It was disturbing to me, but others didn’t seem to care. I looked around to see if anyone had a visible reaction, but saw none.
We were all chatting; sharing work stories, kids stories – ya’ know, the usual catch up stuff when you’ve not seen your friends in a month or so.
During a casual story about her daughter, Lisa retold the happenings of the previous day, in a more than placid way. We all listened.
“So yesterday, while Rylie was napping, Trevor got mad at me. He thinks that I don’t care about his opinions anymore. And I do. When he says that I’m getting uglier by the day, I listen, and I believe him.”
(This is when I looked around to see if anybody else felt like heaving, and shockingly, they just waited for the rest of the story.)
Umm, Samantha didn’t hear the rest of the story because Samantha was irritated…no, LIVID…that Lisa just said that. Samantha walked away for a short time to regain her customary, quiet disposition. (HA.)
Anyway, enough of the third person stuff. I was so upset, at all of it. At Lisa’s comment…at the lack of response from the others. WHAT do you have to tell yourself, on a daily basis, to accredit that garbage? I’m not talking about verbal abuse here. That’s a whole different topic. I’m speaking about the part where she states that she BELIEVES him. (And, yes, I know that this is also a cycle of abuse, but some people believe this stuff about themselves and they’re not in any relationship.)
It made me wonder what she told herself. At some point in this break down of self-esteem, you switch the inner dialogue. Lisa’s inner dialogue mirrored the harsh opinion of another.
We all have internal conversations, whether you freely admit it or not. They may not be out loud, but they occur.
When I got home, I asked one of the girls to come into the bathroom with me. I sat on the edge of the tub and had her stand on the “Elmo” stool we’ve had since toddler-hood. I made her stare in the mirror and recite to me the “sparkle words” (our nickname for adjectives) that describe her.
She tilted her head, inspecting the image, and almost looked a tad sheepish.
Her first answer came with a grin.
She glanced at me to see if I approved. I nodded.
“Silly. Talkative. Smiley. Athletic (as she flexes, lol) Tall. And I think I have pretty hair.” I was pleased with her answers. My mind went back to the table with Lisa earlier that morning.
The flagrant acceptance in her voice was just too much for me.
How do you tell people it’s alright to be the biggest advocate for yourself without sounding selfish, ’cause that’s what I’m attempting to accomplish here.
Some people hear the phrase “Positive Inner Dialogue” and instantly think it’s this mindset of recordings…”I am beautiful. I am important. I am intelligent.”
No, no, no. I’m not talkin’ about that. When I say “Positive Inner Dialogue” I mean something along the lines of this: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a creature of God. I am SOMEONE.”
Do me a favor today, and remind yourself that you MATTER. Not because I think so, but because God does – and frankly, what could be better than that?