- Liz Sterling
Love All The Parts of Yourself!
It’s clear to me that the days of lockdown, isolating and being home, home, home are over. The roads here in South Florida are as busy as ever, and even though we are still in a pandemic… what we went through in March and April and May of 2020 and throughout last year… has passed.
Many of us bided our time by engaging in Zoom classes, traveling remotely to museums throughout the world, and let’s not forget, we watched movies and great new series on Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Amazon Prime, HBO and Showtime. We learned to cook and bake and make use of ingredients we never knew existed. How about those deliveries? Instacart, Amazon, Delivery Dudes, Uber-Eats… all of our whims — as fast as we could click Buy Now or Submit My Order — were delivered.
I am so grateful to the front line and essential workers, and all those who put others first. There’s no way to truly repay those who stepped up except to think and say, from deep within our hearts, thank you.
One thing that’s on my mind -- is what I witnessed in my mind, as the world came to a standstill. It was filled with worry, fear, anxiety and even judgment about how others were “doing the pandemic.” I noticed I was critical about myself, especially when I gained weight — and most people would agree, it was easy to put on weight, because we were cooking more and eating more.
Nervous energy abounded and there were few places to let it out. All of this made me aware that there were many voices clamoring to be heard in my very own head. I was like, “ Hello? Who are you?” And I discovered that in just a few moments I could go from grumpy to sad to scared to funny and happy, and then if I was lucky, I could break free.
I spent a lot of time in the worry stage, and that’s when I noticed I have an inner critic who judges me a lot. This inner critic is harsh and demanding and unforgiving, so I did some research for this blog and found out that it’s quite common to have many voices living in our psyche that vie for our attention.
Clearly we all know our personalities can change from situation to situation and from person to person.I have a wonderful friend and she thinks I’m funny. She laughs and giggles at almost anything I say, and somehow or other, the more she laughs the more I make her laugh. This only happens with one person in my world. She brings this funny girl out of me and I really like that.
I have other relationships that bring out the critic who definitely thinks she knows best. And then there’s the happy go lucky girl… head in the clouds, always acting blonde, I la la la my way to la la land. I’m making light of this now because I’ve been in agreement to love all the parts of me.
The psychology of selves, founded by Hal and Sidra Stone, PhDs, involves an analysis of how the many different selves operate, how they function in relationships, how they influence our choices, and how they affect the evolution of a person’s consciousness.
Many psychologists ascribe to the understanding that people have a multiplicity of self-states, and that awareness of this is valuable to attaining self knowledge.
I will leave you with a list of traits of the inner critic, and hopefully, if you recognize your self/selves in this list, you will become more enlightened, aware and kind to you.
Remember you gotta love you first in order to be loving to others.
The Top Twelve Traits of the Inner Critic
by Hal Stone, Ph.D. & Sidra Stone, Ph.D. From Embracing Your 1. It constricts your ability to be creative. 2. It stops you from taking risks because it makes you fear failure. 3. It views your life as a series of mistakes waiting to happen. 4. It compares you unfavorably to others and makes you feel “less than.” 5. It is constantly warning you not to look foolish. 6. It is terrified of being shamed so it monitors all your behaviors. 7. It causes you to suffer from low self-esteem, and possibly depression, because it tells you that you are not good enough. 8. It can make looking at yourself in a mirror or shopping for clothes miserable because of its ability to create such a negative view of the body. 9. It can take all the fun out of life with its criticisms. 10. It makes self-improvement an unpleasant chore rather than a chance to grow — because its basic premise is that something is wrong with you. 11. It doesn’t allow you to take in the good feelings that other people have towards you. 12. It makes you susceptible — and often victim — to the judgments of other people.