I caught up with a girlfriend the other day. I wanted to get her opinion on a few things. I told her about my new business idea. She looked at me doubtfully, rolled her eyes and asked “Really? Do you think that’s going to work? Why would you be successful at something others have failed at?” I told her that I was worried about my eldest son and his lack of respect. “What do you expect?” she countered “you aren’t exactly mother of the year.” I told her about my guilt over placing my baby in day care so that I could make a go of something new and exciting. “So you should feel guilty,” she said “I don’t know why you are even giving up time you could spend with him to chase some unlikely dream“.
So, she’s a bit of a bitch my friend. Except she’s not my friend. She’s me.
This is they way I talk to myself. If my friends or husband spoke to me like this all the time, I would be appalled, reduced to tears and I think I would stand up for myself. If someone spoke to my kids like that, I would protect them. If anybody talked to some one I cared about like that, I would pull them up. The friends that I have caught up with about my business ideas and parenting concerns have been supportive and wonderful. My husband keeps telling me just to go for it, and let my worries rest.
Yet despite the rallying cries of family and friends, I don’t stop myself from negative self-talk. Often, I don’t even question it. I don’t step up and say “Enough! This is not helpful“. Instead I try to push those thoughts away, often feeling as though I am holding back a relentless tide. I try to ignore the inner bitch, fingers in ears and singing “lalalala“. It isn’t working too well.
The inner bitch is at her malicious finest when I am tired, when I am overwhelmed and exhausted. She tends to shut up when I feel energised, focussed and happy. But it always feels like she is lurking – waiting for the shadows.
Perhaps the bitch and I need to duke it out. Maybe I need to face her head on and ask her what her problem is. I don’t think there is anything wrong with playing devils advocate. Being objective and injecting practicality into dreams turns them into reality. But when the devil bursts your dreams with negativity, before they even have time to take off, some thing is wrong. My she-devil wields a big pin, pricking my dreams as she goes.
So bitchy she-devil, this is me, telling you to stop it. You can bring practical advice, you can bring a different view point but I am through with you bringing me down. From herein, I am going to ask you some questions: Is what you are saying valuable? Is what you are saying helpful? Is what you are saying even true? If not, I am going to show you the door. I am going to show myself some kindness. And that will allow me a better platform to show kindness to others.