Losing My Inner Critic
~January 8, 2011
Below are scenes from a self-compassion meditation that helped me with “that” voice in my head. You might know the voice I’m talking about. I call it my Internal Critic. It’s the voice that’s been beating me over the head with a bat almost all of my life.
It gets VERY LOUD at times and tells me things like… “I’m not good enough”… “I’m an F-up”… “I need to try harder”… “I need to be better”… “I screwed up AGAIN”… “I’m a loser”…. “I’m not pretty enough”… “I’m not smart enough”… “I’m not spiritual enough”… “I’m a horrible wife/mother/sister/daughter”… etc. etc. etc.
In this first scene of the meditation, I allowed the Internal Critic to gently step outside of me. There were mirror images of me and only one of me was holding ALL of the anger, self-judgment, self-loathing, and self-condemnation of my Internal Critic.
Because I was looking at this mean, ugly part of me as a separate person, I did not have to feel ANY of these feelings inside of myself. I felt lighter, happier, and more filled with love. I was grounded in the part of me that tells me the TRUTH about myself… “That I am good”… “I do enough”… “I am enough”… “I am ok”.
Since my insides were more identified with this healthier voice, it became very apparent how messed up this Internal Critic was. It was like for the very first time, I saw with clear eyes how utterly insane this maniac with a bat was looking back at me. I held out my hands to the Internal Critic and said “It’s time to put the bat down… and we will do it together”.
In this scene, My Internal Critic let me help her put the bat down. We held it together and we placed it on the floor very slowly and gently. We didn’t throw it.
I began to become more identified with Internal Critic at this point of the meditation. It was as if I jumped bodies and I was now in that body… and I’m sure this sounds weird since they were both me… and there really is only one me… but this is the kind of healing journey that can happen for me in visual meditations.
I saw the Self-Compassionate Me looking into my soul with love… gently helping me put the bat down. Lots of energy started to generate in my body in the meditation and I felt a ton of anxious fear. I realized I was deathly afraid to put the bat down.
Then I was back inside the Self-Compassionate Me. The Internal Critic needed me and so I switched roles. My Self-Compassionate Me saw that behind the anger of my Internal Critic was someone with HUGE amounts of pain inside her. Not only was the bat something she used on me, it was something she held to protect herself.
I felt such compassion for that wounded part of me. As we put the bat down, the fear of the Internal Critic turned to sadness and she began to cry but she was willing… willing to let the Loving Self-Compassionate Me help her put the bat down.
Next thing you know, both parts of me were transported to a beautiful mountainside setting very abruptly. It was as if as soon as we put that bat down, we were wisked away to a place where there was no possibility that the Internal Critic would be able to pick the bat back up. Someplace lovely and safe for her.
We stood before a fountain with a waterfall growing up inside of it. The water started to flow over the top of both of our heads… cleansing the Internal Critic of all impurity of thinking and feeling… freeing her of the anger, the fear and the sadness.
I looked into the Internal Critic eyes and saw she was hesitant and doubtful of this experience. I very compassionately assured her with my eyes that it would be ok.
Then I closed my eyes with a quiet confidence knowing the power of the healing, clean waterfall and let the Internal Critic feel her own feelings… but I myself did not identify with her. I stayed centered inside my Self-Compassionate Me enjoying the flow of the waterfall flowing over me.
Eventually the waterfall flowed so great, I could not tell where the one that flowed over the Self-Compassionate Me… and the one that flowed over the Internal Critic Me… began and ended.
It was as if one stream of water was now flowing over both of us and we were coming together, both equally embracing the same sense of freedom, peace, and self-acceptance. Self Compassion was doing its thing inside both of us.
Eventually, the waterfall stopped. We both opened our eyes and we were filled with a sense of purity and cleanliness that the waterfall had given us.
My Self-Compassionate Me looked into the face of the Internal Critic and she was happy… she was childlike… she was unafraid…. she was free… free of the Internal Critic!!!
My Self Compassionate Me was so very happy for the Internal Critic. I cried tears of joy and kissed her on both cheeks and we hugged. I felt the weight of the world lifted off her shoulders… the weight of the bat laid down to rest.