How we treat ourselves directly reflects how we treat others. And far too often our inner dialogue is filled with phrases, judgments, accusations and ugly words that we would never say to another.
We have to change this destructive behavior if we want to grow and become our best self. The courage to freely offer our gifts to others, requires us to fire our inner critic and begin to monitor how we talk to ourselves.
We listen to what we say about us more than what anyone else says. Sometimes we borrow their words and replay them in our minds until they become ours. This is great if they are positive, affirming and uplifting words!
But if they are critical, condemning and shaming words they become deadly weapons destroying our hope and courage. Think about how you talk to yourself… if you wouldn’t say it to a friend or loved one, don’t say it to yourself.
Ask yourself: Are these words: kind, productive, helpful? If not, refuse to repeat them in your mind.
“I never get it right!” becomes “I am working on learning to do this better!”
I am a mess! How will God ever use me?’ becomes “God says He delights in me, and can use my mess for His glory. Where have I learned and what have I learned in the mess that I can share to help others?”
I can’t even handle my kids arguing with me.” becomes “I am learning to engage when to engage with my kids and when to ignore them when they argue with me.”
“We will never be close, I suck at expressing my feelings to my spouse.” becomes “At least we want to be close, and I am trying to share my thoughts and feelings. Plus we are willing to get help about how to communicate better.”
These changes to your inner dialogue are honest, kind and productive. These words set you up to take action, make changes, and grow in your relationship with God, yourself and others!
I am not talking about Pollyanna, fluffy, meaningless platitudes… that we will just argue with anyway! I am saying- we need to reframe the words we speak to ourselves as if we were helping to encourage, challenge or advise someone we love or care about!
Self-compassion is essential to successful relationships. Pay attention to how your talk to yourself and be willing to change words that mire you in the quicksand of self-contempt to words of kindness and self-compassion!
What self condemning one-liner can you rephrase? What are some words of self-compassion you can speak to yourself today?