I love the chapter in "Broken Things to Mend" that is entitled "The Tongue of Angels". It states that words are sacred and must be spoken with care. Elder Holland cautions us regarding how we speak to each other and how we speak of ourselves.
I know that I've thought about the damage that something spoken in haste can do. But I've never really thought about the damage that speaking badly of ourselves can do. In the Apocrypha, Ecclesisticus 28:17 it states, "The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh: but the stroke of the tonue breaketh the bones." Elder Holland states that "some things we say can be destructive, even venomous" and "the voice that bears profound testimony, utters fervent prayer, and sings the hymns of Zion can be the same voice that berates and criticizes, embarasses and demeans, inflicts pain and destroys the spirit of oneself and of others in the process."
I try to be careful of what I say about others and to others but I've never thought about what I say about myself and the harm that it can do. I think I've thought I've had the right to demean and berate myself. Elder Orson F. Whitney once said: "The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield to obedience."
In Matthew 14:27 our Savior tells us to "be of good cheer". Elder Holland's maxim for living is "no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse." I love that thought!
I have found that when I have a tendency to be negative my day does not go well. If I can take a moment and realize what I am doing and consciously turn that attituded to positive thinking my whole day suddenly changes! This has even helped when I am having the physical challenges that I have. If I wake up and really don't want to face the day, I find that if I force myself to smile in the mirror it helps. In fact sometimes as I try to smile at myself it is so humorous that I even laugh. Especially looking at myself first thing in the morning without makeup and my unruly hair.
Okay I don't look that bad, I think, but it's still a humorous thing to see.
Elder Holland ends this chapter by saying: "Please know that your Father in Heaven loves you and so does His Only Begotten Son. When They speak to you--and They will--it will not be in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but it will be with a voice still and small, a voice tender and kind. It will be with the tongue of angels."