Focusing Tip #565 – “Do you have a hard time listening to your inner critic because you can’t hear it?”
When people talk about listening to an inner critic I used to get confused because I don’t hear a voice or specific phrasing in my mind. I feel all those body feelings of constriction, suffocation, etc. Now I know that’s how my inner critic talks to me.
I can now turn toward it and ask what it is worried about, even though the answer probably is obvious given whatever situation I am in when it happens. Ok, well, that brings up the question, if it is obvious why ask?
Good for you! It is not an easy point to get across… that although we talk about “listening” to something, it may not literally talk to us. Instead, we will be sensing it. You can sense what something is feeling even if it doesn’t talk.
And we can be sure that inner critics, whether they appear as voices in the head or as body constrictions, are worried about something.
For example, a body feeling of constriction may be worried about what would happen if it were not constricting like that.
Perhaps it is worried that if it were not constricting like that, your unpleasant feelings would take you over.
It doesn’t have say that to you in words… you can sense that that is its point of view.
And as for why we ask if the answer is obvious, the most basic reason is that asking is respectful, and we are wanting to create a respectful relationship with this part of us. And in fact, we might not actually know. We might just think we know.
Even if the first answer you sense from this part of you is something you already know, there will surely be something more that you don’t know, a little deeper, something you will be able to feel when you stay with it longer.
But most of all, the reason we ask is that when it answers, we can then acknowledge the answer… and this almost always brings relief and a fresh sense of new life moving forward. Wonderful!
In fact I have a new article on the Inner Critic as an Inner Bully that appeared in The Medium… do read it and share it!