Self-help author Jennifer Rothschild lost her sight at age 15 to a degenerative eye disorder.
Since then, she has brougth her inspiring message of faith and encouragement to audiences across America through her books and as a motivational speaker.
Rothschild's new book "Self Talk, Soul Talk: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself," teaches readers to find comfort and new strength through their own inner voices.
Find out what women say to themselves at Jennifer's Self Talk, Soul Talk book blog, at www.selftalksoultalk.com.
It is well with my soul.
That's been my story for years. I've spoken those words again and again. I've written about them. I've even sung them. As a speaker, writer, and musician, I seem to gravitate to this same theme whether my audience is 50 business people in a hotel conference room or 15,000 women in an arena. And I really mean it—it is well with my soul. These lyrics from a much-loved Protestant hymn echo the theme of my life story. But here's the deal. The chorus demands that you boldly proclaim "It is well" no less than three times—whether you feel that way or not!
I wish I could count how many times I've stood and sung those words after speaking before thousands, only to sit right back down and feel a complete lack of wellness with my soul.
You should hear some of the unkind things I've said to myself.
You should have done a better job.
Listen to that speaker. She's SO much smarter than you.
Face it, girl, you'll never measure up.
Oh, my friend, I could go on and on. That's happened too many times to count. As a result of so many personal attacks—me against me—it has not always been so well with my soul! I've sometimes told myself so many untruths, and I more than half believed them.
And not only when I was onstage. My steady flow of disapproving thoughts and self talk once formed a constant stream. I badgered, nagged, devalued, and said cutting words to myself. At times, all those dark, negative put-downs felt like a raging river, tossing me mercilessly until I thought I might drown in my own self-condemnation. At other times, they have seemed more like a constant drip-drip-dripping. Not loud and demanding, just a steady trickle of poison, creating an acidic wash of pessimism running through my mind. "The mind is its own place," John Milton wisely observed, "and in itself, can make Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven."
Never Good Enough
As a child, I could not escape the idea that whatever I did just wasn't good enough. I was a good girl with vast perfectionist tendencies—and painfully self-aware. And all those you're-not-good-enough thoughts pooled into an estuary in my mind from which the waters flowed.
During my teen years I changed a lot, and so did the content of my self talk. It got worse!
That's when I actually started calling myself names when I didn't measure up or when I made mistakes.
At the age of 15, I became legally blind due to a disease called retinitis pigmentosa. Even though I received that difficulty with grace and resolve, believe me, the extra challenges of the disability and the knowledge that blindness was inevitable brought even more opportunities for me to struggle with negative thoughts and destructive self talk.
You're never going to be independent.
You're so awkward.
People are staring at you.
Boys will never want to date you.