Monday’s Muse: Where I’m From – A Look Inside the Inner Critic

Monday’s Muse: Where I’m From – A Look Inside the Inner Critic

As I was recording Part 2 of my two-part series on how to muzzle your Inner Critic for a weekly radio show, I started thinking about where and when some of those critical messages I internalized began.

What makes the Inner Critic difficult to see and root out is that quite often it’s been a part of your landscape from the very beginning. It feels so familiar and normal to you that it becomes strangely comfortable.

Spotting your critical self-talk is just as crucial to your emotional health as detection and treatment of a debilitating disease is to your physical health.

The Inner Critic drains you of your energy and confidence, making you indecisive, unproductive and, ultimately, less successful.

Critical self-talk is destructive – just like any chronic disease. The good news is, it’s treatable! But it requires you to step out of your comfort zone, because you can’t change what you don’t recognize or understand.

All this introspection (something I do a lot of now in late midlife) led me to write this poem:

Where I’m From

I am from

the father who didn’t want me

long before I was a seed germinating in my mother’s womb

I am from

the mountains

my visions, my memories

etched in stone the color of autumn leaves

red, pink-hued, sandstone

I am from

the stories untold

the ache of not belonging

of being alone

of being unwanted

I am from

the stars that glisten

hope

redemption

possibility

I am from

the heart of a woman

strong

proud

ferocious

uncertain

who knows without question

what it means to love

my children

my grandchildren

and slowly, myself

I am from

old stories

that stick to me like surgeon’s glue

that hold me fast

to places, people, things

that are no longer mine

I am from

the stories yet written

of pen and paper

of belonging and longing

of place and time

of being me

injured

resilient

flawed

perfect

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