"There is power in the words that we speak. Whether we speak words of encouragement and wisdom to one another or words that bring tears to someone's eyes, we acknowledge the power of words." From Marianne Williamson on A Course in Miracles at Oprah.
The above statement by Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles is true whether you are speaking those words to others or speaking those words to yourself. My words to myself over the past few days have been very negative with the result that I feel like someone has died inside of me. What is the topic that I have been dealing with in my mind the last few days? Judgments about myself that I was afraid a friend might make if she came to visit as she planned to do to see our Fall colors this week.
I have an older friend who wants to come to visit and see our gorgeous Fall colors. I am supposed to call her and let her know what it is the right time---when the colors are at their peak. Well that is this week. I haven't called her---why? Because my house is a mess. It is not up to company, by whose standards---mine. In my heart, I know that my friend isn't coming to visit my house. She is coming to visit me and no matter how bad my house looks, she won't say anything about it.
So where is the judgment coming from? Inside of my head, I hear my dad telling me how bad of a housekeeper and person I am. I am not a good housekeeper. I am a collector of things and of information so I have books and papers in stacks around my computer, my bookshelves and the couch where I sit at night to read and watch TV. I know that doesn't make me a bad person except that I still sometimes hear that voice in my head that says I am. Most of the time, it doesn't bother me and I know it isn't true. Other times, like this week, it does get to me. There are other things that I would rather do than housekeeping all the time. So I collect and stack until even I can't ignore it any longer, then I sort and put away and throw away and clean until all of the stacks are gone. Then I start all over again. I am not really lazy. There are just so many other things that I would rather be doing.
Now you know my biggest secret that you didn't know (unless you have visited my house unannounced). It doesn't bother me as much as it used to. I have learned that my friends will love me anyway no matter what my house looks like.
Why am I writing this? I started out fearing being judged by my friend. Then as I worked it out in my head, I realized that the judgments weren't about my friend. They were about me. Some part of me is still judging me by the standards that came from my dad when I was a child. I bought into his garbage then and I still am today. Yes, I could be a better housekeeper. I could hire someone to help out if I needed to. That isn't the real issue.
The real issue is the value that I put on myself, how I feel about myself inside. The real issue is the words spoken inside my head that still say "I am a bad person because . . ." I am not a bad person because of what my house looks like or doesn't look like. Any person that judges me for what my house looks like isn't a real friend anyway. I don't have any friends that judge me that way. I was doing it to myself, again. It always surprises me, these days, when I find a negative tape from my childhood that is still affecting me as an adult. This is another instance where I just need to love myself though the hurt until I can know that I am a good, loving person no matter what my background of abuse is. I will not continue to be a victim of that childhood.
Do you still have any of these tapes that occasionally catch you by surprise?