My Inner Tyrant

SWIM, SWIM, SWIM...Swimming is FUN for FISH! Coach Murphy was much more relaxed at Lesson 3 with COOL kids than the two before. DD#1 said it would have been in HEAVEN if there was diving. Perhaps, next time...

Ever have a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? FIL came in town yesterday from Eugene for meetings with his property attorney and Fish and Wildlife which wrapped up earlier than expected. Naturally, he called to let us know he was dropping by the house instead of meeting at the restuarant (Angel Thai) last night! Everything was upside down and backwards--craft projects and supplies are scattered in every corner of our little home! OMG...I had a major panicking attack. I was noticeably grumbling around the house as I shuffled things into the Media Closet. MIL keeps their home in Eugene and in Sunriver in show-quality condition at all times for visitors. Here I am--a SAHM--with all the time in the world on my hand, can't keep an orderly household. What does he think of me now, his useless daughter-in-law! Good thing he is heading out from his Sunriver home this afternoon.

Christmas is sneaking up in two weeks...there is still no tree in the house to decorate! But, I do have Christmas music on here. Like them? What do you think of my new new player on the right-hand side off the top--see it? Like it better than the old one?

Things are getting better. They're just not done. I don't feel comfortable at home or being out. Not physically...more emotionally but even that isn't the right word. I just feel like I am not doing something right. It's the intangibles feeling about this holiday or dealing with my inner tyrant, my Gremlin, my editor, my censor, my monster?

I have lived with a fairly vocal inner tyrant most of my life. Recently, I’ve started to pay attention to what she has to say…not following her commands necessarily, but noticing when she speaks up and what happens to me if I take her rants a little too seriously.

When I imagine what she looks like, I see her as a younger version of the wicked witch of the west dressed in spandex. She’s hunched over the handle bars of a bicycle, sweat glistening on her brow, her brown hair pulled back in a severe ponytail pedaling as fast as she can. You can even hear her theme song in the background going do ta do ta doo doo, do ta doo ta doo.

As she’s pedaling with all of her might, she’s hissing, “You’re going to be late! Your house is a mess! Take the dogs for a walk! What kind of a mother are you?” Just at the moment when I am about to take a big personal risk, she asks, “Who do you think you are?” She’s the one who drives me to clean my house while the kids sleep when I’d really rather lie down and read a book. She’s the one who frets about being late, being different, being wrong, not being enough, being too much. “What will people think?” She asks again and again. She rides me pretty hard. She likes things to be perfect, in order, neatly folded and on time. After a few days of listening to her constant nagging, I can sometimes find myself riding on my own broom threatening anyone and everyone who gets in my way.

The household schedule has being thrown off ever since our 10-day Thanksgiving travel. Despite my obvious need to take some time to recover and simply be present amidst the chaos in my home, my inner tyrant is still tailing me, screaming orders, and running off a litany of deadlines I have imposed upon myself.

As I’ve been observing my inner tyrant since I started the blog, I’ve noticed that she gets loud when two very specific things are happening: when I’m overwhelmed or uncertain and when I’m about to take a personal risk. Through observing my inner tyrant, I’ve come to appreciate that she believes her job is to help me be safe. She sounds the alarm when I am trying to do too much, skip over something that is important to me or about to take a personal risk. I’ve discovered that when her voice gets really loud it’s time for me to stop and listen to what she has to say.

However, I’ve also learned that I don’t always need to take her advice.

The cost of letting my inner tyrant manage my life is that my voice gets cut off and I refrain from taking risks that allow me to learn, grow personally/wholesomely and enjoy my life more fully. Trying to keep up with her pace also turns me into someone I don’t want to be; but, she can be an ally if I stop to listen and practice managing her strengths and her wisdom. When I’ve stopped to truly listen to my inner tyrant’s nagging, I’ve discovered that she’s really asking me, “Is this important to you?” Sometimes, she’s simply warning me that I’m about to be more visible than I’m used to being. Sometimes she’s just giving me a chance to think through what I want to say more carefully so that I’m really clear.

I’ve learned that all she really wants is to be heard and once I acknowledge her warning she is quickly on to the next crisis.

The greatest thing I’ve come to appreciate about my inner tyrant lately is that without her in my life, I wouldn’t know that I had reached my edge and was now moving beyond it.

What about you? Do you know your inner tyrant? Do you keep a journal of your inner dialog. Do you notice when your inner tyrant gets loud. What’s going on for you in that moment? What is your inner tyrant saying to you? What’s underneath? Where does the inner tyrant hold you back? How can you make your inner tyrant an ally?

I can't put my finger on what it is throwing me off. I'll try to ride the wave and let things settle and listen for my inner ally.

0 encouragements:

True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner

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