In my last post, Your Self-Talk Impacts How You Handle Stress, I discussed why it was important to notice how we talk to ourselves, and begin to change. We all need affirmation, acceptance, and love. I recently had an Aha! moment when it dawned on me how powerful words are to either lift us up or tear us down. Just as cruel words can tear relationships apart, when we speak mean words to ourselves we drag ourselves down. I want to encourage you to speak words of LIFE to yourself, especially if no one else is.
I’m still struggling with depression. Yesterday, I was having a very low day. As I scrolled mindlessly through my Saved folder on Facebook, I ran across an old FB live video of Julie (The ME/CFS Self-Help Guru). This video hit at the heart of what I’ve been feeling and resisting feeling. Unfortunately, the video won’t work here. So I’ll try to retell the high points. Julie talked about how she was struggling to find out why she felt low, and was impatient that her mood wasn’t better. One of her support group members reminded her that she was resisting how she felt.
Boy, has that been me. I don’t want to feel sad and so I’ve been frustrated with myself. Julie reminded me to just let the feelings be and observe them, instead of resisting them. She related her experience that if she didn’t force looking for a solution, either her feelings would change or a solution would arise. Her words were just what I needed to hear.
Being Forgetful is OKAY
Along this journey to better mental health, we need to remind ourselves that there is nothing wrong with needing frequent reminders to get back on track. Most likely we didn’t learn to be self-critical in a day or a month. We learned it over decades. Our parents and teachers could not teach what they didn’t know. So it really is up to us to work at changing our self-talk, so we don’t pass it one to our children and grandchildren.
For those of you with grown children who now struggle with negative thinking and self-talk, you were not a failure as a parent. You couldn’t model and teach what you didn’t know. As you learn and grow share it with your children. I’ve found that sharing what I’m learning with my kids helps them to see it in their lives. Then they can choose to work on it or not. It also helps me feel a bit better.
Resources For Finding Words of Life
- Here is a post from Julie’s blog about self-compassion: https://www.mecfsselfhelpguru.com/2017/11/self-compassion-a-fundamental-for-healing-that-we-just-dont-practise-enough.html
- I highly recommend listening to any of Julie’s videos. She has a lovely calming voice and great wisdom gained from years of working with her ME/CFS. I also participated in one of her virtual Meditation courses and wrote a review about it here. https://www.upbeatliving.net/meditation-mindfulness-relaxation-chronic-illness-course/
- Another great resource is Linda Graham’s book Resilience: Powerful Practices For Bouncing Back From Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster. (This is an affiliate link.) You can read my review of this book here. Chapter 3 is about Self-Compassion, and Chapter 4 Covers Our Self-Talk.
The following video is a great reminder to use words of hope and life, not just with our friends and families, but to ourselves!!
You Are Not Alone
I know that many of us are feeling lonely in this season. Please remember that you are not alone. You don’t have to go through mental health problems all by yourself. If you feel like giving up, please tell someone. In the United States and Canada, text HOME to 741741. UK, 85258. Ireland, 50808.
Till next time, Kathy
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