Hey, Inner Critic,
it’s time we had a chat.
You see, you can stop
telling me I have to figure it all out,
no one has it all figured out.
We’re all in a process of becoming.
So stop it already with the pressure,
and the anxiety, and the belief
that I have to be more, do more, have more.
When I’m free of you for just a moment,
it’s actually quite pleasant.
I can breathe and feel free in this moment,
all I ever have.
I asked my inner critic to go on vacation
and invited my inner child to come out of hiding.
She still doesn’t trust me all the way.
I don’t blame her.
For so long I derived my identity
from a man who was unkind to me;
I tolerated the way he spoke to me,
accepted crumbs of affection,
thought this was the best I could do.
Now I need to build trust in myself,
and demonstrate to this little girl
that I am strong and capable enough
to provide for her,
that I love her,
that I am glad she is here,
and she is the most important person in my life.
Instead of just thinking about self-love,
I am working on feeling it, living it, expressing it.
God, show me how to love and care for myself
the way you love and care for me.
I’ve had this lingering cold since September,
finally went to the doctor yesterday;
she wants me to squirt stuff up my nose,
gargle with salt water, and rest.
I’m tired of feeling draggy,
tired of living surrounded by boxes,
tired of being tired.
So today, I rested.
And it’s nuts what the voices in my head tell me.
Don’t be lazy.
It’s not so bad.
Look at your house! It’s deplorable.
You should be ashamed of yourself!
My overworking made me sick.
And now I’m trying to get better…
but somehow I’m not allowed
to do the things that will help me get better?
Another voice speaks.
Discern the voice of truth.
Listen a little more deeply.
Hear the song of being.
Let yourself heal.
Oh my mind,
why so sour today?
You’d be sour, too,
if you were expected
to figure this mess out.
You don’t have to figure this out.
Who told you that you did?
Well, you aren’t figuring it out yourself,
and someone has to do it.
Oh, sweetheart, just breathe and rest.
There isn’t anything to be figured out.
Just breathe and rest.
I kept trying and kept trying today.
If I can just clean the house enough,
and tidy and organize enough
maybe the voice in my head will be kind
and just let me relax.
I finally had to walk away,
take a shower, eat something.
Who is this invisible presence
that tells me I’ll never get it right?
The voice stayed with me
when the clock struck midnight;
it followed me into the new year.
It was quiet for a few hours,
letting me take in the new year…
But now it is saying, already,
You should be doing more.
You need to make phone calls,
you need to organize your house,
you need to earn more,
you need to plan for the future.
You could end up on the street.
You could lose everything.
Hurry up! No time to lose!
Now I want to know,
whose voice is this?
Of course I want to be responsible,
of course I want to take action,
of course I want to do the right thing.
But I don’t need a tyrant telling me what to do.
I don’t need a frightened, abused inmate
pushing me to be afraid too.
I’m ready for a new voice,
one that says,
Breathe. You’re doing just fine.
Let’s try this now.
You are not alone;
I’ll be with you every step of the way.
Everything is working out just fine.
You are safe.
You can trust me.
I got you.
I’m searching for that voice.
I’m wanting to see what my life will be like
when I listen to it and act from it.
May the voice of kindness rise up within me,
and may my ears and heart and mind
be open to receive its wisdom.
Hmmm…for some reason I keep hoping that these NaPoWriMo prompts will get easier, but they seem to be getting harder, perhaps because of what is happening in my external world. But anyway, here goes. Today’s prompt asked us to write a list of all of the identities with which we associate ourselves, and then divide that list in two more lists, one list of identities that make us feel powerful and another list of identities that make us feel vulnerable. Then we write a poem in which an identity from one list is speaking to, or contending with, or challenging an identity from the other list. What a head game. Luckily I’m always game to play in my head, so, let’s see what happens.
I wrote my list, and artist and critic were both there. I figure that this a great place to start.
Hey! Me here.
Who do you think you are
getting those art supplies out?
You aren’t any good
and no one cares what you
are trying to create.
Oh sweetie, there you go again.
Why do you think you need to be good?
This act of creation is just for you….
you don’t need to impress anyone else,
and especially yourself.
Drop the pressure and radiate your light.
Life is your work of art.
Let your genius shine.
You don’t have to try so hard, friend…
Just relax and let your genius shine.