All morning I've been defending myself getting armed with responses for all of the judgement, feedback and thoughts that others will have on what I put out into the world. I've got a case to argue for each of the things I say or do. I'm ready with apologies, such as "I'm only human, we all make mistakes, I'm doing my best." Then come the zingers, "I'm working to be a better person each day, what are you doing, sitting here criticizing me?". "How are you making the world a better place finding faults in me, worry about yourself?"
My heart is actually pounding, I feel a little nervous, stressed and on the defense. How could people say these things to me, why can't people be more forgiving and understanding? I've been thinking of all of my replies for the last hour or so and now I am mentally tired. I set out to start my day with going over all of my accomplishments, what I have done right or well to pump me up but instead I am caught in the swirling drainage of negativity and defensiveness.
The funny thing is, I have not posted anything yet. After spending all of my morning concerned with what others would think, fearful of what they will say (even over the smallest thing) or think to themselves, I've been preparing to defend myself from a mythical situation because it has not happened yet.
It dawned on me that I'm actually passing judgement on myself in the guise of other's judgements, then mentally defending myself to all of the the critical and judgmental parts of me. It's very emotionally exhausting and it's not something I would recommend but honestly it's not something I even noticed at first. I mean I know I'm doing it, sort of, but not how often and for how long. So much time wasted in fear and defensiveness. It's hard and paralyzing to do just about anything because of all the self judgement I pass. Just imagine what it will be like when I unleash what I really think to the world and those judgements are amplified by each individual who reads what I say? It's frightening to me.
But despite that a little voice inside reminds me that I cannot let that stop me from being me. From saying the things that want to be said. I don't know why, it just is. What I do know is that I currently have an opportunity to experience what it is to be human in all of it's different stages. One of those is feeling fear and expressing yourself. I need to do it because that's what living is. Living is to feel emotions (good and bad) and to keep going anyway. There are so many people who no longer have the opportunity to do this, their time has passed, so I need to remind myself of that every day and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Experiencing life is a gift, it's an opportunity and I am going to do my best to not waste any more gifts or opportunities in my life out of fear or judgement from myself or anyone else.
Here are a few of books I recommend reading to get a better understanding of the inner critic and voice in your head:
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
Adapted from a post orginally written in June 21 2017.