If you’re my age, and if you’re a girl (well, OLD girl), you probably once loved listening to the smooth voice of Karen Carpenter. The Carpenters. One of their most popular songs was Rainy Days and Mondays. “Talking to myself and feeling old” “Sometimes I’d like to quit, nothing ever seems to fit”. Such upbeat lyrics. NOT. Sadly, the line about “nothing ever seems to fit, like to quit” ? Karen died from anorexia at a young age.
I talk to myself and you probably do, too. Please tell me you do. 🙂
The words I silently speak to myself about myself aren’t always pretty. In fact, they are typically quite unpretty. It’s a problem I have. And maybe it runs in the family.
Along with my mom’s diary, I have in my possession all the letters my dad wrote to my mom when they were dating. Yes, letters! It was in the 1930’s. There was no telephone available to them and they lived several miles apart. No email, no Snapchat, no nothing. Communication wasn’t easy, and I’m kind of thankful. Because of these letters, an entirely different man was revealed to me from the man I called Daddy.
I haven’t read them all. Yet. But I have read enough to learn that beneath that sometimes gruff no-hug no-nonsense man there was an amazing heart. His words were so sweet to my mother. And he was really quite eloquent. He was a writer! He even had nice handwriting!!!
The mental picture I had while reading was truly someone I’d never known. He loved my mom, thought she was beautiful, complimented her about her musical talents, and missed her so much when they were working and living so many miles apart. He really truly loved Madelene. ❤
But often, very often, he mentioned how “blue” he was. He was very down a lot of the time. This really shocked me because this man could make me laugh like no other person on the face of the earth. He lived through losing his leg in a tragic accident and having a mentally handicapped daughter and scraping to make ends meet during the Depression to being diagnosed with leukemia when he was 62 and dying at 64. But he never seemed depressed to me. Always could cheer me up like no one else could.
I didn’t see that dark side of him. Either he hid it well or learned to talk to himself kindly over the years. Self-talk is powerful, you know.
Though I don’t always talk kindly to myself, after all these years of life I’m fully aware of how important kind talk is. Powerful stuff. And if/when you’re not able to find good things to say to yourself there is real power in hearing good stuff from others. Nothing more powerful than hearing it from your daddy.
He made me laugh, but his words of encouragement to me over the 17 years we had together were sparse. Memory number 1 (and just about only): “Bunny, don’t tell your mom I said so, but you play the piano better than she does.” I recall exactly where he was sitting (in the rocking chair with one leg thrown over the arm of the chair) and exactly where I was sitting (on the piano bench), and more importantly I recall exactly how I felt. His words planted confidence in my psyche. I believed him. Did you know that can happen? Your words can plant confidence in your child’s psyche? Or…your words can conversely plant defeat and worthlessness. Be careful.
However the things you tell yourself have equal power. When you haven’t heard enough good words from the ones who love you most, and especially when the opportunity to hear more good words is ended by the untimely death of a parent it takes real effort to retrain your brain. “Either he hid it well or learned to talk to himself kindly.” Learned. Not an easy task, but not impossible.
Clearly, I still have a lot to learn. But knowing that Jesus loves me even with my quirks and faults and…..oh don’t get me started on all the negatives I tell myself 🙂 Knowing His love is the most powerful tool to fix ugly thought patterns.
Remembering his love takes daily effort. Scripture, prayer, quiet times to meditate on his love.
Yes, Jesus loves me. Oh how he loves us. Marinate yourself in the love of the One who loves you most. It’ll make a huge difference in the words you speak to yourself. (please remember that, Benita)
Talking to yourself and feeling ___________ . There is a definite connection. Fill the blank with love.