Monday Morning Truth: It’s Time to be a Better Friend

I bet you’re expecting this post to about your relationships with other people.

Ah-ha, fooled you!

This is actually about you…and your relationship with you.

Intriguing, eh?

So here’s the deal…if I’m honest (which you know I am!), I have to admit that I live a double-standard and have my whole life. I treat myself differently than I treat others, especially the people I really care about. This is most evident in how I speak to myself vs. others. Now, I’ve never let anyone peek into my internal dialogue before, but I’m about to open the box up wide and I’m warning you—what’s inside ain’t pretty. In fact, I apologize ahead of time if you’re offended by cursing. Me, curse? Yeah, the things I have said to myself over the years might shock you, and this is just a sampling from ONE past journal entry.

No one is ever going to love you. You are going to be alone and that’s what you deserve because you are completely worthless.
Fat, stupid b****.
You will never be anything to anybody. You wish you were special, but you’re not. You’re useless. Irrelevant.
You’re an idiot. Only an idiot would get themselves into such a mess.
You’re disgusting.
You’re pathetic.
Look at how ugly you are…your skin, your nose, your body…uhg, it’s humiliating!
What the h*** is wrong with you?

When I’ve been at my lowest points, something as simple as burning dinner can open the gates for this kind of internal tirade. Is it any wonder that I’ve struggled with bad self-esteem and an eating disorder over the years? Who wouldn’t have problems being talked to like this all the time? It’s self-abuse.

And I would never, I mean NEVER talk to another human being this way. I have more love, kindness, and grace for people I don’t even like. After all, Ephesians 4:15 says, “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” So why does it seem a little more okay to do this internally? It’s almost as if we think God expects us to be harder on ourselves.

But then one day, it hit me…There’s no asterisk and disclaimer to that verse that says *Except for when speaking to oneself, in which case lies and hateful speech are encouraged. 

Once I thought about it, the idea that God would approve of such trash, no matter who I’m hurling it at, seemed pretty ridiculous. Downright wrong, even.

But changing my perspective didn’t make it stop right away. The inner terrorist (my little nickname for her) has been alive and well for so long, getting her to sit down and be quiet wasn’t as easy as flipping a switch. Instead, it’s been a long process…one I’m still working on. Because the hardest part sometimes is simply realizing it’s happening—it’s been the norm my whole life and just comes naturally.

The best way that I’ve come up with so far is to imagine talking to myself like I would a friend. When the inner terrorist starts in about the screw up I had at work, I take a breath and a mental step back and think, “If this were my dear friend whom I deeply love, what would I say to her in this moment?”

What about you? Do you speak to others and yourself in truth and love?

If you’re having a hard time breaking free from the attitude that self-abuse is okay, think about how it would feel if you knew your friend or daughter were speaking to herself in such a way–what you would say to convince her that she should treat herself with more love and compassion? Now try taking your own advice!

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One thought on “Monday Morning Truth: It’s Time to be a Better Friend

  1. Thanks for the encouragement. This a hard habit to break free of but while honest self evaluation is necessary, self abuse is not productive only destructive.

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