I always assumed I had a pretty upbeat, encouraging inner dialogue, because I am an upbeat, encouraging kinda girl. I am high-achieving and intelligent and a feminist so I must have high self-esteem I thought.
But starting to unwrap the things I say to myself, the everyday dialogue of mantras in my head, in a practice of controlling self-talk ten years in the making (at mental health I work HARD) I realized they were/are horrifying. Do you know what I would do if someone spoke to my sister, my best friends that way?!
I visualized one of these people. And then another. And I couldn’t stand the thought. I would never say those things to someone I loved. So why was I saying them to myself? And that question went on and on and on…
That exercise was eye opening. My thought number one was a generalization, but I don’t think men talk to themselves like that. Number two, I don’t think men allow other men to talk to themselves like that. I checked-in with myself: do I let my friends maintain negative self-talk to the level that I experience negative self talk? No. Phewf. At least I’m a good friend. I know my negative self talk has to do with my depression, but I would really hate for someone I care about to be experiencing that abuse and me not know.
And with that thought I realized, this was abuse. This was socially acceptable abuse. I was abusing myself. I would never allow someone I love to stay trapped in an abusive relationship, and I hadn’t even realized that I’d been in one with myself.
With the shock of each mean thought from my aura, I try to do one thing I enjoy. I wince as I acknowledge it, and then I Uber Eats a non-fat mocha from McDonalds, buy a new pair of statement earrings at Target, maybe even cry a little. That kindness means the anger is escaping, and more and more peace fills that space.