“You never wanted to be with me anyway,” my husband said as he walked out of our front door one night. We had had an argument. Of course, neither one of us remembers what the conflict was about in the beginning.
When my husband left, we both thought our marriage might be over because he had been bombarded for years with negative thoughts that I didn’t love, care or want to be with him were the culprit.
First of all, let’s set the record straight.
We don’t mentally beat ourselves up with negative self talk. Negative self talk is a myth. That’s one of Satan’s great deceptions.
Sure, we may have fallen prey to his constant fiery darts long enough that we have accepted negative thoughts about ourselves as truth. But all negative thoughts originally began from Satan’s influence.
The adversary has created a psychological concentration camp. He has taken the noble and great ones, reminded them they are too broken, and convinced them they are that way to the core! Not only does this captivity destroy self-worth, it destroys relationships as well.
“Satan is a master at manipulating emotions through the vicious whisperings he has perfected with practice on billions of our predecessors. He knows how to create worry and doubt, fear, hatred, resentment and jealousy, stress, anger, lust, depression, feelings of emptiness and loneliness, etc. Have you felt angry in the last week? Have you felt lonely, alone or misunderstood? Have you felt anxiety or fear, doubt, resentment, depression, rebellion, the desire to retreat from life’s challenges? No such feelings come from above. You have been under the influence of powerful demonic spirits who know how to trigger your self-defeating emotions and thought patterns and then laugh and rejoice at your misery.”
~Putting on the Armor of God by Steven A. Cramer, page 33
Imagine a toddler learning to walk.
This is a new challenging stage of life. They are likely to fall down and even get some bumps and bruises. As they fall, hopefully you would never hear a parent say, “You’re stupid! What a failure! You’re not good enough!”
However, how many of us have these same thoughts about ourselves? Thoughts like the following are typical whisperings the enemy may give us about ourselves:
- I will never be good enough.
- Why should I try?
- I am not respected.
- No one cares.
- I always mess things up.
- I give up.
- I’m not smart enough.
“Stinking thinking” about yourself weakens your power to feel confident, capable and even worthy of love and acceptance.
How negative thoughts about yourself can beat up your marriage or other relationships:
- The way you think about and treat yourself can cross over to the way you think about and treat others. Or you go into comparison mode and think that others are better or more capable than you. This is never healthy in a relationship because you will never feel that you measure up.
- If you take on the victim role you may think that most things are your fault. You are also more likely to take actions or words of others personally, even when they aren’t intended to be. Then you may put up emotional walls for fear of getting hurt, and you won’t connect on a deep, emotional level with others.
- You are less likely to set healthy boundaries and may feel like a door mat with people stepping all over you. You may use a significant amount of time and energy to please others and not take time for adequate self-care.
- Healthy communication is hindered for fear of rejection. Verbally opening up and sharing your thoughts, feelings, and especially your own needs is less likely to happen. When your needs aren’t met and feelings validated, this allows a vicious cycle of more negative thoughts about self to continue.
Here are 2 Questions to get out of your mind:
- What’s wrong with him/her?
- What’s wrong with me?
Start shifting the way you think about yourself with this simple yet powerful activity. For the next 10 days, write 10 things that are great about yourself or that you have accomplished. It can be as simple (and maybe silly) as “I learned to walk” or a bigger accomplishment like “I graduated from college.” By the time you finish your list, you will see 100 things that you have accomplished in your life!
This creates visual proof to your brain of things you have achieved and can help shift your negative thoughts and feelings as you see all the good you have actually done In your life. Hang on to this list and review it often.
And when you are experiencing “stinking thinking” about yourself, you might even look at your list and say, “I’ve done this, and this, and this… Satan, so leave me alone because I AM a noble and great one!”
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Maurice W. Harker, the head therapist at Life Changing Services, has a unique way of teaching about the adversary’s strategies to deceive and weaken ourselves and relationships. Learn how to develop keen awareness of the adversary’s influence in this free best-selling book “Like Dragons Did They Fight” available here: https://www.lifechangingservices.org/freebook/