We all have that voice in our heads that string together an endless array of thoughts all day long. Self talk is the only thing you can’t get away from in this world. That voice reminds us of all the things we have to do, should do, should feel bad that we didn’t do. It looks back to the past to kick you in the ass for not doing this and lays blame on you for doing that. When you look in the mirror it makes you feel bad about yourself for not looking like “them”. As you lay your head on the pillow at night it blames you for not getting enough done. In the morning, it overwhelms you with everything you have to do to be enough today. Am I right?
A big part of why people end up on a spiritual journey
is that voice drove us to insanity, until we we finally said enough!
There have been a lot of authors who address that internal voice. The first time I remember hearing someone talk about it was Eckhart Tolle on Oprah many years ago. In his book A New Earth he described that voice or self talk as “the ego”. Hearing him describe the voice was the first time I remember realizing that it wasn’t just me. I felt hopeful and like someone understood what was going on in my mind. That was about the time my spiritual journey had just begun.
I tried meditation, but honestly I wasn’t disciplined enough to make it a daily habit then. Soothing music helped, so I began playing that while I worked from home during the day. Journaling to clear out emotional gunk also really lessened the same old thoughts from continually coming back once I dug them up and cleared them. With time, I was able to significantly shut down that voice. There was finally some space between my thoughts.
The big aha! Self talk is transformed by Self Love
For several years now, I’ve been going along thinking I was doing pretty well with it. Recently, I had a big aha! After a terrible breakup with a guy I thought was my soulmate, I felt like I broke into a million pieces. Now, I see that spirit orchestrated that to break me wide open so I could heal the real root of the issue. That damn “not good enough” belief. It plagues SO MANY of us! Once I seen that at my core I still wasn’t free from that belief and that self love was the issue I really needed to lean into, everything changed.
They say “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. Well the next book on my path to transform that negative voice literally almost fell of the shelf at me. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz had been sitting on the shelf in my bedroom for probably three years. I bought it but never felt drawn to read it, until that moment.
Change how you think
A couple pages in and I was mesmerized! He was talking all about the connection between self talk and a lack of self love from the “not good enough” belief. Finally, I must have been ready to hear the message. The book is small and an easy read. I quickly absorbed it in a couple hours.
Don Miguel Ruiz describes the Toltec people from ancient Mexico. “Toltec” means “artists of the spirit”. They were a peaceful, spiritual tribe who had a unique way of seeing the world and how we humans fit into it. He explains that as children we have been “domesticated” by our parents, teachers, peers and the media. Our little minds were inundated with beliefs and agreements that we formed of how the world worked and what we needed to be or not be. These agreements stick with us subconsciously.
Without spoiling the book for you, here are The Four Agreements he describes that you need to make and keep with yourself.
What are The Four Agreements?
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
He relates each of these agreements back to self love. The book explains how talking negatively about yourself, taking other people’s actions and words personally is hurting you. He goes on to explain why making assumptions sends so many negative messages into your mind which hurt for no reason. Ruiz ends the book with a beautiful story about self love and where it comes from and how you can get it.
If your path has lead you to realizing your need for more self love and self care, I highly suggest reading The Four Agreements.
Don Miguel Ruiz has other books in his Toltec Wisdom series. I’m onto reading these next!
- The Fifth Agreement: A practical guide to self-mastery
- The Mastery of Love: A practical guide to the art of relationship
- The Voice of Knowledge: A practical guide to inner peace
- The Mastery of Self: A Toltec guide to personal freedom