Saturday, February 13, 2010


What do we say to ourselves? Do we say things that encourage ourselves and build ourselves up? If we've been abused, then we may not. We may actually use the abuser's voice and words to tear ourselves down. We may do it without thinking.

It is a challenge, a continual challenge for me, to rewrite the "tapes" that play in my head. First, I have to be self-aware enough to catch what I am saying to myself and what automatic assumptions I am making. If I can "hear" myself, then I can make new choices. I can do a do-over and say something more encouraging and true.

This morning I realized that I was just too tired to participate in a neighborhood garage sale, so I didn't load up my stuff to take to a neighbor's driveway and then sit outside in the cold for 4 hours. Instead, I went to the sale with some money in my pocket and bought some items from my neighbors. I was out in the cold air a much shorter time than I would have been otherwise. It was the right move for my body that is still recovering from a bad head cold.

The interesting thing is that I assumed I was going to be "in trouble" somehow. After all, I hadn't done what I said I would do. I had "failed" according to the tape inside me that pushes me to be "perfect." I am combating that voice today. I didn't fail. I actually took another positive step in responding to my own needs in a positive, nurturing way. For years my needs were a problem to be ignored. But I am no longer in a dysfunctional environment. I can choose now, and I do, to practice being kind to myself and addressing my needs in a respectful and caring way.

How about you, Reader? Did you have an opportunity recently to practice a new tape to replace one of your old dysfunctional tape? Or do you have a tape you'd like to try changing? If any of your tapes include words such as lazy, stupid, selfish, needy, ugly, a failure or not good enough, I urge you to talk to someone trustworthy about it and try replacing the old message (that is a lie anyway) with something that you'd say to a friend. None of us need to stay stuck in the mindset we were loaded down with as victims of abuse. Today is a new day that we can live in a healthier way by practicing a gentler voice with ourselves.

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