This quote can be helpful or dangerous depending on how you take it. If by “having a conversation with yourself,” we mean that we want to ruminate, speculate, reconsider, wonder or re-live, then those things are actually quite unhealthy.
But if we mean that we want to ask yourself questions like, what is the definition of me/I? or, what is the source of my suffering? –where we’re looking for that answer within ourselves rather than blaming others, then that’s called ‘meditation.’ That’s what Siddhartha did under the tree to become the Buddha. In that case we’re making an excellent choice in terms of our psychological and spiritual development.
If we’re blaming anyone else or beating ourselves up, or if we’re just re-living something unpleasant, then that’s an unhealthy use of self-talk. If we’re using the self-talk to undue and deconstruct the ‘self’ then that internal debate and those internal questions will absolutely lead to useful and rewarding answers. So avoid rumination. Here’s to some happy meditating instead!
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.