They may each have a different tune, but we all hear the tapes. They relentlessly play messages in the back of our minds, over and over again.
I am ugly.
I am unlovable.
I am a failure.
Where do they come from? Aren’t they just our inner voice?
Tapes have molded and changed the way we think of our-self, others and our place in the world. The messages are driven in deep and have taken root in our hearts and minds by the repetitive words and actions of the world and those around us.
In childhood our family of origin, friends, and extended family made our mixed tapes. They spoke into our lives by word and deed on a regular basis. Their words had weight and authority to them. They had the power to build us up or tear us down.
How did words yield their power in your life?
A message doesn’t have to be spoken to be received. It can be implied by action or omission. A little girl ignored by her father could hear that she’s not important. A little boy that has his emotions shut down by his mother could hear that it’s not okay to feel. Some messages are very direct and cut to our heart. You might even have the moment those words were spoken seared in your brain. Wherever they came from or if they were subtle or piercing, there are two things you need to know about tapes.
You can not erase the tapes.
Don’t panic! There is a solution, but you need to first accept that you can’t erase them. Here’s why. DO NOT think of a blue elephant.
Okay, really, stop thinking of that blue elephant…have you stopped thinking of the blue elephant yet? No? The more we try to stop thinking of something, the more we tend to think of it. This could turn into an endless frustrating cycle. So now what?
You can replace the tapes!
Okay, now I want you to think of a yellow cat. Can you see it? A small fluffy yellow cat. Now, is it easier to push aside that image of the blue elephant if you think of the yellow cat? It should be. And in the same way we can replace a lie with the truth. Now you need to know the truth, but how can you find it when your head is swimming with lies?
The Bible. God’s word is full of scripture that talks about your worth and value. You are so very loved that the God of all the universe died for you. He sings and prays over you, and longs for a relationship. You are precious to Him and His word constantly speaks of this devotion. How God feels about you is your Truth.
You are beautiful just the way you are.
You are loved with an endless love.
You can never let God down.
Processing Tip: Make a list down the left side of a piece of paper of the negative tapes you hear playing. Then write God’s truths about you to the right, next to each lie. (Seek out someone to help you find scriptures if you need the help.) Fold the paper in half and put it somewhere you will see and read your truths every day. Hold onto to those truths. Fight the lies and with some time, they will be drowned out.