Design a site like this with
Get started

That Annoying, Berating Voice-A Personal Testimony on Turning it Off

Today, a group of us were asked to write a personal proverb. We had five minutes to jot it down. I sat there, thinking. Maybe I should write this? No, that’s not particulatly profound. Maybe I should write a proverb about this, but how to word it in a meaningful way? I continued thinking, the pen in my hand tap, tapping against the hard surface of the table, while I watched others scribbling bits of inspiration.

That’s the writer in me. My thoughts have to be perfectly expressed; noise is also very distracting. I wasn’t in my “writing space”.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

As the last volunteer read her proverb, an idea hit me and I quickly scribbled what had flashed through my head. Nothing profoundly deep, but something so elusive to me most of my life that, once I finally began grabbing hold of the principle, my life has changed in ways I never thought possible.

So what came to my mind? This…

“Berating oneself does not bring positve change. Better to let go of your mistakes (perceived or real), forgive and embrace who you are, then step back and watch what happens next”.

Even as I wrote it, the nagging voice in my head said, “This isn’t anything profound. Isn’t this common knowledge?”. I shut the voice off and kept writing.

Sure, it’s a principle most of us are familiar with, but how many of us actually readily forgive and see ourselves in a positive light, in the way God sees us? I know for me, that little nagging voice begins speaking before I even realize she’s there. Like in the group activity. She almost had me convinced that I couldn’t write a proverb as profound as the others in the room. As if that mattered.

And that’s been the biggest struggle in my life-not letting the berating thoughts dictate the outcome of my life. The years leading up to the divorce were very rocky. Stepping out on my own and making major decisions was overwheming, but the discouragement stemming from berating myself almost daily has been the hardest. Maybe the reason I’ve berated myself is because I’m realizing that over half of my life has passed and I feel the weight of having wasted most of it, or maybe it’s because I’ve given too much personal space to the unsolicited opinions of others who were more than happy to share. Likely both.

But whatever the reasons, untangling from the habit of berating myself has been the hardest challenge I have ever faced. It’s hard to escape from oneself.

But untangling has been the most rewarding experience, when I remember to not listen.

In 2018, I wrote about my daughter’s accident at a horse farm and submitted it to Chicken Soup for the Soul, despite the voice telling me I wasn’t a good enough writer to be published in a well-known book series. In 2019, I had the privilege of seeing that story published in their Angels All Around book.

Facing challenge after challenge-from car accident, house maintenance issues, managing money, to raising my teens-has helped me rely on God more than ever before and He has never failed to provide just what is needed. This has been so assuring and has proven to me that, yes, I am capable, with Him by my side.

After being in a marriage where criticism and being told I needed to learn how to think was the norm every day, to now being in a relationship with a man who treats me as an intellectual equal and loves me for who I am, has shown me (once I embraced the reality of his genuineness and let go of the belief in the criticisms of the past) that who I am does have value and I am worthy of love.

And there are so many more instances I can share, but the fact is, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had continued to listen to that annoying, berating voice. That’s not to say I don’t have my moments still, but they are certainly fewer and fewer.

I’m looking forward to seeing what else will unfold and happen next as I continue to silence the berating voice.

Published by sandrah

Hmm...about me. Well, if you were to meet me in person, you would likely say I am quiet, reserved, maybe a tad shy, introspective, aloof, maybe even snobbish. Those who take the time to know me, find that I am someone who loves to talk one-on-on with others, enjoys hearing about people's life journeys, encourages others and easily gets lost in dreams. I am a writer and author with lots of ideas, but little time. I am mom to two awesome teenagers who are my inspiration each and every day, and a crazy rag doll cat named Hobbs. Most importantly, I am a child of God and will be eternally grateful for His working in my life. Thanks for stopping by!

6 thoughts on “That Annoying, Berating Voice-A Personal Testimony on Turning it Off

  1. I know the self-berating voice well. It’s true, turning against yourself has little value. Whose voice am I to believe: the nay-sayers, myself, or God? I’ve chosen to let God tell me who (and whose) I am—most of the time. Great post. Thank you for sharing, Matt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a really good post! It’s so hard to silence that berating voice when you’ve grown up with it telling you what to do most your life. But when you do, how freeing it is! Congrats on getting your story published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. I almost didn’t submit my own story to them because of the same reason in Listen to Your Dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: