In my work I have witnessed a troubling phenomenon among women. Our internal dialogue is rife with criticism, cruelty and judgment. We speak to ourselves in ways we would never imagine speaking to others – friend or stranger.
Yes, we criticize our bodies, curse our fine lines and berate our backsides. We absolutely refuse to show ourselves an ounce of grace when we fail lording our flaws and mistakes over us like a cruel dictator.
Unknowingly, we are quietly condemning ourselves to a miserable existence cheating ourselves of joy, achievement, confidence and peace.
Should someone we love experience heartache, failure, loss or low self-worth we rush to encourage them with love and support but in our darkest moments refuse to speak even one kind word to ourselves believing we “should have known better,” throwing labels of “failure” “stupid” “fat” or “ugly” at ourselves like fiery darts. Harsh. Hurtful. Heartless.
Yes, immediately upon seeing this quote I was overwhelmed with guilt.
Guilty of actively cultivating friendships with others while ignoring my own achievements and worth. Acting as my own judge, jury and worst enemy. Guilty of verbally vomiting all over myself at every opportunity over every failure or mistake.
My inner dialogue reflected just how little self-esteem I possessed. My cruel words and criticisms denied me the joy of a beautiful friendship.
Friends, we would never dream of bullying others so why are bullying ourselves?
Confidence begins with our inner dialogue as does self-esteem.
The Message translation of Proverbs 18:21 says “Words kill, words give life; they are either poison or fruit – you choose.” Will your inner voice fill you with deadly poison or nourish you with life-giving fruit?
Today is the day to begin speaking life and love to yourself as your internal dialogue will always be reflected in your external world.
You see, the best friend you will ever have is the woman looking back in the mirror.
Be kind to her. She bears the scars of hard fought battles life forced her to fight. She has overcome the impossible, endured unimaginable cruelty, conquered inner demons, scaled emotional mountains and given generously often receiving nothing in return. She is your hero!
Our internal dialogue determines whether we are living life on a battlefield or a playground. So, if you wouldn’t say it to someone else, please don’t say it to yourself.