Do you talk to yourself? If so, what do you say? If you had a print out of all the things you think about yourself or say to yourself during a day, would it be an inspiring thing to read out loud?
Are they the things you would say to your best friend?
For most of my life, my self-talk was extremely negative, and I was almost completely unaware of it.
In 2006, at the height of my depression, I wrote this in my journal:
Feb 7, 2006 11:05am
I feel alone. Waking up in this studio this morning was really difficult. So glad I don’t have that day job anymore, but I realize I was doing that job partially so I could run away. From this. This facing the void. I don’t like being alone. I feel crazy when I’m alone because I think of how other people can get things done – go shopping, write letters, go work out, clean. If only I could just be normal like that when I’m alone. Instead I feel crippled. And sad. I can’t stop crying this morning. And not normal tears. Tears that just seem to flow because they have to get out, not because I think of something sad. I AM SAD. What am I sad about? I wish I knew. What am I running from? I realize I compare myself to other people a lot. Why am I so hard on myself? Of course – I hate being alone because I’m afraid of myself. I am mean. And who wants to be around someone who is mean? I think I hate myself. Why can’t I be nice and loving like I am to everyone else? I judge myself a lot. If I am not being productive, I get mad at myself. I wish I could write everything I’m thinking, but I can’t stop crying . . . . .
After my awakening in 2008 I started journaling on a daily basis, and fell in love with it! As I did this, I noticed how extremely critical and judgmental my thoughts still were. I would never talk to a friend this way!
A few years later I decided I needed to apologize, so I wrote a letter to myself in my journal:
August 21, 2012 10:34am
I want to apologize for being so hard on you. I’ve been so critical of you your whole life. I’m so sorry. I’ve put so much pressure on you to achieve, to take care of everyone, to be perfect. I’ve been so wrong. I say all these mean things to you all the time. I’ve had this habit of always pointing out the things about you that are lacking, or need changing, instead of bringing your attention to all of the totally amazing things about you. I’ve told you not to make mistakes, to live carefully and to make sure not to let anyone see your weaknesses. I criticize your singing, your eating, your drinking, your use of time. I’ve instilled this fear in you of making mistakes, because I’ve been so critical of you.
I’ve been so wrong. Please forgive me. The truth is, you’re incredible. I mean, really incredible. Your spirit is absolutely radiant and beautiful and I’m the only one who’s been keeping you from being really free to shine. You are so wonderful and full of JOY and LOVE. You are so kind and full of grace for everyone. You LIGHT up every room. You were meant to fill the world with JOY. I’m not going to get in your way anymore. I’m going to support you, to encourage you, to be your biggest fan. You have so much to share with the world. So much that they need. I want to help you. I hereby declare, that by God’s grace and strength, I will be full of loving and encouraging words. No condemnation, no more judgment. Only love. So feel free to mess up, Noelle. I will be there to love you. There is nothing to fear anymore. I see who you are, and who you are is amazing. Just enjoy this time – relax and breathe and laugh – I won’t judge you anymore. Please forgive me.
Watch my powerful video version of this topic, where I’ve turned this letter into a song (to hear JUST the 2-minute song, go to 1:20):
Amazingly, the day after I wrote that letter was the day I was set free from my alcohol addiction for good. My addiction was intricately enmeshed with my self-degrading thoughts. Once I was free from the negative thoughts, I was open to receive all kinds of new and beautiful thoughts about my life and my destiny, which freed me from addiction.
By far, the biggest factor in my transformation has been learning how to be kind and loving to myself. It has taken years of being intentional about this, retraining my brain to focus on the bright side of my personality.
For instance, I am a very sensitive person, and I feel everything. My entire life, instead of embracing my sweet and sensitive spirit, I hated myself for crying too much, or for getting my feelings hurt too easily.
My life has been revolutionized as I have focused on the fact that being sensitive is a GIFT – that I am extremely in tune with other people’s feelings, and therefore very empathetic and compassionate – and as I have started loving myself for this quality, it has released unspeakable JOY and freedom and confidence to be the unique person I am.
The personality traits that always made me feel abnormal or defective are the very qualities that make me most powerful today.
How you feel about yourself – your relationship with yourself —
is the #1 determining factor in your daily reality.
You can not afford ONE lowly thought about YOU to linger in your mind!
Every thought, every word, has an energetic power of either life or death.
Are you killing yourself, or are you loving yourself to life?
There is no middle-ground.
Marianne Williamson said it best in her amazing book, A Return to Love:
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God! Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
You have inside of YOU treasure stores of wisdom, love, passion, and talents that are waiting to be awakened, ignited, honed, expanded, and ultimately shared with the world to make it a more beautiful place for all of us.
Don’t deny the rest of us your magnificence by keeping yourself shamed and hidden for one more moment.
Everything you need, everything you want, everything you’ve EVER desired, is lying dormant right inside of you.
Release your TRUE SELF by becoming your own best friend.
Your life will never be the same.
***To see more of my inspirational videos, including my musical life story, go to my YouTube channel and subscribe!