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waking up on the good side

February 28, 2012

Yesterday Rose’s little friend Fawn explained, chirpily, from the back seat of my car, “this morning I woke up on the good side. Sometimes I wake up on the grumpy side, but not today!”

It’s hard to wake up on the good side every morning. It’s actually a practice to choose to see the luckiness in our lives, to meditate on gratitude, to banish the negative voices that beckon from dark places.

Last week was hard. Every day I pulled up my chair to the table and choked down a big plate of doubt. Soon doubt was the stuff running through my veins as if that was singularly what I was made of.

My Christian friend explains those voices (which are the verbal equivalent of rotten tomatoes hucked at your face) as coming from the outside. My psychotherapist friend calls it our super-ego. Buddhists refer to our delusions. Jewish tradition claims irksome dybbuks can inhabit our bodies. Navajos have ceremonies to excise evil spirits that take hold of people. And artists speak of their inner critic. Oh my, we can be a complicated, self-sabotaging group.

The Dalai Lama, Durango Public Library

My friend Marlena, a brilliant life coach, says that when people are launching into new endeavors, the super-ego (whose role is the critical and moralizing voice keeping our pleasure-seeking id in check) can get a little revved up. Sure, the super-ego developed to keep us safe from, say, eating our weight in doughnuts and then joining a traveling sex cult. But, when it says, “who are you to think you can fill in the blank?” the best answer may be what my mom’s friend says to her schizophrenic son when he starts hearing voices: “that sounds frightening honey, but it’s the illness (satan, super-ego, delusions, dybbuk, inner critic, evil spirits) talking.”

And I am launching into some new endeavors. One of them is homeschooling. And I’ve come to see that I worry about Col more than is necessary. Perhaps hyper-vigilance got coded into our relationship when he was first whisked past me in the hospital room in all his tiny vulnerability, someone shouting out his Apgar of 5. Just last night at the hot springs Col and Rose were splashing around with some girls they know when Rose informed me that the girls were teasing Col. I heard them saying, repeatedly, “you’re so small Col, you could pass for 4 years old.” A corkscrew twisted into my chest. I waited a moment to see how Col would respond.

Col stayed silent and Rose looked at me like, do something, Mama, so I talked to the girls about all the different types of people in the world, big and small, dark and light. And then I smiled at them like the hungry crocodile determining how many little girls he can fit into his mouth, and suggested that Col and Rose return to Dan and me.

I sunk back into the hot water and felt a stab of pain somewhere like my womb, somewhere like the origins of my own motherhood. Col was fine; this was my problem.

And as my wise friend Natalie says, “To realize your own worst enemy is inside your skull is both creepy and irritating and then, on the bright side, great news since you are that voice and can choose something different.”

And not to be all: let’s join hands, sing an inspirational ballad and pass out the “befriend yourself” buttons. But also, yeah, let’s. Because I’ve got stories to tell and projects to launch and people to love and I don’t have time, not even a second, to take a tomato in the face.

How do you banish the jeering section of your mind? How do you go bravely into new territory?

With love and gratitude,

Rachel

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44 Comments leave one →
  1. February 29, 2012 8:04 am

    I am constantly battling that inner critic. Most of the time I just take a deep breath and remind myself to not believe everything you think.

  2. February 29, 2012 8:31 am

    Our new endeavour (although we’ve been at it a year) is farming and in keeping animals there is a lot we worry about: are they healthy? are we doing (insert a certain sheep care task here) right? should we shear before lambing or after? and so on. I’m trying to work on worrying less about the unknowns a bit more and to take things one step at a time. Dealing with what IS happening right now instead of the many things that MIGHT happen. It does take some reminding though, that’s for sure!

  3. Christy permalink
    February 29, 2012 8:35 am

    Wasn’t it Anne Lamott who talks about the radio station in her head K-Fukd? I remember reading that and thinking, “I so hear you sister!” Just like I am so hearing you. I don’t really have an easy or short (hell or long for that matter) answer. I just try to keep the station turned as low as possible. On days when its loud, I remind myself to breathe and try to answer the negative thoughts with positive ones. It helps that my partner recognizes when the fear and negativity are starting to drown me. He usually lets me talk about how horribly I’m doing or how everything will fall apart, then says “okay, now lets talk about how awesome you are and how everything will come together perfectly!” And I work at recognizing (early) in myself when I am looking at how things could go wrong and fail to simply walk away. And do everything I can to work toward the positive outcome. Why do some of us struggle so much more with this? Thanks for your honesty and openness. And hang in there! Let me add my voice to the good noise and say I love your writting and you’ll do (are doing) great.

  4. February 29, 2012 8:46 am

    Oh I know this. And it seems that the more we evolve the more we face the tomatoes. Of course… it changes over time. One voice quiets & another begins. I’m glad I’m not the only ones with voices :)
    For the first 12 years of Sam’s life I feared I had fundamentally screwed up his life. Even though Joe adopted him when he was two and has never thought of him as anything but his own…. I worried. Every tantrum and bad day and sulky thing he did made me wonder if it was a manifestation of him knowing he was a little different than his siblings and friends. And now, at 15, I realize his nature is to be a solemn thinker kind of person. Everything that makes him difficult is also what makes him so wonderful. (that is my mama mantra, by the way) I think we’re good. And if nothing else I can fully say that I put my whole heart into it. I did my best.
    Thanks for sharing this Rachel.
    xo
    s

  5. Peggy permalink
    February 29, 2012 8:47 am

    I love the quote from your friend Natalie. it is so true – and one of the hardest things to accept. Personally speaking, changing who I am at my core is one of the hardest things to do. Not to say that I need to go changing myself, but there ARE things about myself (my anal-retentiveness, my over-protectiveness, my VERY short fuse, my need for perfection) that I don’t love – and I know that I am the only one who can change these things. I guess I will always be who I am, but I CAN edit how I present it to the world – mostly – to my children. I have found this to be one of the biggest challenges of parenthood (I’m choking up as I’m even writing this), as I don’t want to burden my children with my issues. They are such sweet, loving, innocent souls – and they should not have to deal with my issues at 5 and 7 years old. I work on this every day. Sometimes I forget, and end up back at square one. But at least I’m trying, right?!
    Thanks for the post – another one of my favorites (I think they all are). Hang in there – sounds like you are doing all of the right things!!!

  6. February 29, 2012 9:02 am

    My friend and I were just talk very thing about this very subject. Well put. Love your blog!

  7. Michele permalink
    February 29, 2012 9:16 am

    Does Marlena life coach long distance? :) Could use some help moving into brave new territory!

    I’ve heard kids say some very hurtful things to my kids and do my best to bite my tongue and let them stand up for themselves, however my kids are usually so stunned they don’t come up with responses until later (sounds like me!) Sometimes I can’t wait and address the verbal offender swiftly, firmly but with a smile, which I’m sure makes the hairs on the back of their necks stand up. After all, it takes a village and communities of yesteryear would not allow such shenanigans so why should we?

    How do I quiet the negative self talk….hmmmmm, I guess it’s usually a “stop it” that pops in my head and an internal argument ensues. Somehow positive usually wins and I’m able to move on to the next thing. If negative is winning, I just write it out and then try to move on.

    Why is it so much easier to see the accomplishments of others rather than our own?

  8. teresa permalink
    February 29, 2012 9:50 am

    i have no easy answers… but i want to say that it is- thank you for sharing some of yours! so much love to you mama!!
    xoxo

  9. Nana Judy permalink
    February 29, 2012 10:13 am

    Hmm – sounds very familiar.

    The book Buddha’s Brain looks at the evolution of alarmist thought patterns. The authors are a neuroscientist and a neuropsychologist. They see these patterns as rooted in flight/flight – but often counter-productive in our chronically stressful lives. In the self-help vein, they suggest ways to overcome these tendencies.

    Founder of Quakerism, George Fox famously put it this way:
    “I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness.”

  10. February 29, 2012 10:26 am

    I had a father who thought I was the very best thing that ever happened to him. We struggled mightily when I hit puberty, and I drifted away from my center for a while, but some excellent counseling in my early 20’s that helped me find myself again. I then married a man who believes in me more than I believe in myself. It’s amazing what always having someone in your corner can do for your self esteem. And I have surrounded myself with people I look up to and try to emulate, rather than people who would like to pull me down. Mostly, I think I am very lucky, because I think a lot of my self confidence is innate. The natural volume on my voice is turned way down. (Parents divorced when I was 4, both were alcoholic. I should be way more f’d up than I am). My father used to tell a story of losing me in a rural hardware store when I was about 4. He came around the corner to another aisle and there I was, telling a group of farmers, their thumbs in their overalls, about our farm and the chickens and ducks and geese and cats and dogs and…you get the idea. I was fearless. I am often NOT fearless now, but I do remember what that feels like, and it’s a center I can work to get back to.

    Oh, and my favorite quote about teaching: Good teachers plan, then let go.

    XO

  11. February 29, 2012 10:31 am

    Like your words and LOVE that photo!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 1, 2012 11:02 am

      Which one?

      • March 1, 2012 11:54 am

        Father & Son chillin in the woods – I imagine a silence that’s your “picture is worth a thousand words” squared.

        • Rachel Turiel permalink*
          March 1, 2012 11:56 am

          I know! Especially awesome since a friend recently asked Col what he wanted to do when he grew up. “Go to the woods with my dad,” he replied.

          • March 1, 2012 12:07 pm

            Well thanks for being a woman who makes my day for sharing the way her men commune with ______.

  12. ike permalink
    February 29, 2012 10:37 am

    Lots of wisdom in all these comments. My practice is gratitude which often works as an antidote to focusing too much on my issues- and there are always issues we could focus on. The thing is we do have a choice. One other realization (from Jonathan Heschel) is that of radical amazement -we are alive with possibilities. Wow!

    Ike

  13. February 29, 2012 10:54 am

    Not that I’m happy to hear that you’ve been struggling, but my “misery” is super glad for your “company”.

    i commented a few posts back that my “word for the year” was inter-personal. two days ago i was questioning the wisdom of that and thinking i’d like to go back to my avoidant, loner ways, thank you very much. because for a few months now, that super-ego (Top Dog) has been merciless regarding my basic worthlessness as a friend. and yeah, shut the fuck up already, geez.

    so i’ve had some practice at reminding myself of what to do. and it always works, but i do have to remember to DO IT. aside from self care and meditation, i need to remember to ask myself, “who’s driving the bus?”. who’s at the wheel, making commentary…which voice is at the microphone of my inner narrative? if it’s a mean voice, i am already clued into the idea that this is not the voice of wisdom. and as soon as i identify it as the inner jerk, i step away from identifying WITH it, and begin to have choice. i don’t want the jerk driving my bus. so i ask it to take a seat a few rows back, and then ask a quieter (yet bigger) and more compassionate part of me to step forward…The Witness. you could call it wisdom mind, or objective mind aligned with heart. but it’s a much better driver, and isn’t afraid to stop and ask for directions.

    i love your transparency in this post…you seem even more human and lovable than before. . xoxoxo

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 1, 2012 11:07 am

      Thank you for the beautiful bus analogy. There are so many different forms of “that voice,” aren’t there? Sometimes it’s just the perfectionist, who I can never please (nor should I); and sometimes it’s a quieter, fearful voice that needs attention and care. Sometimes, it’s what a friend calls, “the whistleblower,” who *does* have valuable things to say, just insensitive ways of saying it. I might hear: you work too much, I can’t believe you’ve only been skiing once this winter! Lame! It sounds berating, and it is, but underneath is a truth to listen to.

      xoxoxoxoxo

  14. Audrey permalink
    February 29, 2012 11:24 am

    Your post made me think of Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk, particularly the part about the college exam: http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html. Ostensibly this talk is about working women, but I think it might just be about women.

    I just had a client in a post-project email in which I was asking for feedback say some felt I was “bossy and rude” when I opened the shades and turned off the fluorescents when starting a meeting. I guess you can take the girl out of Durango… His email struck right at the personal core of my self-doubt, and not just as a worker person. But, hey, I give myself props for even asking, I remind myself that no man would have been called “bossy”, and I will take his feedback and my own fears and when I have the strength, I will calmly mold them into something I can learn and grow from, just as you did with the hot tub incident.

    So here’s to being critical, strong, learning, growing women!

  15. rose permalink
    February 29, 2012 12:43 pm

    yes, let’s do make friends with ourselves. let’s meet our fear with the curiosity of a three year old and barrage it with questions. where are you from? why are you here? what can you teach me about myself, about trust? rather than banish fear from our thoughts, bring it in with the comfort we would offer a frightened child. when my kids are upset for whatever reason i say, let me hold you til you feel better. i’m learning to offer myself that same kind of love and there is such freedom to be found. fear is still there, but quieter all the time. less of an obstacle and more of a landmark on the path to my highest self.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 1, 2012 11:10 am

      Rose, I’m curious if you recommend welcoming in the “jeering section.” I can totally see the value of holding and comforting the fearful self, not banishing it. But, in my head at least, there is a relentless critic who distracts me from my higher self on every level. All I can think to do is show her the door.

      • Rose permalink
        March 1, 2012 9:59 pm

        i have found it helpful to welcome it all in, even the ugliest of voices. they are all a part of me and until i can understand the origin of the self-loathing i don’t think i will be free of it. making friends with myself, to me, means making friends with all of me, not just the bits i like. this only works when i can see myself as separate from my thoughts, though. i used to believe a lot of lies about myself and would get swept away into a dark place that was so hard to find my way out of. this still happens from time to time, but i find my way out faster and faster the more i learn to love and forgive and to see myself as i truly am. if i spend any time at all rejecting any part of myself, i feel like it diminishes my ability to grow in the way i would like to.

        the following says it better than i can:

        The Guest House

        This being human is a guest house.
        Every morning a new arrival.

        A joy, a depression, a meanness,
        some momentary awareness comes
        as an unexpected visitor.

        Welcome and entertain them all!
        Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
        who violently sweep your house
        empty of its furniture,
        still, treat each guest honorably.
        He may be clearing you out
        for some new delight.

        The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
        meet them at the door laughing,
        and invite them in.

        Be grateful for whoever comes,
        because each has been sent
        as a guide from beyond.

        ~ Rumi ~

  16. February 29, 2012 2:43 pm

    Sing it, sister. I hear you, loud and clear. And I love the words you shared from your friend Natalie.

    How do I banish the demons? Sometimes I don’t and then I feel sad and end up spending my writing time reorganizing my desk and eating peanut butter cups. But sometimes I just start writing. And then maybe I’ll write one sentence I like and then I remind myself that sometimes that’s enough.

  17. janie permalink
    February 29, 2012 5:14 pm

    I’m constantly kicking that self-doubt to curb….why doesn’t it get the hint? I called you this morning. Love

  18. mwieser permalink
    February 29, 2012 5:29 pm

    I actually have my own personal jeering sections, internal and external, which is what leaving a relationship does sometimes. I mark good things with big bright circles around them, made of dinners and desserts or other kinds of fun times. I ask my cheering section for cheers – and receive it, copiously. I sit contemplating things I have made well. I plan meticulously for things that require meticulous planning, because it is comforting to control a tiny section of the universe, no matter how meaningless. I stop what I am doing to scrutinize my daughter’s face and movements for signs of her past and future selves, and to try to be with who she is right now. I neglect the things that bear neglecting, so that I have time and energy for the rest. I try to go to sleep before it’s too late, and have a fruit smoothie at breakfast time. I set an alarm to remember to take medicine on time and daily, as prescribed. I get rid of clothes that don’t fit, and fix holes and scrub out stains in the rest. I soak in hot water and walk in the cold. I read things like your blog to stay conscious of the life that is possible with love and humor and knowledge and mindfulness.

  19. Emmanuelle permalink
    February 29, 2012 9:10 pm

    I fully agree with Ike’s comment on gratitude, and with Marygood’s idea of checking who is driving her bus at the time. Both practices have been very helpful recently, and I link this with a quote I saw recently on love versus fear. Fear prevents us to be empowered by love, but love is much stronger.

    So the remedy is trust. (Remember your talk with the aspen tree? I often think about it, and it’s a balm on my own doubts.) Trust allows the full strength of love to flow back into our minds, and dissolve fear.

    When I am too much down the spiral of doubt already to invoque trust, I tell my friends about my doubts. They see all the good things (in myself and my abilities) that are obscured to me at the time, and they give it back to me. Then again gratitude for their love helps carrying the message up my foggy, soggy brain.

    A close friend said to me once: “You don’t need to carry the whole world on your shoulders.” We are doing our best, but we must remember that the people we love are very resourceful, too. Children included.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 1, 2012 11:12 am

      Oh yeah…I did have that talk with the aspen tree. Thank YOU for reminding ME! And mygod, it’s true, trust is the antidote. Absolute blind trust.

  20. February 29, 2012 10:59 pm

    it never ceases to amaze me when i happen to stumble upon words my mind has been uttering, through the voice of someone else…(only my voice had much less flair and would have been drenched in grammatical errors). your post was wonderful and a nice reminder that at the end of the day we do all have the “sames” thank you.
    so happy i found this place!

  21. March 1, 2012 6:19 am

    This is a lovely post. I think we all have these moments where we tie ourselves up in knots thinking we are ruining our children’s lives and that we’ll look back in a few decades and realise that we messed it up completely. And yet, these feelings fade the way they always do and we know that we are doing the right thing; the right thing here and now and for us, our lives.

    As you said, we are all doing ok. We are the only ones who can allow these negatives thoughts to take residence inside us.

    Your posts on homeschooling are further fuelling my ambition to homeschool my own children. It is blogs like yours that make me realise that this is not a pipe-dream. It is a wholly achievable goal that I can make a reality. Thank you for that.

  22. Ania permalink
    March 1, 2012 10:53 am

    I often think that there is nothing more terrifying in this world than being a parent, there is nothing more scary than the fear for our kids. But then, there’s nothing as gratifying as that either.

    I also have this “pole” inside me that always keeps me straight and going and it’s not from faith, which I don’t have, or knowledge that I’ve gathered, but from some fundamental trust that human condition is just that – human condition – and, as much as I would like to be a plant sometimes, I can’t change it, so I better accept and love it :).

    Anyways, I have a feeling that you are and going to be just fine in all your endeavors!
    Love, Ania

  23. March 1, 2012 12:58 pm

    Rachel,
    While I love your cheerful posts infused with the hilarity of childrearing, these post that share your vulnerability are both heartening and helpful as a fellow mom, woman, person finding her way. If you haven’t heard this podcast, you might find this To The Best of Our Knowledge interview interesting. http://ttbook.org/book/gangaji-true-self

    Best,
    Veronica

  24. LISA permalink
    March 1, 2012 5:10 pm

    Just what I needed to read today. Your writing is so creative and on point. I love your metaphors. I am having a day of beating myself up and probably anyone that gets in my path. Hormones, doubt, fear, dissatisfaction, I dont know, just hoping it passes, but knowing ultimately i do have control over that.

  25. March 1, 2012 8:07 pm

    My answer is to NOT banish them. I know seems counter to what is written all over the internet, but I hesitate with the kick-those-voices-out approach as the only way.

    Of course, banish has lots of meanings, and I do think there is a place and time to be firm, to notice and then laugh in the face of some of these thoughts. But I went through years of “trying to be better” and it was like there was an inverse pull against me equal to the effort I was making. So I stopped exerting so much… or rather all the while I was exerting I was also (unbeknownst to me, really) embracing, embracing myself and all those parts of me I didn’t even know where there. (What was helping me embrace these things? meditation, nonviolent communication, reading, therapy.)

    The first Hakomi session I had (Hakomi a type of therapy/self-discovery), I thought to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding me — is this going to be about all that inner child crap?!” It was and it wasn’t…. but there is something to be said for reclaiming those parts of us that were simply doing the best they could with limited information and a very white-and-black thinking brain. We can think of it as a reclamation, integration, getting out of our own way, wholeness, healing… letting go of all that is outdated so that we can flourish in the present. But we can’t let something go until we know what it is, and we can’t know what something is if we are busy telling it to shut-up. There is a way of listening without believing, and that is the type of listening I am talking about. Listening with a curiosity and kindness, which is how we get the voice to tell us what’s underneath, which is how we get to the tenderness and transformation.

    Much love to you, Rachel. Thank you for writing this.

    Blessings,
    Stacy

  26. March 1, 2012 8:28 pm

    We love homeschooling. :)

    I have once in a blue moon pangs (usually fueled by extreme criticism) of “am I fucking them up are they ever gonna be able to do algebra or go to the university of their choice”. And then I spent 2 minutes watching Ken Robinson on a TED talk, or I read a little of:
    http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/docs/StopStealingDreamsSCREEN.pdf

    And I remember I am doing exactly what I need to be doing. Immediately.

    But other than that, for better or worse, no voices for me. That are INSIDE of me, anyway. Perhaps I am just too much of an egomaniac to believe I should doubt myself? I am not sure. And I am of no use, in that regard.

    I have had a hard time deciding if I should uproot my family perfect farm (it is perfect, with all it’s thistles and clay soil and broken drain tile), and as consuming as the political issues influencing my plight have been, it’s nothing that isn’t solved by lots of talk and of course realizing that no commitment is really forever. I commit to doing this thing I like and works for me/us, RIGHT NOW.

    There’s no other reasonable expectation. We cannot predict the future.

  27. March 1, 2012 10:55 pm

    oh man. to banish the jeering section crowd, i guess i stop my thoughts and tell the truth about how i am feeling. feeling not thinking. kind-of works a lot of the time. to just stop and say dang i’m feeling tired. or god i’m mad. you know instead of what i’m mad about so much. or f*** this hurts my feelings. wow. i could go on and on with those examples. hahaha. going bravely into new territory. that’s scary. but it has to be done. staying back is too painful. i feel like just by telling the truth i end up naturally, and often slowly which is still annoying too much of the time, putting one foot in front of the other. like knitting a sweater that takes 10 months to complete…. partially annoying at how long it takes, but really nice too, that it happened and it was actually cool making it happen.

    i love mary’s bus driver analogy too! yay compassionate driver.

  28. March 2, 2012 9:23 am

    Thanks to my writing teacher, Phil Schultz, I have a shitbird instead of a jeering section. Much, much easier to keep my eye on a little bird! I guess I don’t try to banish it; I simply strive to see it and let go of its negative twitterings.

    Why I don’t try to banish the shitbird: It can actually be useful. An example from a few years ago: I had finished writing a poem addressed to my still-in-the-womb Critter. It had no title, though. As I was walking down the street one afternoon, a title popped into my mind: “The World Outside My Belly.” Negative thoughts immediately began to pile onto the idea. What an egomaniac, everyone’s gonna think you think you and your damn belly are the center of the universe, and blah blah blah. At once I saw the negative thoughts for what they were, the twittering of the shitbird. Well, I thought, if the shitbird is protesting that strongly, it must be a good title for the poem! And so it was. It’s actually my first published poem, too!

    Blessings to you, Rachel!

  29. March 2, 2012 11:18 am

    dang. It’s really easy for me to say ‘don’t worry about col’. it just rolls off the tongue. i can imagine everything your feeling/thinking/living so well. you are dealing with a double doozy…his unique birth story and that world shattering ‘first son, wild love’ thing. i beat myself up all the time, but am getting gentler with it, and can now see it clearly as an evil sidekick rather than who I am. one of the graces of aging. i will say that the very thing you are struggling with, was also what scared me so, about homeschooling. it felt like it was all up to me, and i believed that my children sometimes needed ‘the village’ more than my constant insufficient worrying self. see. there she is. matt often reminds me to fly to the highest branch and look down at what’s happening. three good kids on their well-intended journey with lots of love. very lucky, very blessed.

    from the highest branch and up close (for the brief time that i have him) with your very whole col….don’t worry about that boy! :) he’s got it going on!

    and so do you.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 2, 2012 5:31 pm

      Thank you Ivey. I hadn’t even considered the “first son, wild love” thing. But yeah, oh yeah, that coupled with his start can make a Mama pretty batty, I mean, protective. Thank you for your high-branch perspective.

  30. March 2, 2012 3:08 pm

    I remembered something else… It was something Sharon Salzberg said, though she may have been quoting someone else.

    I think it is a play on the poem “The Guest House,” which Rose shared above, a poem I have grown to love (http://sweetsky.net/2010/08/it-would-be-beautiful/).

    Anyway, the anecdote goes like this — Sharon says, “I learned to open the door to whatever arrived, to welcome whatever was arriving. Sometimes I opened the door, invited that someone or something in — doubt, anger, sadness, whatever — and then walked them kindly through the house and out the back door.”

    :-)

    So there is always a balance… a way of accepting without enmeshing.

    Love,
    Stacy

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 2, 2012 5:26 pm

      That completely nails it, Stacy!

      Thank you for all your thoughts on this post; your words have done my mind good. I like your non-violent approach. I like that there’s an alternative to “absorbing/enmeshing.” I’ve been laughing gently at some of my thoughts today as I walk them out the back door.

  31. Naima permalink
    March 8, 2012 2:06 am

    Thank you for this! I’ve been struggling with the negative voices a lot lately. They’ve been winning for a while and I feel lost in them. Helpful words these, and those of all your lovely followers.

  32. March 8, 2012 4:52 pm

    ooo. this is a good one. as the daughter of profoundly perfectionist parents (!) it has taken me many years to even know that this voice was part of me. thanks to my incredible therapist, i’ve given the voice an identity. its a girl’s voice. teenage. and she’s a pretty good friend, but she just doesn’t get it. she really does want the best for me and everything, but she just doesn’t know the whole story. my best moments with her are when i grab her hand and sit her down and say, “honey, i know you’re trying to help, but I’ve got this.” She usually loses steam after that.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      March 8, 2012 8:18 pm

      > i grab her hand and sit her down and say, “honey, i know you’re trying to help, but I’ve got this.” She usually loses steam after that.

      LOVE that.

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