What Are You Telling Yourself?
By Maggie Gusman
Most of us probably wouldn't admit it in public, but we all have a little voice that runs around in our head. Unless it's being really annoying or making, um, unusual requests, there's nothing to be too worried about (heck, I even named mine Pablo), because it is a symbol of the relationship between our individual selves and the outside world.
From the day we are born, we are taught that language is an important tool. We learn how to express our needs, wants and feelings to others, and then we learn how to react to the needs, wants and feelings of those around us. Eventually, we figure out that we can communicate these things about ourselves to ourselves - and that's how we become independent and self-reliant.
Unfortunately, this process is a lot more difficult and time-consuming than it sounds, and I for one know some adults who haven't figured it out yet (including yours truly), so don't freak if you haven't gotten that whole one-with-myself thing going yet.
While we are trying to figure out this relationship with ourselves, that little voice is still gabbing away, and very often, it reflects how we feel about who we are. For some people, this voice is positive and encouraging, but for many others, this voice is really negative and can actually hurt us.
This is the voice that tells you that you are too fat, too thin, not pretty enough, too smart for your own good, or not worth liking.
The really weird thing about this voice is that none of it is really true! It's the voice of a society that wants the perfect girl, that girl who doesn't even exist. The voice that prevents you from being yourself.
And if you don't think that this voice has much of an impact, think of it as a paper cut. Then think about getting a paper cut every time you get dressed, have something to eat, go to school, talk on the phone, play sports, study, or just hang out. That's a lot of paper cuts - and if you want to save some money on Band-Aids, you better make a conscious decision to change that tune!
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