My father passed away a year ago. I'm not done grieving, I may never be.
Yet, I have been having to remind myself again and again that I am still grieving.
That's because of my inner critic, that voice that keeps berating me;
"What's wrong with you?" "Why don't you have more energy?" "Why can't you have fun with this?"
She's been saying that to me all year. While I was in Portugal, a month after my dad's death, while moving over the summer, during Christmas, all year...
Do you have a voice like that inside of you? When do you hear it most? What do you think triggers it?
Mine gets LOUD sometimes, and then the battle is ON.
When your inner A$$hole voice gets loud, here are some ways to fight back:
1. Recognize that the voice is there and it's mean. Just by noticing that the voice is being unkind to you will help you disassociate from it a little bit. If you can get your brain to go, "Hey that's really not nice" it introduces some much needed self compassion into the equation.
2. Give yourself a break and ALLOW. You've heard be say that word a lot, it's one of my favorites. The more we can stop resisting, let go and ALLOW for feelings, thoughts, rest, action... the more peace we will feel.
3. Celebrate your accomplishments. We spend a lot of time focusing on the things we didn't get done, the things we SHOULD be doing. Take a step back and try to look at the things you HAVE gotten done. What about the times you felt like shit and called a friend? The times you've gone for a walk to clear your head. And all of the work and life stuff you are getting done every damn day - even if some days are more productive than others.
4. Notice the times you see yourself shining through. This is when having a coach can really help. My coach did this for me quite recently. I was pretty consumed by my inner critic. But several times during our call I started talking about things that lit me up. "There you are" she pointed out. She reminded me that THAT was me, not the mean voice saying all of those awful things, but the voice that was excited and hopeful and creative. And now, those things that were lighting me up as I was talking are like lighthouses to guide me when I feel like I've lost myself.
So remember, that mean voice is NOT you. Get out of your head and look for the REAL you.
And now here is a cartoon from my dad, Bill, a pretty funny guy...