Watch what you talk when you talk to yourself
When we are talking, especially in an important meeting, we watch what we talk, lest we speak inappropriately.
Just as we watch what we talk while talking with others, we need to watch what we talk while talking to ourselves. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly speaking to ourselves. Or rather, our mind is constantly speaking to us, and we are its silent submissive hearers. When we make a mistake, our mind says, “See! I had told you. You are good-for-nothing. You will never improve.”
Because our mind is inside us, we don’t realize that what is spoken internally is not necessarily spoken by us. The Bhagavad-gita (06.05) points to our unthinking, uncritical self-identification with the mind when it urges us to elevate the self with the self, and not degrade the self with the self. Gita commentators clarify that in this verse the instrumental self refers to the mind.
To ensure that we elevate the self with the self, we need to watch our self-talk. Negative self-talk can demoralize and de-energize us, setting us up for making choices that degrade us. In contrast, positive self-talk can enliven and empower us to make elevating choices.
To change our self-talk from negative to positive, we need to cultivate a spiritually positive self-conception. Such cultivation is best done by guided scriptural study, which helps us understand that we are beloved eternal parts of the all-attractive, all-powerful Supreme Krishna. And he is ready to help us if we just open ourselves to his help by using our free will positively to connect |with him.
Pertinently, the Gita (17.15) urges us to recite scripture regularly as a verbal discipline. Such scriptural recitation inspires us to connect with Krishna through bhakti practice, thereby changing our self-talk and propelling us towards self-actualization and self-fulfillment.
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