This was the thought that kept me awake at night for two days. I tossed and turned. Prayed. Counted sheep. Took Melatonin. Yet I couldn't let it go. The inner critic.
I had just viewed my video for the first time and noticed that I left out a set of poses that I had been teaching for 4 years. Already feeling so self conscious about putting myself on camera for more people to see (and judge), I couldn't get over the fact that I had forgotten this pose. The bully in my mind completely took over and was relentless. See you can't do this. I told you!
Logically, I could tell myself that I would be the only one who knew, but illogically I imagined the whole world talking behind my back. Can you believe it! She's a joke.
It is as if I was looking for a reason not to like the finished product. I was Tucking the Fringe.
It is getting easier to recognize my patterns, but it is a double edged sword. I give myself credit for my growth, but on the other hand I find myself going back to what I know the best, criticism. I was criticising myself for forgetting what I thought was an important part of the class sequence and I was criticising myself for being critical. A neverending cycle.
A big part of my Tuck the Fringe journey has been understanding my inner beliefs about myself and having the courage to release them and continue the path towards a feeling of self worth. Living as my true-self and loving that person. Most of this, for me, happens through my self-talk. And for much of my life, that was a full-time inner critic.
Uncovering when and why this started in itself is healing, but way too much for a blog post. Let's just say, I have a lot of work to do and I'm doing it. Recognizing the pattern came first. I realized that my inner critic was attracting more critics into my life. My thoughts were bringing those people to me and my co-dependency convinced me that they were there to help me. The bully in my mind was all to happy to have them fueling the fire. I could hide behind my own criticism and believe it from others.
The "C" word prevented me from taking risks and listening to my intuition for many years. I'm not sure if my Dad's passing was the catalyst to change, but it seems like it might have been. I remember thinking to myself that I could hide internally to my own critical thoughts, but now my Dad could see me. I didn't want him to be disappointed. Even though the metaphor of Tuck the Fringe came years later, it was all part of the journey of becoming my true self. Believing that my Dad could see it, was the catalyst.
Did I finally get some sleep? Yes. After about two days of self-loathing. My prayers became stronger than my thoughts. I gave myself permission to pat myself on the back. I looked at the way I had been talking to myself and decided I would speak to myself as if I was speaking to my child. I continued my daily ritual which includes a prayer of removing limiting beliefs and actions. And most of all, I began to appreciate again, the person that God created me to be. Matthew Kelly says, "We live our lives for an audience of one: God. If you are doing what God is calling you to do deep in your soul, walk on." My inner critic robbed me of my passion and energy for long enough. I will shut it down at all costs.
The work we do on ourselves is never ending. It takes courage everyday! We must be gentle with ourselves and with others. How are you talking to yourself today? When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back? How about right now?
Take a moment, reach your arms around you and give yourself a big hug and pat yourself on the back. Look at how far you've come. Hug the person you are and the person you are becoming. Energize yourself through self-compassion and self-care.
I'm cheering you on!