‘Ugliness that they accepted without question’

“You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had accepted it without question. The master had said, ‘You are ugly people.’ They had looked about themselves and saw nothing to contradict the statement; saw, in fact, support for it leaning at them from every billboard, every moviem every glance. ‘Yes,’ they had said. ‘You are right.’ And they took the ugliness in their hands, threw it as a mantle over them, and went about the world with it. Dealing with it each according to his way.” -Claudia from Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

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One Way to Get a Handle on Negativity

“Brain scans show that putting words to feelings almost immediately diminishes the power of negative emotions, improving well-being and enhancing decision-making skills. Verbalizing the stress and helplessness you are feeling is the first step toward regaining control.” -David Murray, The Happy Christian

 

Our Self-Talk is Like the Person on the Subway

“Our self-talk is usually like the people who talk to themselves on the subway. Their world is real to them, but it’s disconnected from everyone else. We talk in our sleep. The dreams might be pleasant. They might be nightmares. But either way, it’s a dream. The vocal faith of Psalm 119 is what happens when you wake up. The stream of false consciousness becomes a stream of conscious awareness, love, trust, and need. Sanity makes clear affirmations to the Person whose attitude and actions are decisive.” -David Powlison