Tag Archives: self-criticism

Today Was Enough

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I was thinking
I was going to get more done today
and suddenly
I was paralyzed.
With fear, with anxiety,
with self-criticism.
So, I did what any
self-respecting individual would do
under the circumstances…
I read a book.
The book is called
Living Your Truth
by Kamal Ravikant.
Afterwards,
I felt better.
I took one step,
then another.
I went grocery shopping.
I tidied up the house
a little bit more,
took care of some phone calls
and correspondence.
I breathed.
I remembered to repeat
I love myself.
When the kids got home,
I was calm,
and managed to stay (mostly) calm
through homework.
Dinner was beautiful,
and afterwards,
my kids—of their own accord—
had an art moment!
It was…glorious to see them
happily working away
while I tidied up after dinner.
They’re still making art
and here I am writing this poem.
I was thinking
I was going to get more done today,
but I realize now,
today was enough.

Enough

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I am enough.
No. You’re not.
I am enough.
This is such a joke.
I am enough.
Stop fooling yourself!
I am enough.
You are delusional.
I am enough.
Just go get a job.
I am enough.
You are a dried up husk.
I am enough.
This is all your fault.
I am enough.
You’ll never succeed.
I am enough.
You’ll feel this way forever.
I am enough.
No one likes you.
I am enough.
Just shut up.
I am enough.
I am enough.
I am enough.
I am enough.
I give up.
I am enough.

Which Voice?

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I start to feel like I’m slipping.
Is it because I’m so tired?
Have I done too much today?
But wait,
am I not here
to help others?
I should be doing more.
But I’m not feeling so great.
I’m tired.
I don’t want to do anything
for anyone.
Stop being selfish.
But I need to put on
my oxygen mask
first.
Stop being so self-absorbed.
I’m feeling lonely.
I don’t want to do this.
Stop whining. Buck up.

Get back to work.
But I’m tired.
So many voices in my head.
Which one is telling
the truth?

Lives to Save

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Tired, working hard to be prepared
for a workshop I’m teaching tomorrow
and those old scoundrels jump into my brain,
The Perfectionist and the Critic.
They let me know all sorts of things:
You should’ve had this done by now.
You don’t have enough authority to teach this.
It’s going to be a flop. They’ll want their money back.
Why aren’t you more organized?
You don’t have anything worthwhile to say.
You should just give up right now.
And I say:
Wow!
Thanks guys, really appreciate it,
everything you said is really helpful,
and I’ll be sure to take into consideration
what you shared with me…
AND,
I’m going to get back to work here.
I don’t have time to wallow in self-doubt.
I have lives to save.

 

It’s Obvious

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I keep expecting more from myself;
it seems I am not evolved enough.
Then I end up feeling disappointed.
What if there were another way?
What if I could look at myself
and apply the balm of compassion?
What if I could accept my shortcomings
and invite myself to make small shifts
according to what is realistic
in this day to day adventure of life?
What sounds better—
self-denigration
or self-love?
And what will lead to a better outcome
for myself, my family, my community,
my world?
Which choice will empower me
to look upon others with love,
understanding, patience, compassion?
It seems obvious now, doesn’t it?

The Voice of Compassion

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I’m here preparing my workshop
on self-compassion.
It’s late, nearly 12:30 am.
I can hear the inner critic say,
There you go again,
leaving everything to the last minute.
When will you learn?
When will you grow up?
It shakes its head and clucks about…
meanwhile I take a deep breath
and give myself compassion…
Compassion for the girl
who works so hard to please others,
Compassion for the teacher
who wants so much to help others,
Compassion for the artist
who wants to express her creativity,
Compassion for the tired mama
who does so much for so many
every day…
Now the compassionate one says,
Go to bed darling,
you need rest.
And I’m glad I have this practice,
glad that I can hear that voice,
the voice of compassion.

Fear and Greatness

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I almost let fear get the best of me today
I almost believed the stories
of being “less than” and “not good enough”
But I’ve been afraid for far too long
and I’m tired of those worn out stories.
Even as I recognized it for what it was
the fear voice continued to be loud,
insistent even, to be sure–
because who among us wants annihilation?
Threatening to kill the thing that threatens us
only makes the thing even more determined to live…
And so I had to take my fear by the hand.
I had to look into its eyes,
reassure it, tell it that I love it,
let it know that it is welcome here.
And my heart stretched bigger
to hold my fear and my greatness both.
In the end, fear did get the best of me–
it drew me out and woke me up;
I gave my best to it,
and we were both transformed.