Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Some Hard Stuff.

I'm a generally positive person. I can find the goodness and beauty in almost anyone. I can easily forgive others for their mistakes and misunderstandings.

But I am mean to myself.

I have a voice, a constant running commentary in the back of my head, telling me I'm not good enough.

It sneers at me when I put on a movie for the kids because I just can't stand to play Candyland one more time. When I try on a pair of pants that doesn't fit anymore, it tells me how weak-willed and lazy I am. It supposes that my husband might leave me for someone more interesting, more attractive, or who can at least manage to get dinner on the table. It tells me that I can't call myself an artist or writer, because what I do isn't "real" art. It tells me that I'm not good enough. Or smart enough. Or brave enough.

Most of all, it tells me that I deserve to feel this way.

I am going to stop listening to that voice.

I'm going to try to hear, instead, the quiet voice that breaks through sometimes and tells me that I'm okay. The one that tells me I've done a good job. The one that tells me I'm funny and kind. The one that tells me I am doing the best I can. The one that says my children know how much I love them, and feel safe and secure. The one that tells me my husband loves the person I am, no matter what package I come in. The one that tells me I create beautiful things.

I'm going to do that for me, and I'm going to do that because there are two little girls watching me. I see myself in them more every day; in the turn of a phrase, or the tilt of a head. And I want to see people who are capable of being proud of what they are, instead of drowning in feelings of inadequacy because of what they feel they aren't.










18 comments:

  1. My mean voice is a liar. It believes things about me that are not true, but then shouts them at me. I am super awesome, so the mean voice can just STFU! A friend of mine suggested I read "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns. It is a workbook (there are blanks to fill out) and it has helped me recognize when I'm listening to the shitty voice, and provides ways to tell it to STFU. Great book!

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    1. Oooh.. I love filling in blanks. :) I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks!

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  2. I think that voice is there for most thinking people. I suppose the trick is to use it to spur you on toward greater things rather than suspend you in inaction.
    Does it ever go away? Or do we just learn how to respond to it? I don't know. For what it's worth, I think you are an artist. A fantastic artist.

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    1. That is definitely the trick - onward and upward. Thanks, Lou. :)

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  3. Our inner voice is a mash up of every voice that has ever had an opinion about us. Negative things tend to take up the most room in our heads, which is unfortunate, because there is often so much positive that we push out of the way to focus on the negative. Years/decades worth of pushing that positive voice away, makes it that much harder to listen to... when really, that's all we should be listening to.

    *about to get mushy alert*
    You are one of the most creative people I know. You see beauty where many others can't, and you can create art from anything. I have always wished I was able to come up with things off the top of my head, but that is definitely something that you and daddy share. That trait totally skipped me and I've always been envious.

    You are a wonderful mum, and your girls are lucky to have you. No one can (or should!) focus every waking moment on their children, so you have nothing to feel bad about when you put a movie on for them. Those girls are happy, and well taken care of, which you have made sure of, despite any troubles you have dealt with.

    You are good enough. Period.

    You have always supported me, and encouraged me, and you are a beautiful person, with a beautiful mind. I'm lucky to have you in my life, and if there is ever anything I can do to help shut your mean voice up..I'll do it.

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  4. I'm going to whisper this because I don't want you to confuse it with that mean, loud voice who keeps screaming bad things at you.

    You are super cool and lovely and artistic and kind and fun. If I lived close by, we'd never get anything done and our kids would marry. After graduate school of course.

    Best of all? Your husband and kids know this. And their voices are very very wise.

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    1. We would be awesome in-laws. Thanks, Mar. :)

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  5. Tell the mean voice to suck it. You are amazing.
    There's a reason you are one of my parenting role-models - your mad skills are helping to grace the world with two great kids.

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  6. Wow! What a wonderful post! Inspiring me to do the same :) Yes! We can't teach our kids to have a good self esteem, we have to walk the walk also. Thank you

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  7. Thank you for this. It's like you've read exactly where I've been for several weeks - obsessing over all I am not, and all that I don't do up to par. Beautiful thoughts, and so appreciated!

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    1. Thanks Rachel, and thanks for sharing!

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  8. Absolutely! I have that same voice. I've been working it out lately. I'm trying to remember to take off my negativity goggles more often. I am hyper critical of myself and sometimes others. You are wonderful and I can't wait to share this post!

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    1. I think we all have it to some degree... we just have to get better at realising when there's truth in it and we need to fix something, and when it's just bullshit.

      Thanks! :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing, I appreciate it. :)

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