I can think of so many obvious things in my life worth releasing - painful memories, failures, and tragic mistakes. But the one that towers above the rest is my self-critical nature. It's been with me since I was a young boy and has continued into middle age.
It showed up in elementary school when pining for straight A's. It showed up as an altar boy in church having to be timely and precise. It showed up in high school flaunting my designer wear as a form of attention. It showed up in college when I couldn't process the gossip surrounding my newfound sexuality. And it showed up while recovering from the big C, knowing that I would be forever branded with its type of scarlet letter.
🧠 When resourcing my head, I used to think its presence was an asset in my life. It made me far more introspective, motivated, and kept me from falling prey to the machinations of my own ego. I wore it like a badge of honor thinking I could do better and be better.
It was an unachievable goal as I kept seeking more and more of the world's excitable trappings. That small voice in my head kept nagging me to achieve. It felt restless and was relentless. It was only until I spent two weeks bedridden in the hospital fighting for my life that I was forced to hit the pause button and with it the focus turned inward, but in a much deeper sense.
In his book, "Taming Your Gremlin," author Rick Carson speaks of the notion of our Gremlin, our inner critic.
"There is indeed a Gremlin in your head, and he’s out to make you miserable. Left to do his thing, he’ll zap your health, foul up your relationships, ruin your disposition, dampen your creativity, hamper your productivity, drive you into low-down funks, and wind you up in to fits of anxiety."
💓 As I feel into my heart, the first thing I notice is the need to be accepted. Acceptance is never as black and white as it seems because humans are complex creatures. When it comes to my self-critical nature, my heart aches to give in and surrender. The image is that of a white turtle dove held far too long in captivity. But with this comes the fear of being overlooked and forgotten. There is also a feeling of freedom in knowing that only I have the power to let go.
🤰 Tuning into my gut, I sense a whole lot of fear. The kind of fear that cripples you. The feeling of your best friend leaving your side when you need them the most. By simply sitting in this muck and noticing what comes up, I know of the courage that needs to be summoned at this exact moment.
So how can I accomplish this? Rick Carson suggests strategies for Gremlin fighting, as your Gremlin he states will never be truly defeated. My visual is that scene in the cult classic movie, The Ghostbusters. My Gremlin is literally zapped and then trapped in a mechanical box before it has even a chance to speak.
I guess it all boils down to kindness really. Kindness to myself first and foremost. And kindness to the past which cannot be rewritten.
♬ With a little perseverance you can get things done
Without the blind adherence that has conquered some
And nobody wants to know you now
And nobody wants to show you how ♬
💿 Rose Cousins / Never Surrender
So what has this brought up for you when it comes to your "three brains?” What no longer serves its purpose in your life?
Every Monday morning at 10 AM I will post a powerful prompt which can also be found on your smartphone here and follow it wherever it leads. The aim is to resource all “three brains” — head 🧠, heart 💓, and gut 🤰 — in hopes of connecting the dots to those sticky parts in our nature that matter.