What’s so funny!

“You’ll never amount to anything”

“What’s the use in trying. It won’t make any difference in the long run.”

“You’re ugly because you’re too fat. No one will ever want you.”

On a daily basis, thoughts run through our heads at some point. Some of them are positive, nurturing thoughts. Others… well… not so much!

If you are human (and that means you!), you have experienced negative thoughts, probably on a regular basis. Such thoughts can become bad feelings if we identify with them, dwell on them, take them too seriously.

Comfort, Healing, and Joy contains a number of exercises designed to take the emotional charge out of potentially damaging thoughts. One powerful technique to quickly and effectively take the sting out of such thoughts is to “call them out.”

Huh? Call out whom?

The who is that particular part of you that is picking on you, trying to sabotage your happiness and sense of well being. Our personalities are made up of many parts, and some of them can give us a hard time if we don’t know how to deal with them. Calling them out means giving them a name, and maybe even a face.

The names I give my parts usually start with Mister. If you’re a woman, you can use Misses, or Miss, or a real name like “Patty the Perfectionist.” Be creative if you’d like, or keep it simple like I do. So when I first recognize a not-so-wholesome or helpful thought running through this little head of mine, I get a little… curious. Hmmm, I say (to myself!), which one of you is it this time?

“There goes Mr. Perfect.”

“I know it’s you, Mr. Neurotic.”

“Is that Mr. Cheapskate” rearing his ugly head?

“It’s Mr. Sabotage, himself!”

The purpose of this exercise is to separate “them” from “you,” the real you – the true you – your core being, so that you don’t believe and internalize the negative, self-defeating message that is being delivered. Instead, it will slide off of you like water off a duck.

What would this part of you look like? Can you picture her or him as a funny cartoon character? Can you draw that picture? How many of these parts can you come up with? Ten? Twenty? Fifty? Would it help to keep an ongoing list of each new one you discover, because putting things on paper has a way of loosening the grip of negative thoughts and feelings, making them less “sticky”?

You might call this sort of technique silly, and I agree! And that’s one key reason it works so well to make us feel better. The sillier, the better.

Call it silly if you want to. I call it success!

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