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The Inner Critic

While I spend a lot of my time with the drill sergeant, the inner critic is my constant companion.  The two of them are great friends and they often like to show up together:  the drill sergeant will tell me what I should be doing, and the inner critic will give a running commentary of what a terrible job I’m doing.

Take this morning, for example.  I finally felt well enough to get out of bed and eat, so I was looking forward to making some coffee and oatmeal.  I even had enough energy last night to do the dishes.  One of the dishes was that plate that goes in the microwave that lets the food rotate while it cooks. 
So I was putting that plate back in the microwave, and I guess I must have hit the front glass on the door because the entire glass panel shattered, spraying shards everywhere. 

The inner critic had a field day with this.  Look at what you’ve done!  You’re so uncoordinated, you can’t even put the plate in the microwave without destroying the whole thing.  Now you have to clean up all the glass and you better make sure there isn’t a single shard anywhere.  And now you’re going to have to buy a new microwave so don’t think that you have any spending money this month.

I am trying to practice acceptance of this part of myself but this one is tough because it just seems abusive.  It seems like the inner critic wants me to be perfect so that nothing bad ever happens, but that doesn’t make me feel any compassion toward it.  I guess I need to think about this one some more.

The best I have been able to do is to channel my inner optimist to counteract the inner critic.  I’ve needed her a lot the last few days since I’ve been sick at home alone with no one to check on me.  Plus now I have two light bulbs out, so my place is even darker than it was last weekend.

So the optimist jumps right in whenever the inner critic talks and says things like, well at least the glass didn’t get in your eyes and blind you.  Or you could have gotten cut badly and had to go to the emergency room.  And now you have a good excuse to call your friend over to change your light bulbs because he will have to install the microwave, too.  So really it all worked out for the best. 

Tomorrow I’m going microwave shopping.  I’ve talked to my friend and he’s going to come over next Sunday and play handyman for me.  And I finally felt well enough today to play tennis and even had dinner with a friend.  All in all, after a shaky start, it ending up being a pretty good day.

So take that, inner critic!

About Christy Barongan

I didn't know it at the time, but I wanted to be a psychologist so that I could figure out how to be normal. I think many people come to counseling for the same reason. What I've come to learn is that feeling good about myself is not about trying to be normal. It's about trying to be me. But it's a constant struggle for me, just like it is for everyone else. So I thought I would approach this task with openness and honesty and use myself as an example for how to practice self-acceptance.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Mantras | Normal in Training

  2. Pingback: Faking Go | Normal in Training

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