I am prone to negative self-talk. I do it so often that I'm not even aware of it most of the time. And the things that I say to myself are very painful. But being aware can bring powerful experiences. I had one last night with the power of truth.
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." -John 8:32
I was able to reframe one negative thought by first looking at the truth and then turning the thought into a positive statement.
Lie: I am a sucky husband.
Truth: I am a good man who is the best husband he can be at this time, and is doing all he can to become a better one through therapy, learning, reading, and change.
Positive Statement: I am learning how to be a better husband.
Before any of you get thrown off by the "Positive Statement", let me say that I have always been very skeptical of the positive affirmation stuff that gets thrown around so heavily these days. But a positive truthful statement has real power to it. Saying the truth and the positive felt like a ray of light shined on me inside. I indeed felt free from the negative voice, and the oppression and gloom it brings. The truth was like a breath of fresh air, even a lungful after holding my breath for a long time. It was like a bright light shining in the darkness, and allowing me to see clearly again, even if only for a few minutes.
The peace that this experience brought makes me want to try it again, and start weeding through the negative and deceitful thoughts that so often run through my head. Words and thoughts have real power.
If you also struggle with negative self talk, I encourage you to give it a try. If you truly feel like you struggle (as do I), don't say, "I am a good husband." You won't believe it, and it won't work. Instead, say, "I am learning how to be a better husband." That is true, even if only by virtue of you being here. The very fact that you are reading a blog about personal and marital healing means that you are learning how to do better.
The closer we come to the truth, the more clearly we will be able to see things as they are.