~ J.V. Manning
She is good at it, too. Sneaky, cunning and incredibly negative, I often don’t even realize what she is doing until it’s too late and I am a downward spiral into a place I don’t like being. Lost, confused and reacting in old patterns that I have long given up or rather, thought I’d given up. She doesn’t yell or threaten. She doesn’t make huge declarations. No, she wears me down over time. Using repetitive phrases like; “It’ll never work,” or “Something will go wrong,” or “You’re just not enough. Not talented enough, motivated enough, brave enough.” “Don’t even try,” is another one of her favorites. “No one cares.” “You’ll never make it, why bother?” “You’re just not worth it.”
She has a litany of mean, hateful phrases she utters from the dark recesses of my mind.
She mocks me and my dreams from a quiet corner of my soul and quite frankly, she’s believable because she comes off as my voice of reason. But, she isn’t. Not even close. But she causes me to get overwhelmed, sabotage myself in subtle and not so subtle ways and it’s only after I get to the point where I completely spin out, that I realize what I had been playing into.
Why am I doing this to myself?
A question I have spent the past couple of weeks pondering on, as I find myself going in circles and becoming increasingly overwhelmed with life. Frustrated. Crabby. Exhausted, so exhausted. Just not myself. I can’t make a decision to save my life because every time I feel confident about something; those snarky whispers start making me question everything and thus, I spin out - again.
I feel crazy. I’m not. But, I feel it. I hate it.
It’s hard to quiet your mind when you have so much to do, take care of and accomplish. If you’re like me when you get overwhelmed with life, you shut down because it’s all just too much. Which leads to a wicked stress belly because I know some things need doing but I just can’t figure out where to start. Honestly, I can’t even find the energy sometimes because it’s as if I know I won’t get everything accomplished, which that snarky, negative nelly voice in my head can’t wait to point out to me, so I do mindless things that do nothing more than eat up time. Finishing up the day even more frustrated than I started and angry at myself.
Ever drive yourself crazy?
It’s a wild ride isn’t it? When life feels like it’s totally spinning out of control, you’re not anywhere close to where you want or think you should be, and you have no idea how you got here? When you want to throw your hands up and yell; “STOP! Let me catch my breath” to the universe, the moon, stars, God, Angels; whoever will listen? When you have no idea what comes next because you can’t silence the snark inside your mind long enough to figure anything out?
I’ve pissed myself off more in the past few weeks than I have in years. I blamed Mercury Retrograde. I blamed the weather. I blamed my husband, my job, my intense schedule. I am always doing something, but it never, ever feels like enough. I feel like I’ve spent days on a stationary bike, peddling like a madwoman who was expecting to get somewhere, only to realize hours later she hasn’t moved an inch.
“You are always doing something, but it’s never enough, is it?” Another one of the snarky wench’s favorite phrases.
I got to the point where I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I wanted to walk away from everything and start over. Then tension in my body was overwhelming, and I wanted to scream in frustration. It was then the primal fight or flight kicked in and my inner warrior decided to show up finally and call my snarky inner shrew out. The conversations in my mind and soul got pretty intense. You really can’t hide from yourself for too long, eventually, you need to get down to business and figure your shit out. I may have wanted to run, but I wouldn’t allow it. Plus, honestly, you can run and run and run some more, but this stuff will follow you to the ends of the earth until you stop and face yourself.
I am not going to say this was easy. It wasn’t. It was exhausting, fraught with sadness and sudden revelations that I wasn’t prepared for. But, it needed to happen because it helped me figure out why I kept getting in my way and lead me to the essence of that snarky harpy I just needed to silence.
She is also the side of me who has seen enough chaos to last ten lifetimes and who is convinced that playing it safe, not taking chances, not being brave enough to challenge myself to reach new heights, is the only way to hold on to the peace she finally has.
Have you ever been at a turning point in life where you have no idea what you’re doing but know that’s precisely the point? We learn and grow by taking chances. We get to the next step and the one after that not by playing into our fear but by using it to motivate and inspire us. We won’t get any further in life if all we do is go in controlled circles. Life is taking chances. Leaps of faith. Life has to have meaning but it never will if we don’t do our part to discover what that looks like to us.
I ran myself into the ground. I got in my way. That snarky voice we all have inside of us comes from somewhere. It’s an echo of childhood; an echo of years of being told we aren’t enough. It’s the culmination of all the fears and self-doubt we have inside. Some we have been conditioned with, some we bring on ourselves. Those vicious thought patterns we cling to because we believe them more than the quiet voice whispering the encouragement of our soul, our authentic self. I made the conscious decision to try and make friends with that snarky bitch. I needed to not only silence her but heal her. Throwing more anger at her wasn’t the answer. Allowing my frustration to come fully to fruition wasn’t the right way to handle it either.
We have to understand why that voice is the loudest one we hear, and we must search for ways to not just silence it once and for all but to heal it. It serves no purpose in our life and only holds us back. It’s not easy. It requires trust. It requires love and patience. It requires bravery and tenaciousness.
But if we can’t learn to face ourselves, we will never get to where we want, deserve and need to be. Silence the snark within. Make peace with it. Coax your best self forward and learn to trust, believe and love you as you go. You’re not crazy. You are enough. So enough. More than enough.
And you’re worth it.