Psychologist husband looks over a pile of papers on desk and considers me.
He assumes clinical voice.
“I can help, but I need more coffee.”
This is serious stuff.
In the kitchen, I smile as I ready his remedy.
He knows me.
I wait for him to join me in the family room for meaty conversation. He listens. Gives sympathetic ear, good advice, and reassuring hugs.
But still these thoughts swim in my head, surfacing sporadically and leaving me gasping for air.
I try cleaning the thought closet. I put all my pretty thoughts forward.
I try distracting myself—my kitchen floor is very clean.
I even try singing.
But they keep circling the pool of my mind, rearing ugly heads from depths and splashing all around.
Thrash about in the anger.
Float limply in pride.
Drown in self-righteousness.
And I am miserable.
In this week’s chapter of Self Talk, Soul Talk–our online Bible study–Jennifer Rothschild talks about this very thing.
Jennifer reminds us that the Old Testament word for peace comes from the Hebrew word shalom. She says, “This peaceful-sounding word is really a prayer that asks God to secure a person’s well-being. You can still and quiet your soul by speaking shalom to yourself. It’s like inviting wellness to your soul—to your thought closet.”
That is what I had to do: speak peace to my soul.
And it was hard.
I went to Him. Found a quiet place where we could talk. And I tattled on some people.
It wasn’t until I laid my worry at His feet that I felt the thoughts slip away.
Jennifer talks about some of the many opponents of a peaceful mindset: control issues, anger, a negative mindset, and defiance.
Remembering her words helped me walk through these barriers and find peace on the other side. She talked about “gasoline words” and “water words”— words that inflame or words that quench the anger.
I realized I was speaking words in my head that could set a flame worse than the Great Chicago fire.
Jennifer goes on to say, “Your soul needs the water of the Word to wash over your thought closet.”
That was the remedy my soul longed for. When I went to the Word, peace settled in.
Friends, my problem has not gone away. But I rest in His promises.
I will go through this process over and over again.
Healthy soul-talk is not for sissies.
But it’s worth the fight.