Internal Chatty Kathy

Thursday, October 25, 2012

For as long as I remember I've had this propensity to analyze and over analyze just about every conversation (written and spoken) I've had. I've been plagued by the phrase, "what did they mean by that?" And truth be known, I've been guilty of saving texts, emails, instant messages, and voice mails for months just so I can go back over them to make sure I know what they meant.

What an uplift  to my heart to read in Unglued that I'm not the only one. And not only do other women do it, but there is a way to put a stop to the negative Nelly inside my head. Praise God! Prior to this, I've never done an online bible study and I've never read a Lysa Terkeurst book. How perfect is God's timing? He readied my heart for what I needed to read, learn and apply to my life.

I've long struggled with accepting compliments. When someone compliments my work, my appearance, my attitude....anything, I'm compelled to point out my flaws to prove I'm not worthy of their praise. It is something God has been working through in me. And so now instead of pointing out the flaw, I'll smile and say "thank you." BUT inside, here comes the negative chatter. They're just being polite, they want something from you, they weren't paying attention, and on and on and on. So for me the two go hand in hand.

In His divine wisdom and love, God has blessed me with the perfect man for me. God has given him an insight into my very heart and soul....and mind. When he sees the wheels turning in my head about to attribute a hidden meaning to something he has said or done, he immediately calls me on it. I'll admit at first it irritated me because not only did it suck the wind out of my sails, it drew attention to my negative inside chatter.

In Unglued, Lysa suggests three questions to ask ourselves in order "to hold our runaway thoughts, assumptions, and misperceptions in check." Those questions include asking yourself if someone actually said this or are you making an assumption to their meaning, am I actively immersing myself in truth and are their situations/relationships that feed my insecurities? Over the last few days, I have been putting those questions into practice. And I can honestly say, they are working.

Last Saturday, my beloved and I were working outside putting tarps over a trailer full of hay and when we were done, he said, "You are beautiful in the moonlight." And my response was, "oh well, then I should always stay in the moonlight then." Because what I heard was I was only beautiful in the moonlight and what I assumed he meant was I wasn't beautiful any other time. (How quick are those runaway thoughts?!) Bless his heart, my perfect man said, "well that's the dumbest response I ever heard."

And he was right. It was a dumb because it attributed my negative inside chatter to him. And he didn't deserve that. That was before I read the chapter. That was before I had time to digest those three questions. And before I had time to pray and immerse myself in God's truth.

So last night, he's telling me about how he had been doing some work outside and there was a pile of sawdust in the yard from where he had shortened some boards. I didn't notice it and told him so. He said, "well, I wouldn't expect you to." And immediately I had all these negative thoughts about to runaway. But I paused before saying anything at all and let my mind process what he actually said vs. what he could have possibly meant by it. So instead of assuming he meant I lacked good observation skills, I asked why he wouldn't have expected me to see it. Turns out the pile was behind the shed. Needless to say, I never would have seen that unless I went behind the shed with a flashlight.

Addressing the issue of inside chatter will lead us to freedom. Freedom to pour out love on others, to think clearly, to obey God's call on our lives no matter what others think. Think on and live out truth and only truth! (Pg 149 Unglued).

I am making imperfect progress!!