There are days that this inner critic of mine will not be quelled. As though she were a volcano coming out of dormancy, erupting when least suspected. This morning for instance, she is screaming for attention. “You can’t do this! You have no experience, you’re not a professional! No one wants to hear you!”
As I sit here playing fireman to the spew of hot lava that erupts from my own mind, I am reminded of what a friend recently shared with me. She felt ashamed because she had a day where she was not on best behavior and said some things that she regretted to someone she loved. I told her “Listen we all have bad days. Days where we may have a hard time with our emotions.” I tried to encourage her not to get too down on herself; but rather to give herself some grace. She shared with me “But Jess, you don’t know. It’s like my head is on constant repeat sometimes with these thoughts!”
And this morning as I sit here I realize that I am not immune. My critic is there waiting; bubbling up from the molten ash of past failures, from negativity resounding around me, or from my own insecurities. It comes from a different place for each of us, but the results are always the same. The inner critic on repeat, patiently waiting for us to heed and believe.
So how in the world do I put a cap on an erupting volcano?! Is that even possible? Or if you tried would it cause an internal eruption that would surely burst out onto the people closest?
Someone I respect recently gave me some great advice. He said, get up and do your thing. For example in my case, get up and write. And when your critic starts chatting, just reply, “Today I am a writer.” Acknowledge the critic, and then look them squarely in the face and say “Today I am…”
That is what we do, each day. Because today is what we are blessed to be given. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, for tomorrow is not ours. Today is. Now is ours. What am I now?
Today I will acknowledge you my critic. And today I will look you boldly in the face and say;
“I AM A WRITER. I AM A LOVER OF PEOPLE. I AM PRESENT.”
And today, that is enough.