How do you talk to yourself? Whether we recognize it or not, how we talk to ourselves can create pain in our own lives. According to Christian psychiatrist Dr. Paul Meier, half of the pain that we experience is necessary, but some of the pain we experience is avoidable. He shares the practical example of negative self-talk.
“What are the kinds of things that you say to yourself? For example, if you go outside to get in your car and find out you locked your keys in the car or you left the lights on and the battery is dead do you say, ‘you stupid idiot!’ That would be creating pain in you.”
“But if your best friend left the lights on and the battery was dead, would you turn to your best friend and say, ‘You stupid idiot!’ No! Because it’s not true that he or she is a stupid idiot. You’d say, ‘Hey, we’re human and we all make mistakes; don’t worry, we’ll get it jumped and do what we need to do.’”
Dr. Meier suggests an exercise that can help us to improve the way we talk to ourselves.
“Go to an empty blank page at the back your Bible and put today’s date in it and write a little note to yourself,”
“Dear ____, I promise from today on to be your best friend. I’m going to make an effort not to say anything negative to you that I wouldn’t say to my best friend under the same circumstances.”
“Because you would tell your best friend the truth, but we lie to ourselves. The job of demons is to be the accusers of the brethren. When you beat yourself up you are doing the work of demons and you don’t need to do that. Usually, it’s because there was one parent that was too critical of you during the first six years of life and you just keep that parent in your brain, so you need to kick that parent’s voice out of your brain.”
Negative self-talk causes us to believe lies and go through life feeling horrible pain; pain that is often unnecessary and damaging to the perception we have about who we are in Christ.
Dr. Paul Meier is the co-founder and Medical Director of Meier Clinics. He is a nationally recognized psychiatrist, and international guest speaker with numerous radio and television appearances. Dr. Meier is acknowledged as a pioneer in the integration of the physical aspects of humans with the psychological and spiritual dimensions. He continues to write, having authored, co-authored or edited over 100 books and publications.