Quietening the chorus

Painting from the series  After Nolde . Lynne Cameron.

Painting from the series After Nolde. Lynne Cameron.

It’s been a tough week inside my head. At times it’s felt rather like this turbulently seascape painting I’ve just completed! I suspect it’s because there’s something exciting and promising on the horizon, and my miserable critical self is leaping in to remind me not to get too big for my boots / it won’t work / I don’t deserve it etc etc. I have given a name and story to this ‘inner critic’ that helps me keep him under control.

There are also the books and wise words I’ve collected over the years to use in this kind of emergency. When my internal ranting switched to a favourite theme of “you’ll never belong anywhere, ever”, I remembered Brené Brown on what she calls ‘true belonging’. Belonging to oneself as distinct from fitting in.

I found this again, to counteract my own chorus:

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.

Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone

I decided this was a much better message to pay attention to.

Notice what you tell yourself. And choose which messages to attend to and which to turn away. It’s not your wise intuitive self who tells you that your work is rubbish or you’re stupid or you never know what to do - that kind of negative, all or nothing message comes from your insecure critical self and wants to put you back in your box and keep you in your comfort zone. You can choose not to replay those messages

First though, you have to notice them. They are very sneaky, and our own particular chorus becomes so familiar that it can feel like a kind of reason or truth. It is not.

You can choose to listen to something else.

Painting from the series  A Wonder World for Enid . Lynne Cameron

Painting from the series A Wonder World for Enid. Lynne Cameron

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