Archive for the ‘Self-Help’ Category

Self-Talk – Be Your Best Friend

January 1, 2010

A new year inspires new beginnings.  This year you can have a new best friend who will be a loving, loyal support to you for the rest of your life.

Wow!  Can’t wait to meet this new best friend?

Take a minute to think about a good friend you already have.  Think about how you speak with your friend.  Can you imagine saying any of the following to him/her?

“How could you be so stupid?!”

“You’re so fat.”

“You’re too skinny.”

“You’re so out of shape.”

“You’ll never be a success.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“You’re nobody.”

“No one likes you.”

“You really blew it.  You’ll never climb your way out of this one.”

If you talked to a good friend like that—someone who didn’t have a propensity toward masochism—how long do you think they’d stick around?  How soon before they started making excuses every time you called?  Truth is, they’d probably grow tired of your lack of respect toward them.  Who needs to be told they’re a loser?  Long story short, you’d lose that friend.

Now let me introduce you to your new best friend—someone you’ll be spending the most time with for the rest of your life.  This person will always be with you, through the good and the bad.  Even if you treat this person terribly…even if you treat this person with no respect…this friend will never leave you.

Are you ready to meet this unbelievably loyal friend?  Grab a mirror, smile real big, and introduce yourself.  Try saying something like, “Nice to meet you, [your name].  Want to be friends?  Will you be my best friend?”

(Why are you still sitting here?  I’m serious.  Go get a mirror, really.)

If you’re like most people on the planet, you’ve developed the terrible habit of uninspiring, even destructive self-talk.  As you look in the mirror, give yourself a smile.  That person isn’t so bad, right?  While you’re looking, you might want to apologize for all the demeaning, disrespectful things you’ve said to this person—things you’d never dream of saying to another person—yet you’ve said to yourself.

Then again, you’ve probably already said these mean things to the people closest to you.  If you want to stop treating those closest to you badly, start a new dialogue with the closest one—yourself.  That person in the mirror desperately needs your love, respect and acceptance.

But I’ve got to admit my faults before I can improve, you say.  That’s true, but how do you go about it?  Does verbal abuse or demeaning discouragement inspire positive change?  If anything, they only serve to beat you down more, making it harder for you to rise above your faults and mistakes.

Yes, by all means, admit your faults and mistakes, but leave room for forgiveness and restoration.  I happen to believe a scripture which says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…” (1 John 1:9)  If God will faithfully forgive you, can’t you do the same?

As the new year starts, why not make a new, best, lifelong friend?  Why not become your best friend?

How?  Well, how do you get to know anything about anyone?  You listen.  So listen to yourself.  This can be very difficult at first.  We’re so used to the negative soundtrack playing in our minds, that we’ve trained ourselves to ignore it.  We even create “white noise” so we won’t hear it, like watching too much T.V., overeating, or other bad habits.

But the soundtrack plays on, having a powerful impact on our lives nonetheless.  How can you possibly succeed at anything if you’re always telling yourself you’re a failure?  How can you accept God’s blessings if you’re always cursing yourself?

Be kind to yourself.  Be respectful.  Give yourself a butterfly hug.  Wrap your arms around yourself and say out loud, “I love you, [your name].”  Don’t be shy.  If your Creator loves you—and He does—then you are worthy of love.  It’s not selfish or self-centered to accept God’s love for you.

Listen to yourself.  Start a new self-talk soundtrack of acceptance, respect and encouragement.  Feed your mind with inspirational reading material and media.  (I like the Bible, for starters.)  Start your own boycott on demeaning abuse of every kind—that’s directed at you.

As you speak to yourself with more kindness and respect, you’ll notice yourself treating the people around you better, too.  Not only will you be your best friend, but you’ll attract good friends who will also treat you with kindness and respect.

Are you listening, Judy?  Love you!

Living This Moment

October 26, 2009

Life wasn’t always easy for me as a kid, so I found ways to escape the pain and loneliness…like daydreaming.  Ah, the places I could go, the things I could do in my fantasies.  I could be a superhero like Superman, my favorite.  Plots would thicken as characters fell victim to villains, and I would rush in to save the day.  I weaved epic stories that continued day after day, and night after night before drifting off to sleep.

Trouble is, I carried that nasty habit of daydreaming into my adult life.  They call it fantasizing.  Josh Pais, actor and developer of Committed Impulse, recently shared at a conference how mental fantasies don’t serve us.  Our “If only’s,” past or future, are just a delusion.

If my mind is off in la-la land reliving my shoulda-coulda-woulda’s in the past, or my if-only/what-if’s in the future, then where does that leave me?  Certainly not in the present moment where life takes place.  Now is the only time I have.  Now is the only time I can take action.  Will it be a half-hearted mediocre action, because I’m allowing my mind to take me on a day trip to the imaginary past or future?  Or will it be a full-hearted action, with every fiber of my being fully engaged in the present moment?  Which type of action will make the most impact on the world around me?  Which type of action will be true to the pursuit of my passions, serving those I was meant to serve?

My mind wants to rule the roost and run the show, luring me off to false realities.  But I am not my mind.  I am so much more.  And I can choose to live this moment…this now…with all that I am.  And so can you.

Not On Auto-Pilot

October 21, 2009

I finally drifted off to sleep at 5:00 this morning… another sleepless night.  They seem to increase in frequency as I enter this new phase of life called menopause.

But I’m not as excitable over sleepless nights as I used to be.  Not being able to go to sleep in the past would drive me crazy…looking at the clock (as if I was going somewhere)…getting up to go to the bathroom… wondering if I should get up and do something…tossing and turning…waking up my hubby.

Now I just lie there, thinking, praying, sometimes getting up to write.  No big deal.

In my ponderings last night, it suddenly occurred to me how life is never on auto-pilot.  We don’t confess the Lord Jesus one time, and then expect Him to make our lives perfect as we drift in and out of fellowship with Him.  Let’s face it, sometimes we’re spiritually on fire, and other times we let distractions crowd the Lord a little into the background of our mind.

Or am I the only one who does that?

It’s easy to remember to reach out to the Lord in prayer when we realize our desperate need for him…for healing…for deliverance…in all kinds of needy times.  But what about when things are going well?  Do we remember to thank the Lord for all His blessings, and for His continued protection over us and our loved ones?  Do we continue to thank Him for meeting our daily needs and for our health?  Or do we tend to think we’re on auto-pilot…until something goes wrong, and then we remember our desperate need for Him?

Startling ponderings.  Lord, teach me to see my desperate need for you every minute of every day!


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