May 1, 2015

What to do when We’re Stung by Self-Criticism. {Adult language}


Buzzing bees of worthlessness and insecurity have surrounded me. They’re angry.

I’m running, but it’s not working.

They’re chasing me, singing all kinds of terrible, taunting tunes that go something like this:

You’re a failure. You’re not getting anywhere. Why are you so awkward? Why are you so anxious and weird? Why are you so sensitive? No wonder you’re not succeeding, you idiot.

Over and over and over again, like a catchy pop song chorus stuck on repeat.

Then, the stinging starts. First, just once on my finger. But, then those sly suckers swarm towards my head and sting my soul. As the venom seeps deeper into my heart-veins, I’m suddenly in intense, throbbing, self-loathing pain.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

What can I do?

Is there any hope at all of salvaging this formerly promising day?

Yes. There is.

I take my hand and connect with myself for one sweet second.

I see that I don’t need to figure out all the “whys” or “hows” of what I’m feeling right now. I need to get myself to safety.

A voice from within, a wonderfully wise part of my heart, starts to guide me. I let her take over.

Go outside, she says.

Bring a cup of tea, she says.

So I reluctantly throw on my sand-colored sandals and boil some water, pouring myself a cup of chai tea.

I go outside and see that it’s a beautiful day; no, not just beautiful. It’s profoundly gorgeous. The sun is shining proudly in the sky, the grass is glowing bright green, and there isn’t a cloud in sight. Birds are chirping happily and little flower buds are coming to life. But, it’s also quiet. It’s so deliciously quiet.

I take a huge breath of fresh air and just sit for a second.

I feel raw, torn, rubbed to the bone. I don’t like myself very much today. I feel shaky and vulnerable and wildly insecure.

I just feel it. I remember that it’s okay to just feel it.

But, damn, it’s strange to see that overwhelming beauty can exist outside, even when it feels like a toxic, self-critical wasteland inside.

That’s the magic of life. There is always beauty to be found, even in our most tortured moments.

That’s the gift of perspective, how simply feasting our eyes on nature’s lusciousness can remind us of the excited, budding potential inside our own hearts.

Crazy, huh?

And, no, it’s not an instant cure-all that will make us magically better or rainbow-colored unicorn happy or joyous as a jellybean on Easter Sunday.

But, we don’t need that shit.

We can just sit with ourselves and experience what we’re going through.

Because when we sink into our feelings, rather than swat them away like pesky bees, we can find peace. Not necessarily plushy, yummy comfortable peace; but, a a certain kind of strange, oddly satisfying peace.

And, I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of peace I’m after.

Because we don’t always need to spend hours analyzing our emotions or struggle like mad to let them go.

Sometimes, we can just breathe and allow them to be.

Yes. We can just allow ourselves to be.



Relephant Read: 

I Want to Hide from the World Today.


Author: Sarah Harvey

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Pixabay


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