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Listening to My Self-Talk

I remember being infatuated with a carpenter working on our family home when I was probably 12 years old. If I had to describe myself at that point in my life, I would say I had no real awareness of who I was except a reaction to everything around me along with confusion and unhappiness. I remember this man being nice to me, listening to what I said, asking me questions and genuinely caring. I became infatuated with his presence, imagined how best to appear to him and calculated my movements to my best advantage when he was around. I’m also remembering he gave me a finishing nail which I accepted with the reverence of a great jewel and I coveted that nail in my jewelry box like it was a gift from God.

What he thought of me was my business. My heart felt so happy when I was around someone who cared, was interested and welcomed my presence. I wanted that feeling again.

As I look back at my own life all I wanted was to be loved and accepted. As I talk to more and more people, they all want the same thing. To be loved; to be accepted for who they are; and if the possibility exists they won’t be loved and accepted, the fear of living life like that threatened their existence.

As I visit with my two grandchildren, I’m able to better understand my own experience. Their innocence is like a sponge soaking up every experience that helping define how they think, what they think and a general awareness of themselves in the world. I’m remembering my grandson around the age of 6 demonstrating to me his exciting discovery of his ability to talk to himself in his head. He demonstrated a math problem, showing me on paper, and then saying see! Watch me solve it in my head. There was a pause as his eyes moved up as he pondered, and came up with the answer. He was astounded all this happened in his head. Voila – his awareness of self-talk was born!

Reverend Terry Cole Whitaker wrote a great book “What you Think of Me is None of My Business in the late 70’s. She writes,

“When I say, What you think of me is none of my business, I am not saying I don’t listen to what is said. If I refused to listen, I would actually close the door on the opportunity to have learning experiences. What I mean is that, ideally, I can use what you think of me as a guide and a mirror for my own life. The reflection of myself in what you say about me can give me a clearer view of myself and allow me to grow as a person. But more often, I use this reflection – or input from others – to make myself feel guilty, wrong, and insecure. I then try to change my act to please others and the vicious circle begins. In that sense, what you think of me should be none of my business.”
“Each time another expresses an opinion about me, I have two choices: I can either take the view of another and use it to reinforce negative mental patterns I already have, or I can use the information to get rid of that which I do not want. If I choose the latter, I have the opportunity to grow, to improve, in any area of my life – my job, my relationships, my health.”

Affirming words work for me. I write affirmations down on postcards and tape them up so I can see them until I don’t see them anymore and they become subliminal. Words that enforce what I want to work on.

“May all beings find compassion.”

“I am filled with unlimited value.”

My awareness of my self talk leads me to discover what my beliefs are which leads me to find a remedy for improving that belief with affirmations and then I let it all percolate over time. I find it works. I hope this helps you too.

Believe in yourself - in the power you have to control your own life, day by day, Believe in the strength that you have deep inside, and your faith will help show you the way. Believe in tomorrow and what it will bring - let a hopeful heart carry you through, For the things will work out if you trust and believe there's no limit to what you can do.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you so much for your gifts to us.

  • Thank you for this positive ritual to begin and take into every day.

  • Thank you - thank you - thank you

  • Love hearing "See you on the other side..."

  • We’re collectively blessed! Namaste!

  • I’ve been struck recently about how we as a group have rituals which are very comforting in a time like this, so your sayings as we enter into the meditation and as we come out, I look forward to those now. I grew up in a very strict church, and to this day even though I haven’t been in this church for decades, I still remember those things and they still have meaning to me. In addition to the content every single day that is so incredible and so different, thanks for giving some consistency to our lives as well.

  • This is such a process. This has become so many rituals starting at 7am when Shirley starts meditating and connecting and writing and then doing the meditation from 8:30 to 9 and then we do this production afterwards where we transcribe and post and put it all up on social media. It is many rituals we find comfort in. It’s such service to be able to offer this out and share it with people.

  • This meditation time has given me the space and time to become mindful of my own thought process. I’m able to catch my thoughts. The daily reminder of catching those thought processes that were so automatic before. It’s painful but it’s good because it’s something I can manage. It’s not something so automatic. I’m much more mindful of the good, the bad and the ugly of my mind.

  • I have been silent many times before but there was always this back story going on and I was not necessarily listening to it. I now pay close attention to what I’m saying to myself, the world and about others. This meditation gives me the space to do that.

  • I have a screened room in the back of my yard I call the Zen room. I hardly every used it, but when Covid came, it’s now like the place I like to sit all the time, visit friends there as it’s open aired. It’s very sacred for me. In my meditation today, all of a sudden, I became one with my Zen room. I was the room. I can’t explain that, but it gave me an amazing feeling. I’m overwhelmed. Thank you for this opportunity.

  • I know I’ve heard that before – what you think of me is none of my business. I loved what you wrote and the poem, but what stuck out for me was about your grandson, how you described his thought process. I thought how wonderful that his first experience with being in his head was positive. That you were part of that was such a gift.

  • I was very inspired. I have not written affirmations in a number of years. I realize it is a new time for me, a time of new creation and having the confidence to trust myself in redesigning myself. I can’t wait to step back out in the world. I now want to write affirmations around this new time and this new expression of my own beingness. I thank you for the inspiration to do so today.

  • I was thinking today about how life is just finding a balance. It’s tricky. How much to take care of yourself and for others. How much to be part of something or stand out. How much to care about things and how much to let go. How much to be silent and how much to be loud. How much to be satisfied or want more. If we look in the mirror and use self-reflection, we’ll be better off.

  • I absolutely love when I hear the gong and hear “see you on the other side of 15 minutes.” I was thinking about sound. I’m extremely sensitive to mechanical sounds. The other side of that is being sensitive to sounds like birds and animal sounds which are so comforting. In thinking about the sounds I hear from other people, I’ve learned over time that just because somebody makes a sound about me, so to speak, doesn’t mean necessarily I should believe it and take it into heart. People can be cruel or inaccurate of who I am. I like to hear “thank you for your tears” because it helps me feel comfortable when I cry. The sound of every single person’s voice as they share helps me.

  • Years ago I learned with my daughter who was probably in her early 20’s and terrified of her chronic illness and all its challenges, a psychologist told me that because of her terror, it is comforting to her to have consistency. It was utmost for me to have really strong boundaries to be consistent. I have never ever forgotten that. It helps calm the storm. I think that’s what drives me to say the same thing every day, to have the same ritual, the same timing. It helps me and I hear it helps other people. Thank you for sharing.

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