Thursday, September 4, 2008

How's your self talk?

You know, what we tell ourselves is so important. There's a saying that "perception is reality," and I have found that to be so true. My perception of myself becomes my reality.

Too many times in the past I've beaten myself up with words .... I've verbally bruised and battered myself and said things to me and about me that I would not say to my worst enemy. I've found this to be especially true in my eating and what I have said to myself about my eating. If I -- as humans are apt to do -- "stray" and eat something that is "forbidden" to me, it's a struggle to keep from saying, "Jeez, Patty, what is wrong with you? Why can you not get and keep control??" and worse ... much worse.

I think that many times, we are harder on ourselves than we would be on anyone else. I'll never forget the time many years ago that I was going off about something stupid I had done, and a dear friend stopped me in my tracks and said, "Wait. What would you say to me if I had done that?" I immediately re-framed my thoughts (it was automatic -- I didn't have to even think about it). I started giving her kind affirmations that "a mistake does not define you" ... that "you are a wonderful, giving, awesome person, and you have so much worth and value" ... and on and on. And I meant it; it wasn't just words. She stopped me again and asked me how it was that I could be so generous with her and so stingy and hateful to myself. Whoa ... that was the first time I'd thought of it like that.

So now, I try very hard to be a friend to myself. To be forgiving and loving and willing to say, "You know what, Patty? It's okay. You're human." To say the sort of things to myself that I would say to a friend.


Gary ("Old Dude") said...

when berating ourselves, we don't have to sugar coat it---but you do have a good point---aint none of us that are totally bad--and its perfectly okay to allow ourselves a little pat on the back for our good points once in a while too.

Vikki said...

Ok but have you found any magic tricks to doing that? Please share your wisdom ol wise one! My favorite term for myself is the one my father used on me. "Just how stupid are you?" I've not been able to get that voice out of my head.

Chai Latté said...

This post reminded me of one of my fave Alanis songs (I looove her)

Lyrics are here -

Patty said...

Hey Chai, good to hear from you, girl!

I love Alanis' voice, but I'm not up on her music very well. I've not heard the song you mentioned, but the lyrics are great.

Patty said...

Vikki -- that is the $64,000 question, isn't it. I know what you mean about getting the old voices out of your head...mine is my dad telling me "you're not worth shit." Nice, huh?

Patty said...

Gary, the pats on the back are so much harder to muster up than the berations (is that a word? but you know what I mean?) But the older I get, the better I can take a good, realistic view of myself and not be so negative...thank goodness!

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