Oh my, we all have one, don’t we? Some have a stronger one than others and I have to admit, I have allowed her to be much too strong. I have handed her the sledge hammer she uses to beat me up – I just stand there and let her do her worst. Why? Well, for so long I thought I deserved it – but I now realize those are only programs that I didn’t realize were there or understand what was happening. Yes, I am now more aware – I have also invited her to beat me up because I believed all those negative things abut myself.
I heard a story the other day about The Inner Critic that was so cool and unexpected. Her name is SARK – she is a writer and also creates posters and cards. She tells about doing a show as she is promoting her new book and when she was finished, she heard her inner critic telling her how bad it was, etc. She felt bogged down by it and knew she had to do something because she has other interviews and events that day. As she walked out the front door of the studio, she saw a squad car and a police officer. She went over to him and asked if he would do her a favor. She explained what had just happened and asked him if he would arrest her inner critic and take her away in his squad car. He was a little surprised, but he arrested her inner critic, opened the back door of the squad and put her and drove off – laughing. Then SARK was able to go on to her events with out her inner critic hanging over her head.
WOW! I loved that! As a matter of fact, I was coming home that day and stopped for gas. it’s been cold here for a bit – yes, cold to us, not the Arctic Circle. As I was filling my gas tank, I started thinking “I’m so tired of the cold”. I realized that was really negative I decided to arrest my inner critic. I imagined an arrest warrant, then the squad car and putting her inside, shutting the door and watching her be driven away. After that I thought about what is great about the cold weather – being inside warm and dry by a fire, reading with a lovely hot cup of tea and a cat purring in my lap. I also thought about going out early Wednesday mornings to my networking breakfast group and seeing the sun rise over the mountains and enjoying a magnificent view of Mt. Rainier – otherwise known as The Big Snowcone. I was also very glad to come home to the warmth. Now all I have to do is remember to do that every time I feel negative. One of those simple but hard things.
I just finished one of my Ike Pono weekends and I was surprised and pleased to see how much more comfortable I am staffing. I even put in my 8 cents worth and felt good about it. Funny, they mentioned how much I have changed since my own first weekend, they had to pry words out of me a lot – a little strange since I am a motormouth from a long line of motormouths. I also was crying a lot – still do but I don’t flood the place any more. I had a chance to talk with Michael about understanding surrendering and letting go because I still haven’t gotten a handle on it. It was one of those times when I needed to hear it in very plain words – essentially he said to stop beating myself up and just be. Another simple but hard. I never thought I was an analyzer, but that’s what I am trying to do, analyze what it is and be able to see it and hold it in my hands so I understand it.
I was working with the current Ohana on an exercise and I found myself thinking about myself. It was a breakthrough exercise and I started thinking about what keeps me holding on to RA and what does it take to truly let it go. I told Michael I know now RA is only part of me, not my identity; I’m trying to figure out how to know that I know way down deep inside me. That is where he told me I am constantly trying to figure things out and beat myself up – just be. Then he asked if I dream, I said I do. Then he asked if I have RA when I am dreaming – I don’t think I do. That is who I really am. There is a tug of war inside me – one side is all about RA and the other is my true self. Then he asked me what my Spiritual Contract is – I am joy. That is who I really am and to be that. It may mean saying it over and over to myself and also going back to my lists of the 25 positive things I am and concentrating on those.
Like the rest of Ike Pono, it will have to sit and simmer on the back burner and then one day a light bulb goes on and I realize “That’s what that is!”. It has happened more than once and I expect it will continue as I see patterns in my life and also as I help other with their journeys. Yes, the inner critic is still there, I am simply becoming more aware of her and remembering to to tell her to “Knock it off!” or even arresting her. I have been beating myself up for 63 years – for no valid reason it turns out – and as I turn 64 on Saturday, it is going to be less and less for the future. The biggest gift I can give myself is to love myself without judgment or criticism. Then it is so much easier to love others the same way.