Take a Mind Walk with me…
If you stopped right now and filtered through the “tapes” being played in your head over the last 24 hours, what would you hear?
Are they encouraging, supportive and kind?
Do you hear the negative tapes that have been playing for years, a lifetime even?
Those autopilot voices that keep telling you about all the things you fear like change, success, possible tragedy, ridicule and disasters, they just don’t stop.
They are relentless.
I have always wondered…
Where do they come from?
Who put them there?
How do I get rid of them?
It has taken me way more years than I care to admit coming to terms with them.
I’m here to encourage you.
There is a way through, but it requires you to “talk back” and if you are like me, you were taught NEVER to do that.
Sorry Mom and Dad, this time it’s necessary.
Everyone hears those voices.
Every person has them.
You are normal and rest assured, you are not broken.
Placed there mindlessly by our parents, teachers or caregivers, when we were just wee babies, these voices, have served their purpose.
They keep us safe.
They have taught us how-to live-in communities with each other, given us examples of basic human kindnesses, courtesies and given us boundaries to bounce off of.
They also have kept us from searching for and finding our own purposes, desires and gifts.
Judgement (with a capitol J) is what we feel whenever the tape plays.
As a young child, we don’t give any thought to the words we are hearing, except we know that our actions have made someone very unhappy.
We accept the correction, some quickly, some not, and we internalize it.
If you watch, you can see the weight of these judgements start to shift the young, carefree nature of toddlers and early childhood to the apprehensive pre-teen years.
All of a sudden, our brain starts to replay the messages and the play button gets stuck.
Now, we have a constant loop of internal criticism of our very own!
We start to look outside of our family structure and our tapes get added to on a regular basis.
As teens, we have our friends telling us how to dress, how to act, what to eat, play and behave like.
If we screw up and try to think for ourselves, or let our own individuality shine through, there is a quick reprimand to not be “different.”
We feel there is an internal message we should be listening to, but the sound of our friends, parents, teachers is louder than ever, so we just keep piling those judgement tapes in the player.
That tape gets placed on hyper drive because it’s uncomfortable to be thought of as apart from others.
It is here that one of two things happen.
We get the courage to say, “F that” and try to become an independent thinker, even though we are still playing the tape. This brings its own set of judgements internally.
We conform, playing the tape every day so not to upset anyone with whom we love and count on.
We enlist their judgements and just try to live up to them.
It’s not so terrible.
If we can just put a small amount of time in front of and behind those judgements and tapes, we can make room to ask a question.
Is this tape serving my highest good right now?
Can I change the wording, so it is positive, kind and generous?
Can I just toss this?
Here are three things that can help you when you catch yourself listening to the nonsense.
#1. Permission: This is permission to look at the judgement.
For instance, this morning as I am washing my face, I hear the old familiar voice that says, “dang girl, you are getting old, look at all those wrinkles”.
The reality is, I still look damn good for a 55-year-old that has been through as much as I have been through.
I’ve raised kids, my own, my step and plenty of others.
I’ve built successful businesses.
I’ve volunteered and shared my life with countless charities, non-profits and causes.
I spent the good portion of my adulthood being very proud of what I have accomplished.
Every one of these wrinkles and laugh lines is earned and paid for with work, joy and a passion for humanity.
#2. Courage: Here’s a big one.
This one hits close to home.
My mom was the world’s biggest worrier (still is).
She worries about EVERYTHING!
She did such a good job of passing it on she raised 5 children with varying degrees of anxiety who also have passed that on to their children.
This tape on loop daily.
When I was in my early 20’s I remember wanting to go visit my boyfriend.
It was raining and I lived a long way from him and all I heard in my head all morning as I was getting ready was, What if…?
What if the car breaks down?
What if the storm gets worse?
What if I get in an accident?
I felt the anxiety raising and then I said to myself, “STOP (the first time I created space for myself) you cannot live your life being afraid of all the things that could go wrong, what if it all goes right”?
I got in my car, and drive to my honey’s house.
Everything was fine.
The courage I mustered was worth the drive.
#3. Judging the Judge
After giving yourself permission and getting courageous it’s time to pull out the judge’s judge.
Let’s face it, cleaning up and organizing our thoughts is kind of like cleaning up and organizing our closets.
Some of the stuff just has to go. Some is old worn out crap that has no place in the beautiful future we are trying to create for ourselves.
Go ahead, be bold!
Toss out the stuff that doesn’t fit.
I’ve thrown out a lot over the years.
Old theories that just didn’t hold true to what my heart said was right.
It has been so freeing to be able to live via my heart and soul.
Here is the good news, once the old thoughts and tapes are gone, all sorts of white spaces are created and that provides the room for all the goodness you’ve wanted to fill your life with.