Tuesday, January 6, 2009
"Self Talk, Soul Talk," Chap. 1, Not so well with my soul...
Welcome to the first blog book study for the year~ hosted by our dear friend Lelia! I am excited to be studying with the new friends I made in the last study, and looking forward to the new friends that I will make this time!
We are going through the book “Self Talk, Soul Talk,” by Jennifer Rothschild.
Our first chapter talked about how Jennifer came to a point in time where she realized that she woke up in bed with all sorts of negative thoughts running through her head… in essence condemning thoughts.
“As a child, I could not escape the idea that whatever I did just wasn’t good enough. I was a good girl with vast perfectionist tendencies - and painfully self-aware.”
Oh boy, does that sound like me! I didn’t want to be caught doing something wrong. I didn’t want to get bad grades. More because of the defeatist thoughts I would have… the “I should have done better’s” and all that. As she described how all those thoughts continued, I was caught by the thought that it felt like she was describing me.
“You’re not good enough. You’re not the wife you should be. You’re not a good mom. You should have done a better job. It’s all about me. I can’t do it; it’s impossible. I’ll always be this way. Nobody really cares.”
After a while of having those thoughts they become familiar. You don’t even realize they are there. You don’t even remember where they came from, when they started.
How many times have I had some or all of the thoughts that Jennifer listed? But before this last year or so, they were so numerous that I couldn’t control them. It was a constant barrage. And the enemy didn’t lose any opportunity to reinforce those thoughts, with more condemning thoughts of his own.
All these thoughts ran familiar paths. As my friend Cindy has talked about before. The thought patterns and lies from the past cut ruts in the road. The longer they have been there, the deeper the ruts. It takes a long time of thinking new thoughts to cover the old ruts and create new paths… to freedom and hope.
So many times, the condemning thoughts, the negative self talk get triggered by something. If there is something that I feel insecure about, a situation or a task at hand, then the talk immediately starts. I feel insecure because “I am hopeless, I can’t learn anything new, I can’t do it, it is impossible, nothing will ever change, I don’t know what I am doing.”
It doesn’t take long for that self talk to really pull me down.
And as Jennifer said:
“We grow so accustomed to our own self talk that we don’t even recognize its corrosive nature and the damage we’re inflicting on our own souls. It’s just normal for us… our self talk actually begins to shape the life we live…”
She made a distinction between destructive self talk and helpful soul talk.
I know that I want to engage in more and more soul talk, and much less self talk.
I think that this has started to happen this year. I have been starting to concentrate on memorizing scriptures. I never had such a desire for scripture before. I think it is God given. I am going to continue in that path of memorizing this year, and hopefully learn more and more, so that when I find myself in a situation which triggers the self talk, I will recognize it and replace it with soul talk.
When I encounter a situation that fills me with anxiety and fear and insecurity, I can turn to the scripture, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” (my paraphrase of 2 Timothy 1:7)
And there are many other scriptures that I now know, that I have been able to start to use in my daily life.
Before this year I would have said that my closets were full of junk that needed to be cleaned out, a lot of damaging self talk in there. Now I would say that I am more neutral ground. I am pretty evenly divided between self talk and soul talk. But it would be VERY easy to revert to the negative thoughts and the lies and the ingrained patterns of my past.
The thoughts in my “thought closet” that Jennifer spoke of are definitely what I clothe myself with. And they are not supplying me with what I need to live the life I desire. Not that I am not starting on that road. Not that I am not already starting to renew my mind. But it needs to increase.
God’s word needs to increase in my mind and the words I say to myself.
The junk that I have been believing for so long needs to be hauled out to the dump!
If you want to read any more posts on our book, “Self Talk, Soul Talk,” by Jennifer Rothschild, pop on over to Lelia’s sight to check out the other blogs linked there.
I will close with my first memory verse for the year, as encouraged by Beth Moore, and referenced by Jennifer at the end of her first chapter.
“Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.”