i once saw a t-shirt in a mall kiosk that stuck with me. even all these years later, i wish i would have purchased it {even though apart from my University of Paris t-shirt, i would never consider wearing a shirt with writing on it}, because i loved the saying so much. it said:
i only do what the voices inside my head tell me to.
even now, just typing it makes me giggle a bit.

but the humor of the shirt notwithstanding, we all have voices, both internal and external that we have to deal with daily. from friends, family, co-worker, and even our conscience, our own internal dialogue. and while these voices may not actually tell us to do things, they definitely dictate our mindset and mood, and occasionally even sabotage us.

case in point: yesterday.

if there ever was a day that happy, positive voices were needed it was yesterday. but the ones within and occasionally without, were of the critical, negative variety. couple that with the fact that i was attempting something that i have never done before, and, now i know, am not very good at, i ended up losing the battle in my own head.

i find it sad that we are so much more apt to be negative than positive. it takes more work to be positive, you actually have to be looking to see someone do something right, and then you actually have to go out of your way to comment. you don't have to look hard to see something negative to jump on. earlier this week, a friend was telling me how some work i had done had been well received, but the words that started the conversation were, "don't let this go to your head, but..." what do you think i walked away from the conversation remembering, the praise or that i appear to be capable of a pride that makes me unbearable?

but add this too-easy tendency to be negative to the fact that we are much more prone to hear and internalize the negative than the positive, and the problem becomes even worse. and while you can tell yourself that you don't need positive feedback or praise, that 'a job well done is its own reward', when the negative ones, even just little digs, start to chip away at your defenses, and wear you down to your raw and battered self, you realize how much those little cups of water can mean.

i guess, my lesson in all of this is to realize the power of my own words, and that i have the choice to impact the lives of those around me powerfully, either negatively or positively. in tuesday's Life Journal readings, these were the verses that spoke to me...
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. —Hebrews 11:23-25
i didn't realize at the time that it was going to become so relevant so soon. :-)


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