Have you ever listened, really listened, to the words you speak - not just aloud, but the internal dialogue playing inside your head?
A few years ago, I wanted to change the way I felt about myself. I knew that I was low in self-confidence and often felt small and worthless. The first thing I did was started taking notice of the way I was talking to myself in my own head.
I'm generally a "nice" person. I speak politely and use good manners, but when I started paying attention to my inner chatter, I quickly realized I was anything but nice to myself. I was saying things like "You idiot! What did you do that for?" and "Stupid woman. It's all your fault."
I don't say those things to others, so why was it okay to say it to myself?
So many of us spend our lives with the same belittling remarks and thoughts going round and round in our heads, like a worn-out tape recording. We're listening to it, but we're not aware that we're listening to it.
I began to change the way I spoke about myself - I made it a rule that I would no longer say anything nasty or rude about myself, either out loud or internally, in the presence of others or alone (Yes, I talk to myself regularly. Some of my best conversations happen with myself!)
When I caught myself saying something nasty, like "You stupid wom..." I would pull myself up, and I would change it to something like "Ok. You messed that one up. But you'll know better next time..."
At first it was hard and I was constantly having to stop and correct myself, but over time it became easier, until it just became a habit to speak kindly to myself, and about myself. I began to feel differently about myself, I began to see my own value, to realize that I was just as important as the next person.
When I walked into a room full of people, instead of feeling small and inferior (as I had in the past, and likely telling myself that I would rather be at home with a good book), I simply reminded myself that I was just as interesting and like-able as any other person in that room. I began to blossom into the person I've always been on the inside but couldn't quite express properly, due to lack of confidence: warm and affectionate and genuinely interested in others.
Our words create our worlds. Even our thoughts are formulated and given meaning via words. If we can't organize our thoughts into words, they remain just beyond our reach, vague and tantalizing.
Masuru Emoto, a Japanese scientist, developed a way to photograph frozen water crystals, and he discovered something incredibly amazing. Words change the structure of water. Peaceful, loving words created beautiful crystals but hurtful, hateful words caused fragmented, shattered shapes.
The words didn't even have to be spoken aloud. The written word taped onto a water bottle was enough to affect the structure of the water. Incredible!
Remember that our bodies are some 70% water? Your body is listening, literally listening, and responding to your words. Can you imagine how 70% of my body was reacting to my thoughts of "You idiot! What did you do that for?"
I realize everyone has their own beliefs, but for me personally, I choose to believe that I was created in the "image of God". I am a spark of the divine, if you will. If I think of myself as an "idiot" or a "loser", then what must I think of God?
I used to think I had to belittle myself and denigrate myself in the presence of others, in order to be seen as "non-threatening" and harmless. But as Marianne Williamson so eloquently put it: "There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. Your were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us all."
I'm learning to see myself as a child of the Most High. The amazing, mysterious power that created vast universes and solar systems and seeds that miraculously sprout new life...is the same amazing, mysterious power that created me and created you. How dare we mope through this life feeling worthless and useless and calling ourselves (and others, for that matter!) nasty names?
We were created for a divine purpose. There's a reason we're here in this place, at this point in history. We matter, every one of us. So be kind, to yourself and to each other.
Our words are our wand. Every word is either lifting us up, or pulling us down. Promoting health or disease, war or peace, victory or failure. Let's be mindful of what we're creating...
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