Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Those Funny Names

Uninvited this thought pounced on me and demanded to be written down.  I guess it is that important, because here I am writing it down.

When we tell ourselves to be kind with our grown up selves, to watch our self talk and not use derogatory names on ourselves we seem to miss one really important aspect of that thought.  When we are children (if we are blessed with decent parents) we are never called the horrible names we call ourselves as grown ups.  My folks never called me an idiot, or a fucking moron, or dumb as a sack of hammers when I was growing up!  But I freely use those words on myself when I mess up.  Where is the connection that holds the idea of self criticism together over the years?

What did those loving parents call me?  Silly Old Bean?  Crazy Little Goose Girl?  Truth is - it does not matter what words they used.  What matters is what my child heart heard behind the actual words.  My child heart heard that they were just using cute little nice words on me because I was their daughter and you are not supposed to use the same cutting, hurtful language on your children that you use to describe the neighbor's idiot spawn when they are not around to hear you. It does not matter at this point what they meant - it matters what your heart heard.

So when parent said " Oh don't do that Silly Little Goose - you will fall and get hurt", child me heard them say "Morrie is dumb as a sack of rocks - swear to God that moron is going to kill himself one of these days" or something along those lines.

Point IS........ When you hear yourself say something from your past as negative self talk - take a minute to stop and LOOK at that phrase and truly identify what it meant to you to hear it as a child.  I'm willing to bet that if you can be honest about it you are, in truth, calling yourself something a lot worse than a Silly Old Bean.