Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Voices in My Head

I have successfully completed my first session of Boot Camp with Cogi Athletics! Seven weeks of getting up at 5:30am to work out. Last year if you would have asked me if I would be going to exercise in front of people (other than the gym) I would have looked at you as if you had an extra eye in the middle of your forehead. For some reason, at the gym, I felt safe. #1-I am not going to work out at the gym as hard as I do at boot camp and #2-I know when to go so that there are not many people around. Guess what? Now boot camp is starting to feel safe. By that I mean that I feel comfortable with the people there and the trainers. I know that they are all rooting for me to become the best "me" I can be. Do I still feel awkward doing the exercises sometimes? Absolutely! This brings me to the point of this post, which is self-talk. I just started a Bible study with some friends called "Me, Myself and Lies" by Jennifer Rothschild. According to this study, we can talk "in our heads" at a rate of 150-300 words per minute. Wow. Just think about it for a minute. Most of the dialogue is neutral....What do I want to wear tomorrow? Did I forget to lock the door? But, some of it can been construed as constructive or destructive. Do any of you remember "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy" from Saturday Night Live? Mike Myers would stand in front of a mirror and say, "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!" This is the picture that flashes in my mind when I think about this topic. But I think Jack Handy had an excellent point. An intelligent person once told me that self-talk, no matter how irrational, is always believed.

When I think about all of the things I have said to myself over the years, I am kind of embarrassed and ashamed. After all, God made me. He made me fearfully....and wonderfully. I'm not sure when the negative self-talk started, but probably grade school. I can remember telling myself that I was ugly....stupid....fat....not good enough. I pray every night that my children know that they are worthy and their earthly parents AND their heavenly Father. Now, I know that this may not prevent negative self-talk. After all, I know that my parents love me. I also have realized that my heavenly Father loves me...just as I am. Of course, He wants the best for me and for all of you! It must make Him sad to see and hear what His children say to themselves AND to each other.

Is my self-talk now perfect? Of course not. Trust me, I have moments, sometimes daily, when the negative voice in my head comes through loud and clear. But you know what? Now I know that the negative voice is a LIAR! Jennifer makes a reference to a "thought closet" where all of the things in our minds are like a closet space. I'm hoping that eventually I can get to the point where the destructive thoughts are so far gone from my "closet" that I can't recall them. She also says that the standard for our self-talk is what is acceptable to God. I don't know about you, but I cringe when my children say negative or hurtful things about themselves. We say things to ourselves that we would never in a billion years say to someone else. I'm replacing those former adjectives with words like...child of God, redeemed, saved, fruitful, valuable, a new creation, free, capable, secure and dearly loved. These are just a few of the truthful labels that you can find in His word. I am so looking forward to learning more about His "labels" and less about the world's "labels". I have learned through this part of my journey that cleaning the inside of the cup is just as important (or more important) than cleaning the outside. I'm good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it, Jesus loves me!

Listen to Psalm 19:14...."Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer".

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