A GOOD TALKING TO“There is no such thing as a neutral word... Either you are speaking life... Or you are speaking death..."I heard somebody say that once. And I've never forgotten it.I've had a lot of death spoken into me over the years. Harsh words. From multiple directions. Aimed in my direction.An at some point in there I guess I grabbed the baton. Started speaking death into myself.There are things I've said to myself, about myself, in my car/apartment/shower that I wouldn't dream of repeatingin public.That if I saw written in a book or heard on TV I'd think, “Horrible.Abusive." "Not okay.” Words that speak, that have literally encouraged death.If I heard a parent say to their kid the things I used to say to myself on a regular basis, I'd call the cops. See to it that child was removed from the home.And that's just what I've said out loud.In my head it's a whole other story.In my head I host a perpetual chorus, a gaggle of voices some strident, some seductive, some sounding like specific individuals and others like nobody in particular that can be relied on to say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. Disabling me. Unmanning me. Reminding me of my place (small, in the shadows) in the scheme of things.I know this is true for other people too. Because I've heard them make the same complaint. They've got voices in their heads they can't get rid of. Try as they might. Bigoted. Belittling. Shaming. Voices that sound suspiciously liketheir parents or their peers. Like a former teacher or boss. Or maybe an ex. Or exes plural.Well if you're one of those people I've got bad news for you. I don't think those voices are going away.I don't think there's any cutting them off or tuning them out. I think they're there to stay.Speaking death.So what to do?