Six or seven weeks later ~ I'm still here! Heck yeah, holy cats and wow! I think, that me writing today, is cause for celebration! I got on my positive pants and determination boots.
Self-talk. It's one of those things we do. And it's so talked about that sometimes I roll my eyes when I hear people reference it. Blah-dee-friggin' blah. Yeah, I talk to myself. I talk to myself in the shower. All good stuff :) I talk to myself out loud when no one's home. I do a pretty good job cheerleading myself through the day. I talk out loud to drivers when I feel they need a consciousness check...I like positive framing for things, so I call it “road irritation.” ;) Under my breath, I whisper about frustrations while I’m at work. I coach myself when I'm working out or doing things that I really want to be good at... I talk to myself silently in my head all day long. We all do.
Every so often, I am able to hear a deeper running repeating sound bite in my head, loud and VERY clear. Sometimes, it’s productive. Sometimes though, yuck, not so much.
When I was in Nicaragua last summer, I sat for long periods of time looking at the ocean listening to the waves hit the shoreline. At first, it was relaxing and sort of mesmerizing. It made me curious. I wondered what kind of sea life could be swimming right out in front of me just below the surface, living their life. I've always had a deep fear of the ocean. Ocean life, from plankton to whales, living in that deep opaque water makes me want to pee my pants. I imagine that anything in it could swallow me up in one gulp, if I dared to even walk out ankle deep.
The longer I sat, I noticed the world around me becoming more and more still. In the stillness, I heard this loud, crappy voice. I looked around wondering who was being that loud. But it wasn’t a voice outside me. It was a voice inside me. It was an incessant run of thoughts… “You're not skinny enough. You're not tan enough. Why did your relationship fail? Why are you so weird? Why aren't you farther along in life? You should be more fit. Why didn‘t you see earlier that your dad‘s health wasn’t so good? Why are you scared of the ocean? You’re too old to learn to surf. Why aren't you making use of every minute of every day to be productive? And on and on and on and on. I let it run for awhile thinking, “Oh this has got to have an end to it sometime soon. I am on holiday and having fun.” It was deluge of silent self-cutting so intense my eyes were frozen in a wide-open stare. I started shaming myself because I know better than to talk that way to myself that way. I shamed myself more because I wondered why I didn't have full awareness each day of this negative chatter. And then I became embarrassed about why I didn’t stop it. The words swimming below the surface of my skin were swallowing up my goodness and positivity.
Eventually, tears rolling down my face, I finally said to the voice, “Stop it, for some whatever reason I can’t figure out, I love you”… and in that minute, it stopped. “Holy crap.” I thought. “Saying something nice to myself, stopped that deep non-stop negative thought line pooping all over my day.”
I decided I wanted to be better…better just for me. In the past month’s of drowning in a lot of heartache pie, it became my inner champion’s mission to improve that negative running thought line. No small feat if you have ever tried this.
I didn’t want the insanity of too much self-absorbed navel gazing nor did I want to spend a mountain of time tracing the bread crumb trails back to the ultimate culprit. So I decided, for lack of a better way to phrase it, to keep my beach learned simplicity. I chose to begin a lot of months ago, to recognize and tell that running negative critic voice, I love you, it‘s ok.
I didn’t choose to do this for the rest of my life. I chose to do it just for one day. And then one more. And then one more. And then one more…
Sometimes it’s a simple thing that gives your vibe a boost. It’s awesome to see how my improved self-talk lights up other people’s faces that I am dealing with all day long. The improved feeling in my own heart and mind is pretty good too.
If I could wave a magic wand and lift that unproductive self-talk outa you, I would! (I still believe in magic :) Consider yourself hugged though and be encouraged to tune into your thoughts today. Just for one day, today. For the love of you, say to those runaway negative thoughts, “I love you and it’s ok.”
PS: A day after I wrote this, my friend Jaime posted in her blog about a project that a bunch of us did in Taking Back Pretty for a Big Sky Dance Works class. A class designed to share struggles and celebration to boost self-esteem in life and in performance. I wrote this letter to myself as part of that project. What a good way to give yourself a break of understanding ~ Check out her blog as well! www.decomposingjaime.com
One encouraging voice can mean so much.
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