When I was a kid we had a standing joke that it was okay to talk to yourself, as long as you didn’t answer back. Well, I’m long past childhood and I’ve discovered just about everybody does both!
What do you say to yourself? Is it nice or not-so-nice? This morning a friend shared with me that when she’s alone she calls herself names, but she never does that when anyone else is around. She just keeps it internal then.
Perhaps your self-talk is pretty nice, yet it’s filled with half-truths like: “I should keep all my problems to myself.” “People must agree if they genuinely care about one another.” “I must stay busy all the time if I want to be an effective witness for Christ.”
Even slightly-negative self-chatter can thwart growth and keep you from maintaining healthy relationships with yourself, others and God. BUMMER. Absolutes like “I must never be afraid” or Over-generalizations such as “Men are always like that–I can’t expect any better” can keep you in the status quo OR send you spiraling downward. DOUBLE BUMMER.
Yet relief and growth will take place when you and I exchange our half-truths and disapproving self-talk for realistic and grace-filled statements. For example: “Sometimes the unknown future scares me, yet with God’s help I’ll gain courage to move through the fear.” Ahhhh. RELIEF.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jn 8:32
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.