Have you ever had an issue arise in your life and suddenly found yourself mentally spinning in old, negative self-talk?
If you are human, you’ve likely had this happen a time or two.
If you are anything like me, you’d probably say, “Yeah… every time!”
Here’s a sneak-peak at how it went for me in the past:
Issue: Not enough money to pay the rent
Self-talk: ‘Oh no! What am I going to do? You are so stupid. I can’t believe you just spent $__ at the grocery store. And you shouldn’t have filled the gas tank. Idiot! What were you thinking?!’
Issue: Car breaking down
Self-talk: ‘I can’t believe this is happening. Stupid idiot! Look what you’ve done. It’s your own dang fault. How could you be so stupid not to handle this problem sooner? Now what?!’
Issue: Friend stops communicating
Self-talk: ‘It’s my fault. I must have done something wrong. I’m so stupid. Why would anyone want to be friends with me anyway? Loser. Idiot. Of course she doesn’t want to talk to you anymore.’
You get the idea. I had several different ‘loops’ of irrational self-talk that I’d regularly run including my ‘stupid’ loop, as featured above. It didn’t make a difference how much I meditated, practiced deep breathing or ate my greens – if I had an issue arise, I’d spiral into one of my old, familiar mental rants.
Dr. Mary Hulnick from the University of Santa Monica repeatedly states, “How you relate to the issue is the issue.” The first time I heard this phrase was in 2003, and I immediately grasped the truth of this.
Applying this knowledge to my own consciousness was life-changing. While I was dealing with some external life problem, I would suddenly be guided to focus on my inner dialog, becoming ultra-aware of my internal self-talk relating to the outer problem. Inevitably, I’d catch myself criticizing myself, berating myself, name-calling myself, ‘should’ing myself or otherwise punishing myself in various abusive manners.
What I discovered was that I had been perpetuating a familial pattern of abuse inside of my own mind. How I was relating to myself internally actually was the issue; the outer-level problems were simply presenting me with opportunities to see how I had been treating myself on the inside.
This was one of those big ‘Ah ha’ moments for me on my own journey. I instantly became determined to relate to myself with Loving, no matter what.
Since I had been a loving and supportive mother, it wasn’t a stretch to begin speaking to myself the way that I had spoken to my own kids on a good day. I began to respond to my irrational thinking with things like, ‘I really hear you’ and, ‘tell me more about why you feel afraid to do this’. I began to listen without criticizing, scoffing, demeaning, name-calling or making a sarcastic retort. After I’d allowed my fearful thought to vent, I’d rely with something kind and gentle like, ‘It’s alright. It’s Ok to feel that way. You’re safe. I love you.’
As I gave myself a different kind of internal support, I was able to listen to myself in a whole new way, a way that enabled me to hear all of my old, irrational ideas from a more compassionate perspective. Listening with compassion, in turn, allowed the more insecure parts of me to feel safe enough to unload all of the fear-based ideas and misinterpretations of reality I’d taken on as a child.
My supportive, Loving self was able to accept, to hear, to apply compassion and then provide new, updated and healthier beliefs to replace the limiting ones. By relating to myself in a caring and gentle manner, my entire belief system rapidly transformed.
Once I took dominion over my own belief system, my entire pattern of thinking changed without any effort on my part. My thoughts just naturally fell into alignment with my new, updated beliefs.
For instance, when I cleared the old, irrational idea that I was stupid, fully integrating the knowing that I am connected to the source of infinite intelligence, my entire ‘stupid’ loop simply dissolved, From that point on, if I was faced with a mistake or problem, I’d simply see it as an opportunity to learn something new; my thoughts would be telling me supportive, encouraging things like, ‘It’s Ok. I can get through this. I can learn anything I want to learn because I am connected to my Source.’
What sorts of self-defeating, irrational ‘loops’ do you run when faced with an outer issue in your life? Be willing to look deeply at how you’ve habitually related to yourself as you are facing an external challenge.
Thankfully, if you are reading this, you are awake enough to change the pattern of how you relate to yourself right here, right now. The most important change you can make toward your freedom, which will accelerate your own healing process, is allowing yourself to have your feelings, to listen to yourself with compassion and to respond to yourself in a Loving, caring manner inside of your own head. You can do this not only while working your process, but in every waking moment of your day. Say, “I now monitor my self-talk diligently and respond with care and compassion within. I am so worth my own Loving kindness.”
Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom
Action Step ~ Become aware of how you have been relating to yourself under stress internally and begin to cultivate a new pattern of healthy, Loving self-talk.
Declaration: “How I relate to my issue is my issue. I now respond gently to myself with Love, caring, kindness and compassion. I now treat myself respectfully no matter what my outer circumstances reflect.”
Additional Support: Listen to this 10-minute closed-eye process on relating to yourself internally with Loving when an issue arises: please refrain from driving while listening.