we are all products of input. from the moment we are born (actually, even while we were still in the womb), we are hearing and seeing and feeling things that are shaping how we will talk to ourselves for the rest of our lives.
children don’t just wake up one morning telling themselves “nobody loves me.” they learn that lesson from careless…or malicious…parents. children don’t just decide to call themselves “losers or posers or fakers.” they learn those words from thoughtless and cruel little kids on the playground. and the self-talk begins.
we don’t look in the mirror one day and decide to tell ourselves “i’m ugly”. pop culture screams at us what is beautiful and what is not. and we listen. and we tell ourselves those lies again and again.
we don’t tell ourselves we are failures because it’s true or it feels good. no. we call ourselves failures because our daddies did and our coaches did and our teachers did.
we don’t just decide to tell ourselves that others are better than we are. we have learned from the beginning to compare ourselves to others…others that are more popular or more influential or better athletes or more successful.
- nothing will ever change
- my situation is hopeless
- i can’t do it
- i can’t forgive myself
- i’m all alone
- i’ve screwed this up too much
- nobody really wants to be around me
- i’m a lost cause
- i’m worthless
- my mistakes are worse than others
- i hate myself for what i’ve done
- why try? i’ll just mess it up
- god could never really love me
we don’t dream up these conversations on our own. we hear them from others and decide to believe them. and then we practice those kinds of statements over and over again in our self-talk. and we do it so long and so many times… we internalize those private conversations so deeply…we believe them.
so if these are the kinds of messages you have heard and these are the kinds of conversations you have with yourself in your inner sanctuary, when are you going to start listening to someone else?
why don’t you try filling yourself with the message of hope and loving truth that comes the heart of god? stop waiting for some pastor to spoon feed you. get your nose…and your heart…in god’s word every day. it will change you.
and your private conversations will start to sound different.