defining oneself-throwing out negative self talk



I approached my beloved artist date (friday) with a sense of anticipation and reluctance today. The anticipation comes from a place of well fostered joy built day by day, out of bricks made from celebration of being an artist. The reluctance comes from negative voices shouting against that divinely given identity. Voices which have been a recent plague on my psyche.

This is an old old story for me and it always surprises me when it crops up now and again presenting it's all familiar creative roadblock.

Negative self-talk. That is what it is, and scouring scripture this morning reminded me that there is no room for negative self talk in an identity that is gifted from god.

Consider this...
Phillipians 4;6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Or this...
Galatians 5: 22-23
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

or this...
James 1:2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Why this tangent today? Because I recognized that although I have so many things to be thankful for I have not been so thankful lately. Instead I began to focus on the stupid little things that tend to rob the joy from life. I also began to focus on all the negative aspects of myself (example;need to lose weight, aging, etc). What is amazing about that activity is that it doesn't help readjust ones thinking or motivate one for improvement. Being dissatisfied doesn't move me forward. Being content does.

Php 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

But practicing contentment is hard for me sometimes. And then there is the embarrassment that comes from having plenty and being discontent, which spirals into feeling like you have no right to be content because you don't appreciated what you have already. Which just points out the "bad person" aspect and makes it worse.

Vicious cycle. Negative self talk.

Does anyone else struggle with this?

Some of these feelings (I am sure) comes from (still) adjusting to a new identity in not having a child at home anylonger. My moorings are being realigned and while I wasn't paying attention some of my internal speech shifted. Little things. Seemingly inconsequential words spoken in my head. So quiet that I might not even hear them.

But I do, somewhere in the back of my head...





Or phrases...

you used to be so good at this.

you have gotten so lazy.

self indulgent.

Wow, where did that come from.

So while I wasn't looking my brain decided to slip in these one liners that started to make me doubt my newly forming identity threatening the things that I knew before..

That I am...

fabulous artist,
great mother of an incredible son,
great wife of an awesome husband,

I am grateful for...

my health,
my family,
my home,
my work...

There will be more to my positive self-talk list, but for now these words will quiet that negative voice that was steering me into a negative version of myself.

I learned years ago that negative self-talk just perpetuates the negative. It is amazing to me that scripture even addresses it.

So part of my artist date today was a reminder to myself. Creative activities that encourage rather than convict. Low pressure projects that don't need perfection just imagination. Journalling. The artist date today consists of reminders of who I am and all that I have to be grateful for.


O yeah - this is a timely post for me. I just wrote about this type of internal dialogue today! The last verse is going on the first page of my new journal! Thank you Blair for talking about this.

Gee hope I didn't set this off with my call last week. I am with you on this one. Thanks for the verses it really reinforced what I have been doing all week. I have been writing a list of choices. I CHOOSE TO...
be happy
be patient
be positive
be thoughtful
etc... I find that I am my choices so if I make a bad choice I can't blame anyone but myself and then I must go back and make a different choice. Sorry about sharing my Poor Me attitude with you last time.
Love Ya

"Does anyone else struggle with this?"
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! (sob.) It ambushes me at the weirdest, and worst, times. I have the unique ability (I'm kidding, I know it's a widely shared ability) to take one small disappointment and turn it into a long, detailed festival of blame and self-loathing.

I find that I have less time for that, with the kid. On the other hand, I'm more tired, and so it sometimes gets me because of that.

i look at your talent and what you have accomplished and think how could she ever doubt herself? you're one of my heroes blair.

thank you for being transparent in this and allowing the budding creative i'm trying to be see that my self talk isn't so unique.

It is good to know that I am not crazy. I suspected this is something a lot of women struggle with. "detailed festival of blame and self-loathing"-betsy, this made me laugh. The word "festival" puts it into perspective(or shows how out of perspective those moments are). I read all of your blogs (anj, bobbie, betsy) and gain such inspiration and wisdom from your journeys. Big Sis, if you had a blog I would be reading it too!

thanks so much for the encouragement. We aren't alone;-)

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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on March 9, 2007 1:57 PM.

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