That time Joel Osteen dropped several truth bombs on me

Do you talk to yourself the way you talk to other people?

I remember my parents directly and indirectly teaching me how to communicate; what to say, what to not say. It’s something we learn how to do all through life really. Less time, unfortunately, is dedicated to learning how to speak to ourselves. Our intangible thoughts are powerful because they facilitate our relationship with ourselves and with other people. I know I have had less than positive thoughts about a person but it’s all unicorns and rainbows when I speak with them. It’s a little harder to make that switch when you talk to yourself.

When I look back and think about all the things I have said to myself, I am bully. I have picked apart and spat on myself. I think because it’s internal and automatic, it can be hard to control, hard to notice. But the effects are devastating.

Let’s take body image; the less satisfied I have been with my body, the more weight I have gained. If I had noticed this a few years ago, I would have stopped and started yelling compliments at my reflection. My words and my thoughts were negative and they did not reflect what I truly wanted. I wasn’t telling myself that I was healthy, capable of change, beautiful or confident. Instead, I was telling myself that I couldn’t ever lose weight, that I would forever be a slob, and much more. Words matter. As I talked down to myself, I didn’t encourage any positive behavior. In fact, when I spoke negatively, the bad habits and lifestyle that got me to that position were empowered and worse, justified. It was perfectly fine for me to just sit around and eat because, well, I wasn’t ever going to lose weight, that’s what I was telling myself–so there was no need for me to replace my three-topping pizza with a large bowl of kale and dates (or whatever Kate Hudson eats).

Had I changed the conversation I was having with myself sooner, I am confident that I would have experienced different results. As you know, I have been listening to Joel Osteen for several days now and he is having a remarkable effect on me. In The Power of I Am, Osteen says that our words prophesy our future–I think he’s right. It doesn’t mean that if I say, “I will win the lottery tomorrow” I can quit my job today though. Osteen says, “God will release for you what negative words have delayed”.

I can either talk my way to success by believing that the best is coming my way, or I can feed my demise and speak negatively about my future and myself. If I choose the latter, inevitably, my negative words will impact my actions and my attitude. When I started telling myself I was capable of making better food choices, instead of submitting to my thunder thighs (now said lovingly), I was less entised by a slice of pizza (truly!). When I started telling myself, and saying out loud that I was talented, I had a great skill set, my perfect job would find me…I felt less useless, my unemployment wasn’t a burden, it was an opportunity to be creative.

If you’re rolling your eyes saying here’s another bible bumper. My first response would be that I haven’t opened a bible in a long while. I just started listening to a different voice because my own voice had been hurting me for too long. If it helps to replace “God” with “The Universe” or whatever it is you believe in, be my guest. I spent most of my life believing that prayer was activity of the idle, so I will not judge you.

But if you’re repeatedly telling yourself the opposite of what you want, what purpose does that serve? I found that it didn’t serve me, so I changed the conversation.

It’s working.


3 thoughts on “That time Joel Osteen dropped several truth bombs on me

  1. You paid me this incredibly kind compliment on my blog the other day, but can I say, with sincerity and honesty and not some pressured need to reciprocate, that I feel exactly the same way about your blog posts? That I read your words like “gospel truths” themselves, and that I always, not only learn from, but am inspired by, your words?

    I know this post was about how you talk to yourself, but for me, accepting compliments is a part of that issue, because I’m so quick, internally, to reject and deny any kind word paid my way (a habit I need to break before Lily starts emulating it). And so the compliment you gave me made me feel uncomfortable, like I needed to reject or deflect it. And then here you are in your post encouraging me to reconsider how I talk to myself.

    It’s kismet. And it’s kindness. And I’m grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Thank you! I like your point about compliments. I also love that you’re going to try and break the habit before Lily begins to emulate. I started dieting when I was 12 (way too early!), I didn’t even need to at the point. But my mom was also on a diet and I would just do it with her. It was actually a bonding activity for us. Looking back, she suffered from a lot of the insecurities I did. It’s crazy what we can pass down to our children, daughters especially. Your posts always give me reassurance that I could have a daughter and be a good mother to her. I’ve always been fearful of what I might indirectly teach her….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have no doubt, with your level of self-awareness and consideration of and towards the world around you, that you would make an exceptional mother, should you ever choose to have a child.

        I think, no matter how careful they are, mothers always pass unintentional lessons on to their children. If the mothers are lucky, they’ve also taught their children to be self-aware enough to see what their parents have unintentionally conveyed.

        (At least I hope that’s how it works or Lily might have some rough seas ahead!)

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s