Everyone has their own interpretation to the phrase – Head Games. Usually, it has to do with what type of mind game someone else is putting you through.
Today, I’m talking about the Head Games we play with ourselves. The twisted thoughts and internal mixed messages we give to ourselves every single day. There is a total contradiction between our thoughts and our feelings, what we tell ourselves verses what the outside world influences are cooking up for us.
I was raised, like most people my age (over 40 *cough*), to look a certain way and inspire to “be better looking” physically. That only a “fit” person has a waist size like a supermodel. (Even that statement shows how we compare ourselves to what the outside world says we should aspire to.) We are told by the marketing stream and by all the other people who bought into the hype, that only “thin”, “fit”, “sexy”, and “pretty” people were accepted, valued, acknowledged, and loved. We were even told it’s better to lie about our age, like being old is a sin (ok, I’m over 50, closer to 60). See, even I can’t stop playing Head Games with myself.
WE are our own worst enemies. We hide it outwardly by using self-deprecating humour, while inside, we are self-loathing.
Don’t get me wrong; there are a lot of other opinions and ideas that are pushing their way to the surface. Some of these messages are meant to be uplifting and revolutionary even. “Be happy with who you are”, “Size DOESN’T matter”, “Acceptance begins with YOU”. These are all good and worthwhile messages and they have their place.
You might say, “Ok, so what’s new about that? There are thousands of articles written every day about this.” That is true and here is one more. I guess I feel that maybe I need to write this for me. I’m the one that needs to hear it, believe it, and most importantly, change my own Head Games into ones that I can win every now and then.
In my case, the Head Game I play with myself is the one about physical attractiveness verses my physical health. I still have the, “only thin people deserve to be accepted, valued, acknowledged and loved”, voice in my head. This statement fights with the newer messages, “Size DOESN’T matter”, “be happy with yourself” and, my personal favourite, “You can be both fat and healthy”. Clearly, with this internal dialogue going on, self-esteem has lost its way.
So, what can I do to turn the Head Game into one I can win? Well, stop playing it obviously! But to do that, I have to find my own message, a voice in my head that I need to listen to. I have to re-examine my beliefs and look at my future and envision what I want it to look like. Burn away the old messages of self-hate and comparative narratives. I have to simplify it and start with the one message in my head and get out of the Game.
One of my favourite messages/quotes that I should recite daily, is known as The Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr
Never a truer statement was ever made. Change is hard, that’s for sure, but I know if I keep in mind what I want my future to look like, find the courage to find things I can achieve and believe, find the wisdom to ignore the Head Games, I know happiness, peace and serenity can be had, one day at a time.
~ Amanda Ford ~