~ On stopping the inner critic ~
I want to offer value in this amazing world of writers, who send me soaring, leave me breathless, laughing, crying, and always learning. Goosebumps along my arms accompanying me as I read incredible wisdom and beauty shared. I can easily spend all the time I had hoped to be writing just reading, in awe. This inspirational material so generously offered lifts me higher and I eagerly grab my own ideas to share along the way. I get excited about writing!
However the last few days have been different.
I have allowed self-doubt to seep in, so quietly as to be nearly unnoticed. As I take an honest look within to search out what is really going on inside, to find where my words have gone, I notice negative feelings, almost inaudibly whispering. “What do YOU have to offer? You’re just a self-taught writer. These people are ministers and essayists and experienced poets. They know what they’re doing. Oh and that OTHER site? Quit embarrassing yourself. You’re no farmer or solar-panel expert. Give it up.”
Oh… it’s you. Hello, ego.
I understand and accept the description of ego as E-G-O: Edging God Out. That subversive part of ourselves that pretends it’s trying to help and keep us safe. A nearly hidden inner monologue of oppression, allowed to continue because it was going unnoticed. Don’t risk… it whispers. It doesn’t want anything to change, and it definitely doesn’t want there to be growth and learning! That threatens its existence.
Great value comes from noticing when we’re off, when something feels like it’s nagging at our emotions. As Dr. Wayne Dyer has said, if [as studies show] we have over 50,000 thoughts a day, let’s make sure they’re good ones! By being honest with myself and hearing the stream of negative thoughts, flowing along previously unnoticed, I could understand where my low energy and writers block was originating from. By simply observing, not panicking or trying to shove them away immediately, I can choose to calmly sit with these false thoughts for a bit. Just observe, or as my friend Lisa shared on a favorite post, just hold them gently. She reminds us that Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us to treat them as a ‘dear one’.
So after spending some time to feel and hear this diatribe, I firmly respond to this critical part of my inner self: “I hear you. However, that is not my Truth. I share from my heart and that is good enough.” Visualize pressing the stop button. I shall entertain those negative feelings and thoughts no longer.
Armed with this awareness (but not yet finding my lost words) I ventured forth into WP this morning, green tea in hand. Hmm… I wonder what my friends are writing about today? Suddenly articles, songs, poems and quotes were continually being dropped in my lap(top) as I could feel God nudging, “Here you go. Ok and here’s another one. And you need to see this as well.” All beautifully resonating. Supporting me in my recognition of the inner critic/ego trying to shut me down. God was reminding me to let my own light shine.
After enjoying many posts and poems that moved me, I visited my friend Sharon at A Leaf in Springtime, and was delighted to discover she had a new post today! World Peace – a Housewife’s Perspective. I was moved to tears by this powerfully written and important post, and I commented:
Oh Sharon, as I wipe away the tears and humbly attempt to thank you for this incredible wisdom and kindness here, I also want to thank you for helping me feel …. remember… that I do make a difference. Even as a forty-something housewife suffering through a bout of writers block from allowing in the gnawing erosion of doubt. This essay helps my shell of doubt crack open and fall away as I remember that the flicker inside me does contribute. I choose to remember that your (and others’) brilliantly crafted writing does not take away from my own humble works. It builds me up. Inspires and reignites my inner flame to burn brighter, and in the way that only I can. Each of us, uniquely. It takes all of us to shine together, all over the world, remembering the vision and focusing on hope. Bless your beautiful heart Sharon, and know how thankful I am for you. You have helped me immeasurably today, again, and I can hardly find the words to thank you enough. With so much Love, Gina
I cried as I wrote that reply, because the words were at last flowing again! Maybe the tears were washing them out. She inspired me deeply by sharing about what we all can do. Towards my greatest of passions, creating a peaceful co-existence. And, in cherishing her words, I found my own.
Top image: backinskinnyjeans.com – Bottom image unknown, randomly sourced off the internet long ago.