I am my mother's child

Monday, April 26, 2010

The voices in my head are constant. It's the voice my mother passed on to me. I remember getting out the ironing board, ironing for the first time on my own. I was so proud of myself, thinking I was doing a good thing, doing it on my own. Then, my mother. "You're doing it wrong." Offering to help cook, in the kitchen chopping vegetables. "Oh! You are SO SLOW! Give me the knife." And on, and on.

I know my mother only passed these voices on because she heard the same inner critic. Every meal she made, she'd find fault with, no matter how wonderful. "How is it?" "Delicious!" "Oh, well, the brisket is a little dry, I overcooked it." Nothing was ever as good as she wanted it to be, whether it was herself or anyone else. I'm sure these traits were passed down to her as well.

You're not doing it right. This is largely how I communicate to anyone that I'm around on any consistent basis. You're not doing it right. You're not driving fast enough, slow enough, straight enough. You're not folding the right way. You're not.... Insert the rest here. I am hyper critical. I don't know if the people who have experienced this know, but this is the same dialog that is constantly going on inside my own head. "That's wrong." "You shouldn't even bother trying, it's not good enough." "You're doing it wrong." Driving, laundry, life. "You're doing it wrong." Basically... "You should be better. You're not good enough."

I am going to work to quell these voices, both to myself and to others. I will work to fill my heart with love, with patience, with forgiveness, for myself and for everyone else.

You know what? You're doing it just fine. It is exactly as it should be. And, since I probably forgot to say it (post-note: because surely I am DOING IT WRONG! There's that nasty voice!)... Thank you so much, I really appreciate you!!!


Julia Smith said...

Hooray for you! Those voices are not you, and they are not yours either. I have them too and I have to deliberately stop the negative chatter in my head. This is how meditation has helped me so immensely, to recognize that "thoughts" are not the same as "me" and do not have to be accepted as true, or acted upon.

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