Every once in awhile it’ll creep in. The familiar voice that berates me for not publishing a book yet. The nag that tells me I’m not talented. I’m not “good enough.” The critic who agrees with every insensitive attack on my soul.
It’s a shame spiral that starts from a little splinter of a comment or an insensitive remark and then I’m done. I’m broken and it isn’t even noon yet.
Shame. Guilt. Self-sabotage. The inner critic.
These are goblins that haunt the life of a creative person. They harp on those who are sensitive, vulnerable and raw from years of being told they’re not enough.
But underneath the layers of dark viscous suffocating hurt, there is hope.
Recently, I was enlightened by a podcast with author Elizabeth Gilbert and Sounds True’s Tami Simon. Here is a snippet from the Insights at the Edge interview:
“I had a really helpful conversation recently with a friend of mine, who I really admire [and] who I think is quite spiritually evolved. I just said to her, “What do you do with your shame? Where do you put it? What do you do with it?” And she said, “You know, Liz, you realize that the world doesn’t want your shame, right? That’s got nothing to offer the world. You’re here to offer yourself to the world and to make the world a better place. And your shame is of no use to anybody. It’s not of any use to you either, and if you want to be a creative and generative person, you kind of just have to let it go.”
There it is. Shame doesn’t serve you. It doesn’t make your dreams materialize. It doesn’t make you more creative. It’s not even motivating. When we’re ashamed we want to do nothing, but hide.
What shame does is shut us down like a scolding mother. It makes us feel unworthy, unlovable, and not good enough.
You know what transforms your life? Gratitude.
The next time your inner voice decides to kick you when you’re down. Tell it, “Thank you!” Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being there because I know you’re only there like a shell protecting me, like a blanket sheltering me from hurt, pain and disappointment from others. Thank you, but I don’t need you anymore. I’m whole. I’m going to be okay. I’m enough.