Do you realize how powerful words are? God spoke this world into existence. Adolph Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr. changed the world with their words. Adolph used his words for evil and destruction. Martin Luther used his for peace and to bring about good. Both men had many followers because they called them to action with what? With their words.
Today, I want to speak about negative self talk. It is very damaging to our self worth and affects how we respond to others and situations. Let me ask you this. If somebody called you an idiot, stupid, or said, "I wish you were never born, I hate you," how would you feel? Take a moment to really tap into your emotion here. Would you get offended, cry, or angry enough to want to punch them out? Then why do you say it to yourself? It is as equally hurtful regardless. Quit saying, "Oh man, I am so stupid. I am such an idiot. I am so ugly. I wish I was never born. I am so fat, I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror." You are training your brain to accept these images and therefore will not feel the need to do anything to correct it.
Your mind is so powerful, what you think will take control of your life. First we think then the thought becomes an action. For instance, we think, "Put on my shoes." Then we grab our shoes then put them on. A bulimic or anorexic can look in a mirror, be skin and bones, and still believe they are fat. But the reality is that they are very thin and dying. Their perception is ruling their brain and they continue to be destructive because of their belief. I have a cousin who fought anorexia as a child and still struggles somewhat today. Back when I was just 12, I remember her only meal as being a Snickers candy bar and a bottle of coke. When her health deteriorated, she ended up in the hospital. And I will never forget weeks later when she showed me her bones, looked in my mirror, and stated that she wanted to lose more weight because she was fat! What was in the mirror was a dying girl who saw loose skin and no muscle tone. Understand that any kind of negative self talk will have the same affect on you. You will begin to believe what you are saying just like the anorexic, you will have a distorted view of yourself and you will act on those beliefs.
Many years ago at age 9, I overheard a conversation my mother was having with a few family members that was very hurtful. When I entered the room, I heard, “When I found out I was pregnant with Vonnie, I cried.” Vonnie is my nickname. My heart sunk to my stomach and I felt sick. I began to breathe fast and could feel physical pain in my heart. Back in the early 70’s many of us weren’t encouraged to talk about our feelings with our parents like the generations today so with much pain, I went to my room, curled up in a fetal position, and cried. I believed that I was not wanted or loved. This was my thought, my perception which became my belief for many years. The truth of the matter is that my mother was a military wife living hundreds of miles from family. She had twins that were not quite 3 months old when a window slammed down on her two wrists breaking them. At the hospital, she discovered she was pregnant with me. She had reached this point of her story when I heard, “When I found out I was pregnant with Vonnie, I cried.” So because of my belief and negative self talk of not being lovable, I lived life destructively as I got older. The consequences of my choices brought about a difficult life and more pain. I will share more of these stories in my future blogs.
June Hunt, a wonderful author on negative emotions, encourages us to change our world with our words. You can make changes today this very second because you are living today. And every day is an opportunity to move forward in a positive direction to embrace new thoughts and beliefs about yourself.
Some positive changes you can make are replacing the negative self talk with something that you want your brain to believe. Write down what you hear yourself saying then replace it with something positive. This will change your thinking and self image. Critical step, you need to hear yourself saying it out loud. So instead of saying, “Do they make that in big boy sizes?” Say, “Do they make that in larger a size?” Instead of, “I’m so fat. I’m disgusted with myself.” Say, “Today is a great day and I’m going to eat healthy and make good choices.” Stop saying, “What in the world was I thinking? I’m such a dummy.” Replace that with, “What in the world was I thinking? Oh well, I’ll do better next time.” And if you tell yourself that you are not acceptable because of something you don’t like about your appearance, don’t say those negative things about it anymore. Quote this instead, “I am a beautiful person full of God’s forgiveness and love. I love as He has loved me and I forgive as he has forgiven me. Other scriptures you can use for changing your thinking and self image are:
I am accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Ephesians 2:10
I am the apple of my Father’s eye. Deut 30:10 and Psalms 17; 10
I am the beloved of God Gal 3:12rom 1:7 and I Thessalonians 1:4
I’d like to close with something else I learned from June Hunt. I will paraphrase. Your true worth is not based on anything you have done or will do, but on what Jesus has already done. The Heavenly Father established your worth over 2000 yrs ago when Jesus died on the cross. That very moment, He established your worth forever. He believed that YOU were worth dying for!
Remember these words as you celebrate the Easter Holiday. YOU are so loved by the maker of the universe, who spoke the world into being, that he believes that YOU were worth dying for. So hold your head up high, stop beating yourself up with negative self talk and start seeing yourself the way He sees you by replacing the damaging words with words that encourage and build you up.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Next Week: Continue Self Worth and Negative Self Talk