One of my secret desires is to become fluent in Spanish.
A few Spanish speakers have stepped up to help me in the most inconvenient way possible for a partial perfectionist. They speak to me in Spanish. A lot. And although these conversations are in small doses, I struggle to get it right. Inevitably, there’s often one or two key words that I don’t know and I get stuck. As much as I love to talk, this is torture.
As if the pain of sputtering through choppy sentences wasn’t enough, one helpful friend texts me in Spanish. Imagine how many funny stories I don’t tell because I don’t have enough vocabulary! Somehow the story loses momentum if I have to go back and forth with Google translate. Again, torture.
All of this would be okay, if it wasn’t so hypocritical. How? Because I practice Spanish, a romance language, daily. But when it comes to speaking in a loving way to myself, I’m fine being lazy or getting it wrong. I say what my emotions dictate, versus keeping quiet until I can muster up the words to speak well. I’ve even ducked under the ropes that surrounded situations that required prayer to enter. Instead, I spoke what I saw — or worse, what I heard — before taking time to renew my mind. Whether it be what I heard at the doctor’s office, or in front of the mirror (after that 20 pounds I planned to lose actually brought friends to the party around my waistline), I spoke. Oops, I did it again.
Do you find yourself making similar “hypocritical” decisions? Like responding in the heat of the moment, rather than waiting to speak kindly “so no one gets off the hook” on your watch? Or beating up on yourself in ways you never would to a friend? While I don’t fully understand why many of us are predisposed to this type of thinking and behavior, I know that to erase it requires day-to-day basic efforts. Small steps over time make a big impact and create a pattern of consistency. Just like knocking off those pounds. And just like Spanish. They require partnering with someone who loves you and is invested in seeing you become fluent in speaking “self-love.”
Have you overcome the habit of speaking negatively to yourself or others? What were a few of the steps you took? Help someone by sharing in the comments!