Discovering Voices

When I met my inner critic.

Go to the profile of J. Spencer
Nov 22, 2018

I’ve begun to really pay attention to my surroundings and my inner-voices, I have many.

Personally, I wouldn’t call them voices, I call it my conscience. My conscience has many voices, and I know this because, in my first year of Creative Writing studies, I was asked to complete a module called: “Discovering Voices”, and the whole experience brought to the fore a can of well buried worms. Voices from the past, voices in the present, predictive voices, they were everywhere and normally in my professional capacity I had become extremely capable in censoring and selecting the voices I wanted or needed to listen to.

In 2009, the voices in my mind exploded. I was having a literal mindful party with so many strangers, past friends, present friends, colleagues, family and more. I couldn’t shut them up.  Which was all great from a Creative Writing mindset point of view. But, not so great when all the voices where oppressing my sense of self.

What is myself, who the heck am I?

I hadn’t been asked to question this directly whilst attending University, it was in becoming the parent, the stay at home abundantly protective parent. I had begun to ask myself this question, but I had to put a block on it, because, I was a mother of two children born within twenty-two months of each other, how lucky I felt, how blessed, it had only been three years prior that I had considered seeking I.V.F. I had been waiting for so long for my children, I couldn’t bear to miss a single second of their growing lives. I said adios to my career. I said farewell to my younger-self, I was now a responsible grown up. I had two lives that relied on me, needed me and without me they may struggle because life was not a beach. There is a novel in there somewhere, and one day I might try to set it free. But, for now, I will focus on my present goals.

Back to the question for today, who the heck am I? And back in, when was it? January? Or February of this year Suzy Walker suggested we have a go at naming or identifying the inner-critic.

As winter beckons at the closing of 2018. I have learned this year, Winter is not a time for me to be identifying with my negative voice, I prefer to focus on the positives.  Even in reading this back, I can surmise that I consider the words inner-critic as something negative. I have a history of working in the most diverse environments where everyone had their own unique persona and abilities, and I embraced this, so being thrust into a Creative Writing Discovering Voices environment, where we had to learn to be critical pushed me way beyond my comfort zone. It often felt like a harsh environment.

Let me push myself a little harder, do I believe all critics are negative?

No, not at all, but my experiential moments around critics often create a projection of judgement and I have never been fond of this. But, how do I know if someone likes something or not, unless it is judged?

I identified for the worksheets provided by Life Labs that my inner-critic was a dishevelled doll, something out of the conjuring, which fifty percent of the population can laugh at, but no, not me. Scary dolls, they petrify me. When I was a child, if my doll had a single hair out of place I would keep it tidy, because it was my responsibility, I was its mother. The scary dolls in film and books, I conceive they are sadly suffering from a trauma, emotional abuse or other horrific form of neglect.

With this in mind, my inner-critic terrified me. What had I been neglecting? My own children are healthy, happy, confident and adored. My pets, they were clean and tidy and walked and fed and watered and loved. My husband (apologies for the order of listing) was happy, content, and felt loved.

What was I doing wrong?

This is the wrong question, and as you know, I’ve been doing an abundance of life leaping this year, I returned to focusing on my own health and nutritional needs, because I generally felt very unfit, and I have a problem with my core, thanks to the blessings of childbirth and potentially a little neglect on my part. I tend to help the people on the periphery more than I help myself.  

I was walking on the treadmill and clocking up one hundred and fifty calories in burn and then visited an instructor for a health-check, and was devastated to find that three months of exercise and healthier eating had not changed my BMI, Metabolic age or Muscle Mass. I was deflated. The instructor could see this, and he asked: “what do you eat?” Doesn’t everyone ask this.

However, we had a chat and I told him that I had been trying to live a better life for me this year, and attempting not to eat the animal, I was trying to keep my calories under 1900 but, found it tough to find the right foods that kept me satiated. I felt starved and overweight, unfit, and ached like hell for nearly twelve weeks now. It had felt easier neglecting my body.

Lewis, had a really good chat with me and explained a personal plan to help my self. He was also trying not to eat the meat, he understood, and hoped it wasn’t just a phase he was going through.  I had been focusing on calories and had not been eating enough of the right balance. I lacked the nutrition I needed for my body to heal itself. He highlighted foods that would help me feel less tired and he explained that my core was shot, and I must fix this before the rest of the fat on my body would be prepared to leave.

As I left the check, I felt uplifted. 

I felt like I had been properly parented. Someone had taken the time to care about my welfare, and wellbeing. Maybe I had hit a point in my life, when I realised, I just don't know everything and I need help too. His customer care was excellent and was certainly what I needed. I was going to give it a try. As I left the Leisure Centre, I caught sight of myself in the mirror, and saw my inner-critic. 

The words came to mind: it is not only about fixing what is on the outside, it is about repairing the self within.

I'm growing to like my inner-critic. She needs me too. Thanks Lewis.

Go to the profile of J. Spencer

J. Spencer

Creative Writing Practice

Proud to be an Ambassador for Psychologies Magazine. I'm practised in self-publishing eBooks and blogging. I have a website that shares my own personal journey, creative writing, and ideas as I seek and find my own niche, maybe it's chatting about Lifestyle Choices. I hope to encourage and empower others to write creatively and find a sense of self through words, a personal niche, or maybe - simply - a peace in mind. Being kind to others and ourselves is my motivation. I am a book lover, 'Don't tell my husband!' Interested in Drama, Fantasy and Satire, sometimes the poet. I enjoy Technology and Digital Communication, whilst setting clear boundaries. I value professionalism, and integrity.

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