Flibbertigibbet! I exclaimed. (Yes, I can sometimes be flighty and scatter-brained.) Out of the washing machine, I pulled a T-shirt and some underwear, formerly white, and held them up next to the cherry-red blouse they were washed with. Now they were a bright rosy-pink. Yikes, I’ve done it again! I’m so stupid! I thought.
Have you ever wrestled with self-talk? I sure do! When I spend time with friends and family, it’s my goal to encourage them, build them up, leave them feeling like a million dollars. “Stellar, exemplary, outstanding! Brilliant!” I say. Would I ever call one of them a name? No way. Not on your life. But somehow, phrases like “terrible mom” and “idiot” creep into conversations I have with myself.
And it’s not just pink underwear that bothers me. For a long time, I dreamed of becoming a full-time classroom teacher. But after pursuing many prospects, and dealing with debilitating cycles of fibromyalgia, I finally came to grips with reality – a career in the classroom wasn’t meant for me. “I must be a rotten teacher. See – that school didn’t hire me, either,” I said after twelve interviews in two years.
“Holy Spirit,” I asked hundreds of times, “How do I need to speak to myself?”
How do you speak to yourself in moments of relentless frustration? What helps you? What are common obstacles?