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She Abandoned Her Post

She abandoned her post. My inner critic left yesterday morning during our morning meditation. I have practiced silence for many days and have become more observant of my inner life, my inner environment. Practicing silence has helped me a great deal, and it also spotlighted a discomfort which gradually increased as I became aware of my negative self-talk. I felt more and more frustrated which drove me to tears as I got closer to the realization my inner judge has been using old ideals, old rules about what I am supposed to be like, act like, sound like, look like.

She has clearly been in charge since her installation 62 years ago. You see I’m an artist using conviction as my medium creating a living inner judge who defined what I should and should not do based on the expectations of my captors. I lived in a hostile environment under the guise of family and was not safe. I was the victim of verbal and sexual abuse. I was psychologically battered to the point my conviction rose and created my inner judge so she was in charge of the limits put upon me. No one else. Her creation gave me relief in a way since I knew immediately my wrongs. I didn’t have to wait to hear them from the outside.

In retrospect, she was really on my side, much the same as my parents were. A tough love built on lack of light. Yesterday I met her. She was facing away from me in a position of alertness. She knew I was there. I waited and she turned to her right at first and then slowly turned to the left, making a 360 degree turn and faced me. I confronted her with what I discovered. Her rules are old rules based on old ideals that don’t work any longer. Her surprise was palpable. She hadn’t realized how out-of-date, out-of-time her presence was. She apologized and left. It was stunning.

This all seems farfetched and yet for the rest of the day going about my usual routine, I felt this stunning absence and some fear. The gate was empty – no one there guarding, watching. I had been abandoned by my inner judge. I don’t feel alone though. I feel excited and free from the grip I had on my shoulders pushing me this way and pulling me that way.

In my early waking time, I see my gate has not been abandoned. I am the gate. I am the boundary. I am the voice that I hear guiding me. I am the force of love that expresses what I need to hear. I am who I turn to when I feel lost and ask, what do I do now? In my silence I hear my wisdom. My silence is my meeting room. My silence is my safe haven. My silence is occupied by a respectful, loving presence guiding me with gentle kindness. In my silence I bring my concerns and fears, questions and quandaries and I am there to listen.

Remember This by Danna Faulds

Vast and changeless,

the ground of being

is not rocked by

ripples on the pond.

The firmament from

which we spring, the

divinity at the heart

of things doesn’t wax

or wane with mind states,

or wither in the wind.

We come from stronger

stuff than feelings.

Essence does not fail

or fade, diminish or

trade reality for illusion.

We are wordless, wide,

and wise beyond time.

Within us is a flame

of truth that never dies.

Let that be the focal

point of life. Let that

be the light that guides

us from the shadows.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I just find it interesting having felt so still and gone so deep the last three or four times, I’m noticing that my mind is really unsettled. The stillness helps me know where I am. Even though I’m unsettled, it’s something I might not have noticed. It’s really quite lovely to get a clearer picture of what’s going on with me which helps me know what I need to do to bring myself back. Thank you.

  • I was taken by the thought that by becoming my own inner critic, I was criticizing me before other people had a chance to. I never really thought about that before. That really resonated with me. I have done it all my life and didn’t have awareness until Brene Brown came out with the book on Imperfection. I am a recovering perfectionist. It’s okay for me to make mistakes. My tendency to be a perfectionist keeps coming back but I notice it and then I try a different response versus just reacting. Thank you because I don’t want to be criticizing myself.

  • I think my jaw dropped when you shared your reading just on how parallel what’s going on for me, and my child within. Yesterday after meditation, I continued to spin out and tried to get out of it by making a couple calls and my phone wouldn’t work. I had to let go of that idea. So I journaled and realized I needed to make amends. I can find my adult and I ignore my inner child. I realize I need to let the child be and listen to her. I did that yesterday. I met with my family members. I knew I had to speak my truth. I prayed to do so without hurting myself or them. I was able to set a boundary and asked them to listen. I gave my child her voice. I was present as the adult. I’m fascinated with the idea the tools I’m using to keep me safe are out of date. I’m going to think about that today.

  • It reminded me within the last three years I have had a recurring vision where I’m standing before this vast meadow. I come through this gate of my own creation. The gate keeps me safe and also keeps me from the vastness of everything beyond. As I come through the gate, I meet my truth, my I am without all of the stuff that life experience and I have laid on me. We go forth together. Your reading reminded me of this vision. Sometimes I want to be in this meadow again and I try to force it. I used to disassociate, thinking that is the reality I was wanting. I believed meditation meant disassociating. It occurred to me today I disassociated because reality was so painful. Through making more loving choices in my life I’m realizing checking in is the answer, not checking out.

  • In my personal recovery, in taking responsibility for myself, stubbornness is also will, and will is not a bad thing. Our will helps us survive. When it’s aligned with our truth, it’s powerful. We hang on to our behaviors until we’re ready to let them go.

  • I hope you all have a wonderful day and live in an awareness you are worth the time and presence you give yourself.

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