I want to share something very personal with you. I want to take you inside my head…
As many of you know, I have a PhD in English and am writer; I’ve clearly spent a lot of time studying and thinking about language.
But though I spent so much time with language, for much of my life, I didn’t spend time thinking about how I spoke to myself. I wasn’t even conscious of much of my self-talk.
Only when I began to practice mindfulness did I start to pay attention to those inner voices. And only then did I begin to notice how nasty I often was to myself. I would say things to myself that I would never say to anyone else. I’d hear myself and think, did I really just say that?
I’m not alone with my nasty self-talk. So many of us suffer from our negative self-talk. I see it around me all the time. In many ways, we’ve been trained to treat ourselves poorly. But most of the things we say to ourselves just aren’t true, and our negativity about ourselves is harmful—harmful for our mood, harmful for our health and harmful for the people around us. And the assumptions behind that negativity are also harmful, and it’s important we realize that.
It was a long journey to come to be more kind with myself internally, and I came to see that there were three important phases and steps.
In a new piece just published on Tiny Buddha, I talk about those three steps.
I talk about how I shifted my beliefs and also how I use very specific (and unexpected) tools to change my negative habit patterns.
Though we spend a lot of time talking about some uses of language, this inner use of language is less often talked about. So I hope you’ll read the piece and be kind with yourself :).
In a world so dominated by nastiness, it’s important that we learn kindness, and that we include ourselves in our kindness.
Please share the piece with your friends, comment, and let me know what you think.
It’s important to have these conversations.
Below are also links to some other pieces I’ve published that help us re-imagine our internal dialogue and come into greater wellness: