Identifying negative self talk and inviting it in for tea: “Well, hello again, Self-Criticism. Have a seat. I’ll make us some rosehip and hibiscus.”
The voice in my head is less self critical than it once was. Depression treatment sent her packing. I no longer tell myself stories about how I am unworthy, unlikeable, unloveable, wrong, broken, or inferior. But I do still deal with a tendency to despair. When something is bad, I presume it will always be bad and that makes me anxious and afraid. I become my worry, even though I’m far ahead of myself.
In meditation practice this is a worry that I’ll never let go, I’ll never make meditation a daily practice, I’ll never get out of it what other meditators get over the course of a lifetime, I’ll never center myself or become loving awareness. I worry that I’ll always be a worrier and never a meditator. It’s a spiritual issue for me as well, because meditation is part of my sadhana, it’s part of peeling back the veil and becoming one with the ultimate reality (or rather truly feeling that oneness with Brahman). The stakes are very high.
So then it’s, “Hello, my old friend Self-Doubt. I will call you Mrs. Mordant and invite you in for lunch. Perhaps you’d like to play with the cat. She’s a cuddle bug.” (mordant = the quality of having or showing a sharp or critical quality; biting.) “I know you are fearful. Maybe together we can take this fear and offer it up as grace.”
I think the end of the day would be when I experience the most negative self-talk. As the day comes to a close, I begin to frantically worry that I didn’t do enough, didn’t accomplish enough. And that inner voice is really going to be a force to reckon with.