Negative Self-Talk

Once, there was an amazing young boy. He was smart, kind, talented, and liked to do so many different things. Then he saw this bowl with what looked like beautiful candies in it. The bowl spoke to him, inviting him to eat the sweets.

Except that they were not candies at all; they were poison. And when the boy ate them, he felt horrible inside, and he also felt bad about himself. He no longer wanted to do things because all he could hear was criticism that was screaming in his ears.

And yet, the boy kept eating these “candies” that made him feel angry, sad, and stupid. Then he was less kind to those who loved him because he felt so badly inside. He thought that maybe if they felt badly too, then he might feel better, but it did not work. Then, in frustration, he would eat more of those “candies.”

His parents who loved him dearly saw what was going on and told the boy, “No, do not eat those candies… they are not candy at all. They are poison!”
But the boy had been eating them for so long that he had grown accustomed to the poison and resented that his parents were trying to take it away from him. The bowl told the boy “NO! Your parents are wrong! Things ARE horrible! Now keep eating these candies!”

His parents spoke, saying “oh, my dear child, those ‘candies’ are your negative self-talk.”

Everybody has that. The power is in noticing these critical inner voices, but not eating them. Yes, they are enticing – eating them seems almost natural. But we can notice them and say ‘Hmmm… look… what beautiful poison!’

Do not EAT the negative self-talk by giving it power through your voice. Speaking the poison aloud keeps it in your mouth, and then you hear the poison with your ears, and that makes the poison stronger.

Do not REPEAT the negative self-talk in your brain. That lets it rattle around like a pebble in a riverbed, carving deep holes into solid rock. Those holes become holes in your soul that grows harder to heal.

Do not BELIEVE the negative self-talk. Believing it is like putting on dark glasses that dim the world around you. Wear them for too long and you forget that you have the power to take the glasses off and see the world with love, kindness, and beauty.

Unfortunately, negative self-talk will never go away. But with practice, you can notice it without eating, repeating, or believing it.

Seattle Snowstorm, February 2019

I Am Loved

October 14, 2000 – The day I married my very best friend.