Inner critic, be damned!

My inner critic and I have known each other for a long time. As much as I would like to send it packing, I know that we are a part of each other.

A gift from my inner critic is when I discover its limitations. Without fail, after each low moment when I let that voice get the better of me, I am reminded in beautiful ways that there is beauty within me.

Before I went to sleep last night, I spent a few minutes trying to capture the darkness that was emanating from the voice of my inner critic. Writing about the experience helped to draw the negative thoughts from my mind, but I fell asleep with a sense that I had failed in my performance at the Back Page open mic.

I woke up in the morning in a subdued state. I did not feel the sense of hopelessness of the previous night, but I was not yet ready to look on the brighter side either.

I went about my morning routine, making coffee, taking a shower. It was a kind of morning daze. I thought about attempting to write a piece on the events of open mic from a more positive perspective. In truth, there was much that was wonderful about the evening. I engaged in conversation with kind and interesting open mic regulars, I noticed at times during my performance a kind of quiet had befallen the crowd. When I dared to look around the room, I saw people watching me intently at times. I heard people laugh when I made jokes. A woman called out with words of encouragement, reminding me to sing into the microphone so I could be heard. Neighbors at the bar told me I looked 25 years old, which was much better than being mistaken for a 16 year old. All in all, it was not so bad for an evening of putting myself out of my comfort zone.

At times when I feel lonely, I turn my computer on and seek comfort in a virtual community.

On this morning, I turned on my computer and discovered love, support, and wisdom from all corners of the world reaching out to me.

It was quite moving, the words and kindness shared, and I felt my spirits lift ever so slightly.

I moved through the day in a continued haze. It was busy at work, so there was little time to reflect.

By the time I looked at my computer at the end of the day, I had been invited to a local gallery opening and the woman who owned the gallery had asked if I might perform there in the fall.

I guess I wasn’t so bad after all.

Inner critic, thank you for keeping me humble, but I think we need to take a bit of a break.

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