Apple cider vinegar is like duct tape. It can’t hurt and will most likely help.
Talking sweetly to ourselves is like apple cider vinegar for the soul. Telling ourselves that we are enough — smart enough, worthy enough, funny enough — whatever it is that we need to be enough of. This positive self-talk is the anecdote for the poisonous voice that often sneaks into our heads.
We are often more keenly aware of the danger lurking outside of ourselves and are more prepared to protect ourselves from strangers than we are of the enemy within. We remain a safe distance from the lion who would devour our flesh in seconds, but the damage we inflict on our own beautiful minds is a carnivorous atrocity not visible to the naked eye.
Even when we don’t intend to, with each nasty word we say to ourselves, we carve our intentions deeper into the canvas of our minds and make our worst fears our realities.
I’ve always loved reading aloud — to my classes when I taught — to friends, family, strangers, the neighborhood cat. I relish the chance to read the written word, and throughout the years I’ve heard enough of that pesky voice that taunts me. “You’re not entertaining enough to read out loud. No one wants to hear you. Your heart’s going to pound so hard you won’t be able to mutter a single word.”
Has the voice stopped me from taking to the podium? Yes, often. Has it always prevented me from reading even when I knew I would have to breathe through a panic attack? No, because I’ve gotten better at telling myself that I am indeed enough.
There’s no such thing as fix-a-flat for a deflated life, but allowing the air to ooze out without even trying to plug the hole, creates the self-fulfilling prophecy of hopelessness. Expecting our punctured life to suddenly sprout into one bursting with joy would be like expecting the Tooth Fairy to hide an Easter egg under our pillow on Christmas morning.
But we don’t have to feel like a measly worm in our own jungle. Catching that self-defeating voice is the key to plugging the hole. Positive self-talk is the air that re-inflates our heart’s desires.
Vinegar is acidic, but it alkalizes the body just like an encouraging inner voice raises our chances for succeeding in our ventures. Better to drink the bitter cider than to swallow the load of “I’m not enough” that will most likely choke us and have us wishing we’d have duct-taped our mouths shut.
So, to all of us who have heard enough — cheers!
Michele Zirkle Marcum is a native of Meigs County and an author. Her column appears each Tuesday.