…be further along
…be over it by now
…no longer be taking it personally
…be more positive
…not feel so angry/guilty/regretful/
If you’re like me, these are thoughts your brain offers to you over and over again…
…so you can love yourself over and over again.
So you can re-mother yourself.
So you can undo what was poorly done and to redo what was done poorly.
They are an offering.
Are you responding to that offering? Are you choosing yourself over and over again?
Sometimes I hate it so much that this is part of the deal.
That voice in your head – the internalized critical mother – isn’t going away any time soon.
Internalized shoulds and shame are such mind fucks because you can’t see that they didn’t start with you…that they are coming from outside yourself. And even when you CAN see they they’re not yours, you forget and forget and forget.
And this is the part where you ask, but what do I DO about it?
I don’t like using the word “do” here.
Because it conjures up taking action and productivity and solving and fixing and it continues to serve the internalized shoulds and shame.
*THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE. Do you remember that movie trope? The teenage babysitter alone in the house gets a call from a creepy, threatening stranger and when the police track the call, they find that it’s coming from inside the house…the creepy, threatening stranger is IN THE HOUSE with the babysitter.
That awful voice inside you that feels SO SCARY AND UNCOMFORTABLE AND AWFUL?
It is NOT YOU!
The only thing to “do” in these moments is to question that voice and meet yourself with kindness and to “let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” (Mary Oliver)
Your evolved human brain sometimes forgets that it is partnered inextricably with a “soft animal.”
Sometimes your evolved human brain doesn’t LIKE that it it is partnered inextricably with a “soft animal.”
Because soft animals are…animals. They might not be socially acceptable. They might disrupt your productivity.
But I promise you…your soft animal holds the key to…feeling better.
Developing awareness of it…respect for it…love for it…helps you stop shoulding and shaming yourself.
This is how you create safety.
Much, much love,
P.S. Your soft animal is your nervous system. In the Mother Lode, we spend a lot of time on the nervous system, developing awareness of it, respect for it, and love for it, so you can take care of yourself and create safety in the relationship you have with yourself and the relationship you have with you mother. Read more about The Mother Lode here. Click here to schedule a consultation with me.
Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.