What’s On the Other Side of the Inner Critic?

I love this quote from Rumi. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Photo courtesy of Pomeranian
Photo courtesy of Pomeranian

I take it to mean that on the other side of our barriers, you are love, I am love, we all are love – pure love.

On the other hand our inner critic tells us some combination of “You’re not good enough” which can be so painful that we shut down and “You can do it” which keeps us working harder and harder and harder.

Either way it’s part of the whole inner critic system based on the assumption that what we do has something to do with our innate value and lovabilityIt keeps us “in line” as we would have been as little children.  From its perspective, I’m good when I do what Mom says and bad when I don’t.

The other paradigm I’m excited about recognizes the undeniable worth and lovability of each human being no matter what.

A number of years ago I attended a daylong workshop with a Thai Buddhist monk who could speak very little English – maybe only two words.  As he glowed, demonstrating the effect, he would say, “Empty, empty, happy, happy.”

At the time I didn’t actually understand the value of what he was saying.  “Empty,” I thought.  I had a head full of voices.  Was there any other way?  I couldn’t fathom empty.

Years later I got it. For instance, I go to sleep so much more quickly and have a much deeper rest when my head is empty.   You too?

My inner voices got into my impressionable little head over time.  When I’d cry, Mom would say, “Quit your crying.”  I learned if I wanted to be accepted, valued, and loved, I’d quit my crying – and suppress feeling what I was actually feeling.  I learned that being true to myself – crying when I felt like it – was “bad” and sadly to doubt my own impulses and feelings. My inner critic’s job was to “protect” me from my mom’s anger at my tears, by embarrassing me when I felt the urge to cry.

Finding what’s true for me has been an amazing and courageous journey of holding those old internalized protector voices with great care.  Recognizing them as vestiges arising from past hurts.  Taking them in.  Healing them with love.

More and more revealing my own loving and feeling heart.

Re-connecting with my own natural impulses – my true heart’s desire – whether it be laughing, crying, dancing. singing, or …

How is it for you knowing your true heart’s desire?

In peace and love, Teresa

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