Hello all! Blogger Slacker is making up for lost time, at least for today. This is not an original post, in fact it is a total copy job from Lynne Farrow. This is such a beautiful post that I wanted to pass it along. If you’d like to learn more about her or her work, you can find her here. Enjoy!!!
I’d Never, Ever, Ever, Ever. . .
We’re working on an Inside/Outside project at The Lighthouse, a faith-based residential treatment program for women recovering from substance abuse, for the next few weeks. Someone in recover recently said that what goes on in her inside often doesn’t match how she looks on the outside. She may look to others very put together, but feel wretched on the inside. So our art project is to explore that dissonance and explore steps toward becoming more congruent.
Last Friday’s art piece was an exploration of the negative self-talk each of us lives with daily. While we may speak ten thousand words a day in conversation with others, we might speak millions of words to ourselves in an unchecked internal conversation of comparisons, complaints, putdowns, and condemnations. Those critical voices I’ve come to call the committee that meets inside our head and votes against us. Part of recovery is to slow down that internal talk and check it out – identify it, examine the grain of truth in it, and update it to constructive self-talk.
Each woman was invited to create an image, on the inside of a manila folder, including the most common negative self-talk she speaks to herself. Many of their drawings contained similar words and phrases – stupid, ugly, you’re a loser, only good for sex, you’re a monster, I’ll never change, you’ve ruined everything, and on and on… When it was Amy’s turn to share her painting, the anguished honesty of her words were powerful – ”I’d never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever….say to another person the things I say to myself.”
Sometimes we are so much more able to love our neighbors than ourselves. And if we’re going to extend that same kind of love to ourselves, we may have to tackle the committee that meets inside our head and votes against us. We may have to fire a few, instruct others on being appropriately supportive (which also includes constructive feedback and caution), and discourage others from globalizing, catastrophizing, degrading, and condemning, just to name a few.
If you were to draw a picture of the committee that meets inside your head, what would it look like? Who would be a part of it? And what would they say? Are there some folks that meet inside you head and vote against you that you might like to give some loving guidance to? What would you say to them? How might that change any negative self-talk you might have?
I’ll look forward to your comments. I love it when you describe the art work you would create in response to one of my questions.