Thursday, August 28, 2014
On Monday, the first day of school, I heard the radio personalities discussing the topic of what parents say to their children. The female DJ warned, "Be careful how you talk to your children. What you say to them will become the voice in their heads." Scary thought.
I am very sure it is true that what we, as parents, say to our children becomes their inner audiotape.
I made the mistake with my own children of exposing them to "jokes" about them when I talked to other grownups. I won't embarrass my sons now with revealing those jokes, but I wish I had thought more carefully then about how I spoke about my children, as well as how I spoke to them about their capabilities, successes, failures, potential. I want the voices in their heads to tell them they are capable, intelligent, caring, and responsible, and that they can succeed at anything. I hope I erased the "bad talk" I exposed them to with much, much more "good talk".
Not only do parents contribute to their children's audiotapes, but we all contribute to each other's audiotapes. What I say to my friends, co-workers, and family members can become part of the constant stream of self-talk that follows through their thoughts. It behooves me, then, to be very cautious about what I say to others in my life, and how I say it. I do not have the right (or the desire) to be a destructive voice in someone else's head.
Earlier this week, my attention was caught by a poem that my friend and co-blogger, Es, posted on Facebook. The poem begins, "Nobody tells you it is okay to call yourself beautiful." It reminded me that females have a particularly difficult time battling negative self-talk. Our society bombards us with a steady stream of visual representations of feminine beauty that is impossible for most of us to ever achieve. We must be very vigilant about the voices our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters, and wives are hearing. We must provide the thought-stream that tells them, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." (I hope you realize that the grammatical errors are not mine - this is a quote from the movie The Help.)
Then, I heard one of my favorite songs on the radio, "The Voice of Truth" by the band Casting Crowns, which talks about the voices we hear in our head that tell us that we will never be good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough . . . you name it. The chorus of the song is this:
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will listen and believe
the voice of truth.
We all have an audiotape that runs through our minds continually, whether we are aware of it or not. This audiotape can be comprised of uplifting, positive, motivating statements; or it can be full of denigrating, negative, poisonous thoughts. I must purposely tune myself into the voice of truth so that I can be who I was intended to be. The voice of truth is the voice of the God who created me with unlimited potential and a future full of possibilities.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Today is the tenth anniversary of the passing of my father. Here are ten things he tried to teach me:
1. Eat fruit.
2. Write on both sides of a paper.
3. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
4. Wake up early.
5. Take naps.
6. It’s never too late to learn something new.
7. You’re a girl; you should become an engineer.
8. Use your talents and gifts to serve God and humanity.
9. Life is a game of backgammon; part fate, part strategy.
10. Always stand for justice.
Here is what I learned:
I should have listened more.