There’s a lot to be said for changing your own self narrative.
Most people have an internal voice. A conscious, a narrator, ‘The Thinker’ as Charlie the shrink likes to say. Writers– bloggers in particular– we’re good at what we do because we have a rich, loud, vocal self–narrative.
We tell stories to ourselves, all day.
It’s that inner story that is the voice that’s predominant in your thoughts most of the time– because that voice is your thoughts. It’s a speaker for your emotions, your subconscious, and pretty much all the other stuff that clutters up people’s brains, minds and psyches. It’s got a lot of crap to sort through. It’s no wonder that what’s it saying isn’t always correct.
Thoughts can be wrong.
It took me years to get this– just because the voice was saying it, didn’t mean it was truth. Some days the Voice was just as scared or pissed off or tired as it was. It wasn’t all of me. What it said didn’t always define me. It was just a part of me, and sometimes it told lies.
Lately, it’s been telling more.
You can slip to place, without even realizing it, where the voice in your head tells you so many lies that you begin to internalize them. You begin to believe them– it’s no longer just a voice that’s speaking your thoughts. Those negative phrases become part of your own core belief system.
Phrases like “I killed my husband.” Or “No one will ever love me again”. Or “I’m worthless and useless and nothing except a mother to my children, not a real person at all.”
That’s the kind of thing the voice in my head has been telling me lately. I know that’s not true. And I know how to fix this, how to shut the voice up. I’ve done it before. I think a lot of us have had to, when our self esteem slips.
It’s just a matter of speaking to yourself in a voice that’s louder, clearer. It feels hollow and fake, a fallacy at first– it is a fallacy at first, simple hollow words with nothing behind them. But you have to be your own cheersquad.
I’m replacing “I’m fucked” with “I’m awesome”. I’m replacing “I’m unlovable” with “There are a stack of people who love me, and there was a man who thought I was amazing.”
Replacing “I’m worthless” with “I’m Lori.”
It’s not easy (who ever said it would be easy…?) and it takes time– but only a matter of weeks, compared to living with a voice in my head that hates me for the rest of my life.
It took me most of my early twenties to learn to separate that voice in my head from who I actually am. I think it’s harder when you are a natural story teller– you narrate stories about yourself… and you believe them. But I also believe in self fulfilling prophecies. If those internal stories are negative enough… life will follow suit.
I am not my self narrative. It’s part of me, not all of me– it’s a product of me. It is the product of my core, my experiences, my past, my future. And it feeds back into all of those things as well.
But it’s malleable and changeable. And it has to start being… just kinder to me. I need to be kinder to myself.
I need to speak softly, nicely to myself. There’s no one else here who can.