November 29, 2011

Conversations in My Head

I have conversations with people in my head all the time. I didn't know I did this until recently, when I traced my anxiety and frustration back to my morning shower. An innocent, almost passing thought had turned into an internal knock-down, drag-out fight in between the shampoo rinse and the slathering of conditioner.

Someone popped into my mind.

Then something they said--something positive--about someone else came to mind.

Then I compared myself and my choices to that someone else. I am quite different than that someone else.

So, in my illogical thinking, that someone likes that someone else and does not like me. (Got that?)

Thus began the conversation in my head, in which I stated the case for why that someone and that someone else should like me and respect me and approve of me. Then, strangely, I put words in that someone's mouth in response to my own. Negative words. Accusing words. Debating words. Cutting words.

Before I realized it, I had spent the better part of an hour having made-up conversations with several people, all of them negative, depressing, and frustrating.

Suddenly, I awoke to the truth of what was happening.

Those people weren't really saying those things to me. They weren't accusing me, but I knew who was. The Liar. The Thief. The Accuser. He had taken everything I already accuse myself of and planted it in the mouths of people I love.

And I had believed him. I had allowed him to steal, kill, and destroy. If I hadn't awoken to truth, I might have even let him bring subtle division and isolation between me and that someone and that someone else.

Then I thought about all the times I have let him do that to me, how I give him and his lies an audience.

People don't like you, but quite possibly you can persuade them to. Make all your decisions based upon this idea.
You are chained to this way of thinking and believing and acting. You cannot change; it's hopeless.
Hide yourself from others so they don't see how you are lacking.
What you're doing doesn't really matter.

In his scenarios, I am always unliked, disrespected, lacking, or doing the wrong things. Underneath these lies are another layer of lies regarding God, the lies from which stem all other lies and all of my sin.

God won't love you unless you perform for Him.
God has forgotten you.
God withholds His approval from you.
God has let you down.
God is disappointed in you.

Liar. Accuser. Thief. Destroyer.

I will not listen to you.

That day, when I awoke both to the lies and to the truth, I ran to God. Show me truth, God, and help me believe You. Help me pull out the recording playing on repeat in my head and put in one of truth, of reality. I so often listen to the Liar and assume You think the same of me.

Reality comes in a whisper:

Come to me and rest, child.
I love you.
You are enough because of the cross. Cling to it.
I am always working on your behalf. I do not sleep or grow weary.
I take delight in you.
Now come, lay down your defenses and fear. 
Enjoy Me.


Faithpalmer4jesus said...

I read a Christian book about the brain that talks about how toxic having conversations in your mind can be: Who Switched Off My brain: Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions. It was interesting and helped me with this problem.  I read it when I was in Charlottesville, actually. I need to read it again :( Faith Palmer

Stephanie Hanes said...

Oh you know how often I have this same conversation with myself?  I thought I was alone in this...and it made me feel crazy.  But I love how you broke this down right here - that it's not reality that is telling me these things - it is the Liar, Thief, Accuser.  But He has no power over me - because those accusations?  They are washed away white as snow by the blood of the lamb.  Thank you for this - I needed it today!

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

Good stuff here - "reality comes in a whisper".  Yes, it does.  Thanks for the encouragement to not listen to what is loudest, but to listen to the truth that is in the whisper.

Christine Hoover said...

How funny. Assuming your name is Jamie Brick, I have a good friend named Jamee Brick.
Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for the comment.

Marylyn Kenney said...

thank you for o so many things but especially this today. i needed truth & as usual you pointed me towards the source.

Amy Sullivan said...

Yikes. I can relate in big ways. I need to let some of those conversations in my head go. Thanks for walking me through your thinking. It helps me see the faults in some of mine.

Christine Hoover said...

I'll have to check that one out, Faith!

Christine Hoover said...

I'm glad I'm not alone in it. Sometimes I feel like the crazy one...I was kind of afraid even to write it out for others to see. I like how you said those accusations are wiped away. Great picture.

Lisa said...

Yes, I can relate.  Totally kindred in struggle and also in learning to find strength to overcome the lies with the truth!  Thanks for sharing so transparently!

By His Grace,

Mary Yontz said...

thanks so much for sharing. I too am often having those conversations. When I let myself get to empty, the lies get to be so loud it is hard to hear the truth, I will bite and go down that well worn path of believing that I have no value to my friends, or anyone else for that matter. So I turn to the Shepherd and He faithfully gets me back on His path for me, and then I can hear His truth.
Thanks again for sharing! Great stuff!! You are not alone, nor are you crazy, least not any more than the rest of us! ;-)

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Sonyaleet said...

Oh Christine, these are precious words penned in love.  Thank you.  I needed to hear them.  I will be more careful about my inner conversations now.

Christine Hoover said...

That makes me very glad....that my crazy thoughts could possibly help you see yours more clearly. Thank you for sharing.

Alene Snodgrass said...

OH. My. I so needed these words. To be reminded that those conversations in my head are from the deceiver and liar. To run, run, as fast as I can to God who speaks the TRUTH into my soul. Found you at Tuesdays Unwrapped. I'm your newest follower. Thanks.

Christine Hoover said...

Welcome, Alene!

Amy said...

Thank you for sharing this.  I am greatly helped.

Ashley said...

Christine...your honesty is refreshing, needed and so helpful...THANK YOU for being transparent in specific is healing for women to read about others in ministry who have similar struggles and take them before the Lord for Him to deal with, rather than hiding them from others and allowing others to perceive that the wife of a pastor would never struggle with things like this. The enemy's power is broken when lies are brought to the surface and we can more fully walk together as believers and sisters in Christ.

Christine Hoover said...

Praise God! Thank you, Ashley.

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