Did you know that talking to yourself can improve your thinking and perception? Psychologists have conducted experiments where willing adult humans were instructed to talk to themselves while looking for things and kids were instructed to say aloud steps to doing a specific task . The results were way to the favor of those who talked themselves through it. The brain gets activated along additional pathways when the talk accompanies the walk.
King David did this. In the Bible we read, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11
There is more than one way to talk to yourself. There’s the out loud, verbal way, which can be scary if someone overhears you , and there’s the writing way. I love to write , so a pen and some blank lines are my favorite confidants.
There’s this little “prayer journal” that Mel gave me for Christmas the year “War Room” came out. I filled it and then she gave me another one and I’m filling it. One of the topics in this little book with blank lines is an invitation to journal on “Embracing Solitude.” The definition in my little phone dictionary for embrace is “to take or clasp in the arms, press to the bosom; hug.” I love that. Journaling is my place of enjoyment where God and I can talk to my soul and together we work some things out.
Following along with the “If” Gathering last month, I came upon a speaker that my heart loves. Jill Briscoe is 82 years old. I have a DVD of a talk she gave in the 90’s. I’ve played it over and over because it is so good and believers like her are so few and hard to find. At this gathering of thousands of women present and millions online, she recited a poem she wrote entitled “The Deep Place.”
I ran to the Deep Place where nobody goes, and found Him waiting there. “Where have you been?” He asked me.
“I’ve been in the shallow place where everyone lives,” I replied. I knew He knew. He just wanted me to admit I’d been too busy being busy.
“I’m running out…” I began.
“Of course,” He said. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”
He sat down on the steps of my soul and smiled at me. Angels sang; a shaft of light chased away the shadows and brightened my daily day. I smiled back.
“I’m such a fool…”
“Shhh,” He said, putting His finger on my lips. He touched my hurried heart. Startled, it took a deep breath and skidded to a near stop. My spirit nestled into nearness in the Deep Place where nobody goes.
My soul spoke, then: He answered with words beyond music. Where on Earth had I been?
Jill talks and writes about having conversations “on the steps of my soul where nobody goes.” A deep place only God can reach. A place where the conversation with ourselves is joined with the lover of our soul and our countenance is changed by His amazing love. Our embrace of solitude is met with His embrace of unconditional love and the peace and joy found is “beyond music.”
How long has it been, friend? How hurried and busy have you been lately? Don’t you just long for a conversation with your soul? Go to that “Deep Place,” because He is waiting for you there. If you don’t want to write it out, that’s fine. If you don’t know how or what to pray, just read His Word to Him. Read the verse I started this post with. Say it in your mind silently or say it out loud to yourself, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
PS: I highly recommend viewing her talk on YouTube, just search Jill Briscoe, If Gathering, 2017.