A voice inside is saying, ” You’re no good.” Pause and take that in. You might notice how you feel when you hear this.
You might feel that it’s true, that you’re no good. If this is what comes, now is a good time to sense your feet grounded on whatever they are touching, to feel your body supported by whatever you are sitting on, and to take a breath as you pause.
You might invite yourself to be curious, like a scientist or an explorer. You might even say to yourself, “This is so interesting. I am curious about it.” Now, bring your attention to this something that says, “You are no good.”
Sense how it is it right now inside your body, especially in that whole middle area of the body. Inside you might feel tense, tight, narrow or some other way. Notice how that is.
You may notice this sense of constriction in some specific part of your body, perhaps in the throat, chest, or belly. Notice where it is. You might say to yourself, ‘I’m sensing something in my <part of body> that’s feeling <tight, constricted, or some or way> and it is saying, “You’re no good” <or whatever criticizing thing is saying>.”
Now, just as you might say hello to someone you pass on the street, you might say ‘hello’ to that something in you that is saying that you’re no good. You might say something like, “Oh, Hello, I see you are there.”
You might be thinking now, “Say hello? Don’t be ridiculous. This is just me, my mind. It’s is always saying things like this! I just try to ignore it.”
But, rather than ignore it or push it away, you might just give this a try. Say ‘hello’. Now pause and feel how that is when you say hello. Maybe something relaxes or melts away or perhaps you sense it is wanting more of your attention. If that’s the case, bringing your awareness to it in a pleasant and nonjudgmental way is a good way to start to get to know it.
Letting it know that you know it is there is a first step to coming into a relationship with it, just as you might say hello to someone as a first step to beginning a conversation.
When you stop and pay attention you may notice that it’s not coming from inside your inner body. It may seem to come from just over there, outside your skin envelope, maybe a little to one side or the other or behind you. That’s OK. The body goes beyond the skin. It radiates out into its environment.
This something that is criticizing you, is just trying to protect you. It’s really afraid that something bad is going to happen to you. Remember when you were little and your mother would warn you that if you didn’t wear your coat when you went outside that you were going to get sick? This voice you hear is like your mother’s. It’s worried something is going to happen to you, so it says something bad to keep something bad from actually happening. It is trying its best to protect you.
But guess what! Even though it is doing its best, it actually can’t protect you from anything. And, if you keep it company and listen to it like you would a friend, it will know that you can take care of yourself and it will relax, let go, and after awhile melt away.
Its releasing may not happen quickly. You may need to spend some time with it. If this feels like a big job, you can say to yourself. “There’s plenty of time. I am the space big enough for whatever needs my attention now.” And, if you need to bring your attention to other things in your life, you can let it know that you are willing to come back to it if it needs your attention. That way it knows that you’re not just trying to get rid of it. It can trust you.
Try this out the next time a voice inside is criticizing you and let me me know how it goes for you. I welcome your comments and questions.