Why Bother Considering What You Say to Yourself?
In my not too distant past, I had a bad habit of berating myself. It was easy to do because I fell short of the perfection I expected from myself. If my buttermilk biscuits failed to rise to the expected height while baking, then I told myself I was a lousy cook and homemaker. When there was miscommunication between myself and someone else, well, of course, I was to blame. After all, I was the dysfunctional one. When anything went awry, it meant there was something wrong with me.
Harsh Words Only Hinder
I don’t know when or why I joined myself to these self abusive critiques. Can I blame my parents? Truly, some things are a mystery and this is one of them. In short, somewhere I picked up the pattern of railing against myself, and for a while, it became a normal way for me to think.
Who or what helped me to realize this wasn’t a healthy or helpful mindset? How and when did I change my mind about myself? Did I experience a sudden onslaught of positive thinking? Did I awaken one morning with the resolve to stop scolding myself? Did I finally grow up? Did I lower my bar of standards?
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment or any one particular circumstance that woke me to my need to rethink how or what I thought about myself. There was more than just one event that made me aware and motivated me to reconsider my thinking.
In brief, I began to notice that I felt worn down. It came to my attention that my habit of belittling changed nothing. Beating myself up only drained all the hope and joy out of me. Also, I started to follow the trail to the source of this self abusive language. It surprised me that it stemmed from the erroneous idea that at some point in life, I’d taken on the role of being the blessed controller of all things. I’d put the weight of the world on my shoulders and believed with all my heart that it was up to me to carry the load. But, I did not mull on these personal insights all by myself. I did not have to. It seems that I was not the only person on the planet plagued by an abusive mindset. Thankfully, I had more than one trusted friend who had also wrestled with the same sort of martyr mentality and could help me out of my quandary.
Why bother considering what you say to yourself? Changing what we say is not an easy endeavor. But it is a worthwhile one. Once we unhook ourselves from our self-abusive language we find something good to say to ourselves.