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60 to 60: Inner Critic at the Dog Park, Part 3

After we said our goodbyes, both Michelle and I said LET'S do this again! (We're meeting this afternoon.)

There is truly nothing like being seen and heard by a Friend. The Inner Critic wasn’t too happy about this dog walk, but eventually, thankfully, went to sleep.

Let’s review. Prior to the spontaneous and wonderful walk with Michelle at the Dog Park, the Inner Critic had A LOT to say.

1. Who cares what you have to say/write? It’s too late.

The first thing Michelle says to me is how much she’s enjoying my writing! Take that, Inner Critic, here is instant support and genuine appreciation. Yay.

Also, let’s discuss. HOW can it possibly be too late? Time is a made-up human construct. There is only NOW. Keep writing.

2. Why can’t you just get along with everybody? You’re so rigid.

HOLD UP, sis. WHO do you know that gets along with everyone, all the time? NO ONE. Especially someone who grew up on the East Coast! Boundaries are healthy! Be clear who it is you want to spend time and energy with.

Rigid? True, sometimes I can be that way. Other times, I’m warm and mushy. Like you, like most other humans, it’s a mix.

3. You know you’re basically broken. Why bother to heal all these layers?

OK, Inner Critic, this is just ridiculous. I am ALL my pieces woven into one. Yes, I have scars, lots of ‘em. There is absolutely nothing broken or hopeless. Continue on your healing path. No one said any of this was gonna be easy. You are worth it.

Why bother to peel away the layers? Because this takes a while. To shed beliefs and stories that are not mine. To reject others’ judgements and negativity that is still offered up. To detach with a loving heart. To get to the essence, the juice, the real deal. To awaken and invigorate one’s true nature and to offer up some LOVE in a world that sorely needs it.

There is A LOT out there these days about mindset and positivity and optimism. Many coaches and writers are available around the globe 24/7 to help us learn to manage our thoughts. Why? Because we ALL have the Inner Critic. She/he/they are there for such valid reasons: to keep us safe, protected from hurt, shame or embarrassment. It is the job of the Inner Critic to poke: WHAT IF this, WHAT IF that. Always ready to gasp.

I don't think there is any one way to go about quieting the Inner Critic. I'm also not here to promote anything, I’m just another writer who wants to write. Back in the 12-step rooms, I learned that to share our ‘experience, strength and hope’ is both a responsibility and a privilege, so here I am. My stories are snippets of my life, a “snapshot” of a moment, a trip, a conversation.

In this Inner Critic series, I’ve been beautifully reminded of some truths:

  1. The Inner Critic has a job.

  2. We need to make time with the REAL DEAL people.

  3. Talk AND listen. Listen and talk.

  4. Going for a walk is always a good idea.

  5. Deep breaths are always a good idea.

  6. Dogs are always a good idea.

  7. The Inner Critic CAN be quieted.

  8. A little reflection goes a long way.

Dog feet after Dog Park


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