Waking Up to an Inner Critic Attack – Literally and Figuratively

Photo courtesy of Wing-Chi Poon
Photo courtesy of Wing-Chi Poon

Last Friday after I published my post, “My Mom Passed Away 5 Days Ago,” I received so so many lovely responses.  People shared their own personal stories.  Others told me how they found themselves in tears reading it.  Some sent their condolences.  I enjoyed such a lovely connection.   And … to those of you, who read without responding or didn’t read it, I completely honor that as well.  🙂

Connection is one of those precious commodities.  Most of us got it “imperfectly.”  Mom and Dad were there sometimes and sometimes not.

On Friday I felt connected with all of you wonderful amazing beings responding to me with such delight.  In a way, I got what I always wanted.

On Saturday morning I woke up to the voices of my inner critic/protector.  Boom!

  • “You’ll never get that kind of connection again.”
  • “You’ll never be able to write another deeply touching blog post again.”
  • “After all, your mom dies only once!”

The purpose of our inner critic was to keep us safe.  When we were children, it would have been safest to endure the harsh voice of our inner critic over feeling the disappointment and even grief of not getting the connection we longed for – all alone. 

While I heard these voices on Saturday morning in bed, I noticed a bodily sense of frozenness, shutdown, deadness.  In the past before I practiced making peace with my inner critic, this sense could go on for days.  I’d feel hopeless and depressed.

Instead some part of me now asks what precious need is under this verbal attack and bodily response.  The answer on Saturday was –it’s connection.  Wanting to stay connected. To feel happy so I could thrive.  It told me that I need to earn connection.  I could earn it by doing well in my blog post writing.

As a little one I learned if I did well, I’d be safe and connected.  If Mom and Dad approved of my behavior, I’d be safe and enjoy connection –conditional connection.  I did not learn that I am safe and connected no matter what.

That’s the profound shift I’m making with each visit with my inner critic.  From “I’m worthy of connection if I do well” to “I’m worthy of connection, period.”

What is so beautiful for me to tell you is that our essential nature is resilient.  The journey back to unconditional worth and lovability is possible.  I welcome you to join me.

In peace and love, Teresa

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