Who’s Driving This Thing!?

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~~The Inner Critic~~

~~The Inner Critic~~

In judging others, folks will work overtime for no pay.
– Charles Edwin Carruthers
Everyone’s a critic. Everyone has something to say about just about everything I think, say, or do. That’s okay, though, I’ve heard the Voice of the Critic for so long, in so many ways, I don’t hear it anymore. It’s all crap.
Do you ever experience this?:
You’ve finally achieved some difficult goal you’ve set for yourself… say, you’ve quit smoking. You’re proud of the accomplishment. You pat yourself on the back for overcoming something so difficult. It’s awesome!  You feel so good, you share with everyone… you’ve got ideas that work, if anyone wants them!
Then, Suddenly…
People don’t seem to have much time for you. They seem sort of uncomfortable…
Jealous!      critics…
Those nasty, downer, killjoy voices and their assumptions, put-downs, complaints, rejection. The ones who let the air out of your joy-balloon… with just an off-hand remark. AGAIN. Why do you tolerate them? What should you do about them? What’s their problem, anyway?

CRAP. That’s what.

They’re full of it!

So full of it, in fact, that it spills out into everything they say. Which, naturally, makes them difficult to be around. I mean, REALLY…

some people… i swear… :'(

Let’s just lay it out there… they’re full of C. R. A. P.: Complaints. Rejections. Assumptions. Put-downs.

It’s true. Plain. Simple. Fact.

It sucks to be them. To have those thoughts living in there. Rattling around. Rotting. Festering.

how can they not see their own ugliness? :'(

What is it that YOU do when you’re feeling unhappy, uncomfortable, or worse– uncertain?

Oh? I see…

I guess we’ve all got a little CRAP of our own:

Complaints~ there are things we just don’t like/trust/believe…

Rejections~ We refuse. That is all.

Assumptions~ We know that we know what we know, you know?

Put-downs~ Don’t be stupid/obnoxious/ignorant, I’m right

How did WE get so full of CRAP!?      …aaackk!!…

Here’s how~ over a lifetime, you’ve taken CRAP.

From others and from yourself.   …don’t forget me!!!…

Well, you can’t change others.      we’ve tried…

BUT…

You can do something about what you think, say, and do.

Human relationships are excursions in diplomacy, and as in international affairs, your personal affairs require negotiation & agreements. It’s CRAP that gets in the way.

CRAP originates with your very own Inner Critic, doing what it does: playing on your Weaknesses, Imperfections, Flaws, Fears, Losses, Excuses… playing WIFFLE ball with your head, spilling all that nastiness into your life.

“But Wait!” you say?

You are a good/kind/nice person? A People-Pleaser, perhaps?     …good dog…

I have no doubts that you are. So am I.

Until I am not. You, too… you know?

In order to deal with the ceaseless Voice of the Critic, we do whatever we can to drown it out, numb the sting, ignore it… make it STOP.

But it is disobedient.    …Bad Dog! >:}  A lot like a People-Pleaser.    why can’t you just do what I want for once!?!…

Your Inner Critic…a People-Pleaser? Of course. It was installed to keep you alert to all the ways in which you can increase your enjoyable experience of this brief sojourn with Mother Gaia. It can’t help that you ignore the more subtle urgings of your Soul…     …why can’t you listen the first time?…

All the voices it uses, all the things it says, are the voices you’ve heard and listened to in the past.    …if it works, keep doing it!…

The trouble doubles when guidance meant for you spills out of you and onto others.

We tolerate the Critic because we’re all so familiar with its voice. We often use its voice. Some of us grew up believing that voice is the voice of God. (spoiler alert: it’s NOT.) Most of us go about our day with the Critic on auto-repeat and we don’t know how to shut it off.

Be Kind.To yourself and to others. Every person you meet is a lot more like you than you think…

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Rioting, Oppression, and Compassion

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destrudowoman:

This Pagan Activist says it so much more eloquently than I can muster these days… please take a moment to visit, read, browse… Blessed Be.

Originally posted on Pagan Activist:

11088338_10155471106475258_2351112835899069216_n Image credit: T. Thorn Coyle

What would you do if a Pagan was being murdered by the police once a month? What about once a week? What about more frequently than that? What if a bunch of Pagans in some cities started protesting, but nobody else cared? What if a riot broke out? Would you stand there blaming those Pagans for being too violent?

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What It’s Like…

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SorrowI pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project (blogformentalhealth.com). I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

Imagine each morning, you wake up, get out of bed, and begin the routines of your day~ dressing, going to work, running errands,…~ all the while strapped to a boat anchor. You can carry it, you can drag it, you can put it in a wheelbarrow, but you cannot remove it. It is with you ALL the time. You try to get others to help you with it, but they often refuse, saying that it’s YOUR problem, not theirs. They tell you that you should just drop it~ why would you carry that around with you? They frown and say it’s your own fault for tying that thing so tight anyway~ you did it to yourself. They tell you that having a boat anchor tied around your waist is a sign of weakness, and that anyone who has one is just seeking attention or something.

Living with mental illness is like living with an invisible boat anchor tied around your waist. Others don’t see what it takes to cope, to get through a day, to feel good about living with a boat anchor tied around your waist. Sure, there’s tons of research out there. There is help. There are thousands of therapists, counselors, self-help books, groups, and clinics who claim to have treatments. Answers. The Cure. But the fact is that the boat anchor stays firmly in place, and you get to drag it around with you again. And again. And again.

My boat anchor feels heaviest when I’m around other people, especially at work. Work is where my boat anchor came from.   Since I work at home, this is a particularly persistent weight. I used to pride myself on being personable and professional, but since I received my boat anchor, I tend to be dodgy and defensive with others. I feel threatened whenever someone comes to me with a complaint. I know in my soul that if I don’t respond to it appropriately, I will become jobless and homeless. Every day drips with the potential that I will say or do something that will bring my life crashing down around me, just like it happened at the Nightmare Place.

I have multiple strategies in place to help me carry that boat anchor. Volunteering, art, spiritual practice, reading, family, pets… these all help remove my focus from the trauma and give me hope that life holds much more healing than harm. But that nefarious Inner Critic (mine is called “the Nicene Council”) insists that these are like using a band-aid to cover a shotgun wound. Well, no one said it was going to be easy…

Mental Health is the goal. Acknowledging that, for all our twisted, tearful resistance to the boat anchor, we are capable of living fulfilling, satisfying lives. Each day is a new opportunity to plot our course in that direction. As part of my course-plotting, I’m re-affirming my commitment to Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project (blogformentalhealth.com). Mental health matters. While my posts may not directly address mental health topics, this blog is a component in my process. From surviving to thriving. Failures and successes. I’m hopeful that if you wrestle with your own boat anchor, you find something that lightens your burden, shares your grief, makes you laugh. You are not alone and neither am I.

Here’s to a year of healing, hope, and happiness.

blog for mental health 2015