Yesterday I followed a suggestion imbedded in Sharon’s meditation: to give a name to my negative self-critic, offer her a cup of tea and a nice nap.
I decided to use my first name. I normally go by my middle name, so thought my first name, which I heard growing up only when my mother was displeased with me, would work. It was already associated with negativity.
I tried to give this one a cup of tea, offer her a nap, as Sharon suggested, because she’s got to be exhausted from chewing me out.
But it wasn’t working. I hated her and wanted to treat her like she had treated me. That’s not the way to enlightenment, I don’t think. I only felt spiteful toward… really, me…because I was using my own name, one that was laden with luggage.
So I tried to think of a more loving approach. I wanted to try kindness as part of this practice. So I’m calling her “My Little Helper.” Because I realized that that’s been her role, in a way. This bleak force has derided me into action with her hurtful words. I want to show my gratitude.
We’ll see how it goes. (Awful negative words aimed at self:) Oh, there you are, My Little Helper, would you like a cup of tea, maybe a a nice rest? I want to thank you–I know you mean well.
It’s early, but I have felt a little lightening up, a little more acceptance, as I watch My Little Helper sip her tea. I’ll keep trying. Maybe she’ll change her tune.
If others have tried naming their critic, it would be nice to know what they’ve come up with and how it’s working for them.