Yesterday I wrote about keeping the horizon close, or managing to find joy despite suffering the symptoms of major depression. Today I’m going to reflect – for my own benefit, as much as anything else! – on handling the inner critic as you do so.
Here’s a sample of the delights my inner critic has offered up this week:
On one hand, when I hear these phrases, it’s a matter of “ho, hum; here she goes again” but there’s also an element of sting to them – because my inner critic really knows how to hit home.
The trick to keeping the horizon close is not just in focussing on the present moment, but in doing to to the exclusion of the inner critic’s voice. There’s no point fighting her; that just adds power to her hurtful words. Instead, I find it better to acknowledge what she’s saying in a cursory way, and then focus all my attention on what I’m doing right now. Treated this way, she eventually recedes muttering into the nasty, dank corner of my mind where she hides out.
She’s got no choice, really. Because I’ve acknowledged her, she can’t get all huffy and shout louder and louder for my attention: I’ve thrown her a bone – “yes, you may be right, but I’m concentrating on something else right now” – and completely taken the wind out of her sails. At the same time, though, I’ve not engaged with her emotionally. No wonder she turns her back on me in a snit: she doesn’t have cause to complain, but she’s not getting any attention, either!
How do you deal with your inner critic?