All of us have an inner dialogue that is going on all the time. Sometimes it is commenting on what’s happening. Sometimes it’s deciding what to say next. Sometimes it’s judging or comparing, and sometimes it’s very mean to us.
Our inner dialogue is like the white noise operating in our background and don’t often hear it until we get quiet and then it can feel like it’s screaming at us!
This is one of the biggest hurdles for new meditators because once you notice the noise, like noticing a noisy eater, it can feel impossible to tune it out and become extremely annoying.
We can also be taken aback by some of the thoughts the we notice. As Jack Kornfield says,
“Thoughts have no shame; they will go anywhere.”
Our thoughts, and the language that we us frame our reality. The words we use reveal our beliefs, our models of the world, and our inner life.
What we say and the words we use matter.
What do you think is the most disempowering statement you can make to yourself?
I’ve said all of them for sure:
I’m not good enough.
Who the fuck do I think I am to even try?
I’m too (insert fat, ugly, stupid, young, old, or any other mean thing in here).
I’m a fraud, I don’t know anything.
I’m sure you get the picture.
(By the way, if you catch yourself saying these awful things to yourself, please stop when you catch yourself. Stop, and counter those thoughts with something positive about yourself. They are terrible and don’t belong in your beautiful mind!)
But none, NONE of these are as dis-empowering as this one sentence:
I have no choice.
As soon as you utter those words you have given your power away and become the victim of your very own life.
Here are some other ways we say those words:
I have to.
Yes (when I mean no).
No (when I mean yes).
All of these statements give away our power and our control.
And yes, I realize that there are consequences for not doing certain things. However, it’s not the “thing” itself that causes our suffering, it’s the way we are relating to it.
As much as we try, we can’t always control the circumstances of our lives, yet it’s possible to be empowered and free in the midst of it all.
Supposing maybe you don’t want to go to work, and it’s true that if you don’t go to work you will get fired and lose your income.
There is a difference between saying to yourself, “I have no choice but to go to work,” and “I’m choosing to go to work so I can make money,” have a very different feel to them.
You are still going to work, the circumstance doesn’t need to change, but the latter statement empowers you to be in the driver’s seat of your life, instead of the victim of it.
Learning to shift your language into one of choice, even if it’s as simple as how you choose to feel about something, frames your reality as one where you are powerful and free.
I’d love to hear from you now: Do you notice your self-talk, and how do you relate to it? Is there a “favorite” dis-empowering statement that your mind tends to use, and if so which one? What is your best advice for dealing with a “shameless mind”? Post your comments below.
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