Numb hands. Warm tea. Glad to be inside. As I was sitting in the café, a friend noticed me through the window. He came in and joined me for a few minutes. He gave me a good hug. I was just thinking how it would be nice to see a friend. Like so many thoughts, this one materialized into something real and brightened up my night.
Speaking of thoughts coming to fruition, it's good to be aware of the power we give our negative thoughts. I noticed my friend in the café knocks himself down a lot. As lovely as he is, he seems pretty hard on himself. I guess we're all capable of that in various ways. I've had moments where I've told myself I'm not thin enough, not muscular enough, not clear-skinned enough, not productive enough, not ambitious enough, not rich enough, not talented enough, not sane enough.
I know it's not helpful for my well-being. I work at eliminating that kind of thinking from my daily life but it can creep in during vulnerable moments. Often when I reach a new chapter in my life, the stakes are raised and the fears pop up with more vengeance. Hello fears, thanks for sharing. This type of thinking keeps me victim to my pity. It can feel safe. It feels like shit, but it can feel safe and familiar.
Perhaps we've been conditioned to use negative self-talk as a way of keeping ourselves modest. For fear of going to the other extreme - arrogance. While I was sitting in the café, another friend spotted me and popped in. Without any prompting, he started talking about the topic at hand. He told me about a conversation he had just had about his art. He had told his friend he was a really good artist and the sarcastic response was, "Ooooh, aren't you modest!" If we get scorned for talking about ourselves with pride, what effect is that going to have on our self-talk? Is it possible to assert our strengths without being arrogant?