Words are Magical Incantations
Just as with our children, it is very important that we consider the kind of language we use when we are upset with ourselves, and when describing ourselves to others. The most important audience is our own self, the deep consciousness that listens to all we say. It is not the conscious self. It is childlike and takes what we say as reality and works to make it so.
You know how it is; we make a mistake and say something like, “How could I be so stupid!" or we describe our situation to someone using the most extreme language to make the point of how challenging things are.
What we say with intensity becomes our reality. If we hear something often enough we come to believe it. This is a tool that works to our benefit as well. When we use affirmations, or statements that remind us of our deep value system, known in Tibetan Buddhism as “maxims”, we create a guidance system that serves us, even in midst of confusion.
It’s like having a drill that we practice so that when there is a crisis we do not rely on negative habitual patterns. Listen to what you say. Would you really like someone to describe you the way you describe yourself - to say to you what you say to yourself? Anyone who has been told awful things in childhood knows how damaging it is. Do not do this to yourself.
Interrupt these statements in real time. When you describe yourself as an angry person, stop and rephrase the statement such as “I have a history of experiencing anger.” it gives an opening, and does not describe a past pattern as who you are.
When you are alone, say positive things to yourself often. Write down the types of things you want to say about yourself, and who your actualized self will be. Say it like you mean it, like you are Meryl Streep delivering a line. Infinite patience brings about immediate results. This second week of the 40-day challenge, commit to kindness in your 'self talk'. Peace!