walk through this journey of self-improvement with me I ask that you too take a tip from Mervin and write down what you like about yourself. I have moved from things I like about myself to things I love about myself. Negative Nancy does not have room to service if the mind is too busy thinking positive.
- I love my desire to help others
- I love my family and life that has been created
- I love my deep desire to improve myself for myself.