I’ve been caught off guard a few times, recently, with people graciously complimenting me on parts of myself unseen to...myself. I was called a “rock star”, that my energy is “off the hook”; that the workshops I host, bolstering connection and aliveness, makes me a “healer”.
And my ego says all the right things:
Thank you so much…
Wow, what an amazing thing to say…
You’re so sweet to tell me that…
But my Inner Mean Team has a whole different narrative, and they must have a freaking bullhorn, because they’re all I can hear. They remind me I’m none of those things -- no rock star, no inspiring energetic presence, clearly not a healer. None of it. Just a young kid in big girl clothes with grown up plans and a knack for starting things I don’t finish.
And my Team is on freaking repeat. Broken record like.
In her book “The Science of Making Things Happen”, Kim Marcille Romaner suggests personifying these sassy inner beings through meditation and journaling, as a way to get to know them, and ultimately control and quiet them You know, so we can get onto the little things, like being whole and creative and alive.
So I did it. With some help from a guided meditation (thank you InsightTimer!), I dropped into meet my Inner Mean Team.
First, let me introduce Janis.
She is a young woman -- maybe in early thirties -- who once had the world at her fingertips. She was a creative when she was young (writing mainly), but she has since fallen prey to the stressors of poor time management and a drive toward perfectionism. She’s still pretty, but worn out; her hair in a shaggy bun held together with a chopstick, black wire-framed glasses, a striped blouse, coffee stained and wrinkled. And she’s always got her pointer finger wagging around when she espouses her toxic should-ing at me. She is certain she has the answers to just about everything All in the name of keeping you hidden and safe, she sometimes says. You’ll thank me later.
Then there’s Gary, a bookish manchild with a mustache; shy and arrogant at the same time, warning me to mask any semblance of emotion because everything is just fine and I’m being too sensitive. No finger wagging from him, but the way Gary tilts his chin down and his eyebrows up are enough to convey his expertise in this line of work. And he presses his finger to his lips often, as a reminder to keep quiet and quit feeling so much.
I’m not here to say I’m in dialogue with these two, telling them to shut the (expletive) up or more politely, to sit in the backseat while I drive. Nope. I have a long road ahead of me on that. I am enlightened though, having been introduced to them, so I know who I’m dealing with.
The rest of Romaner’s work (and that of many other psychologists), goes on to practicing separation from these Inner Meanies, so that I actualize the purpose of my soul rather than the boxy and bland road to safe and invisible.
Not there yet, but I’m trying!
So, hats off to you, Janis and Gary. I know how hard you work; how committed you are to the mission of the Team. How strongly you believe in your cause.
But watch out ‘cuz I see you now. And I’m stronger and wiser than you think. Someone even called me a “rock star” once.
I’m comin’ for ya and we’re going to have ourselves a little chat.
One InsightTimer meditation at a time.