Inside my brain the words “why can’t I do this,” play over and over loudly. You can walk-place one foot in front of the other- “damn, walk!”

Over and over these self-criticisms grow in intensity threatening to sink my self-confidence for good, left in the bottom of the sea of self-doubt.

I have always been my harshest critic- running every choice and decision through the filter of "I cannot do this."

How many ideas haven’t been started because of fear?

The effort to do anything becomes burdensome because so much energy is consumed in just trying to overcome the obstacle of self, stealing away the the vibrancy needed to do the task at hand. The deed is dead before it breathed its first breath- turning lifelong dreams into never-ending nightmares of failure.

How many projects not completed because of insecurities?

Then I do start something-throw my weight into it, only to find myself pulling away because “I can’t, they may, I ain’t got what, etc.” These half started-half finished projects pile up- proof the voices inside my head know me- know me well…too well.

That one time I didn’t mow the lawn-I wanted to but just couldn’t- I doubted I could put the neat lines you often-it couldn’t be perfect. Therefore, instead sat gloating on the couch eating bonbons. The giant lawnmower scene from Honey I Shrunk the Kids playing over and over in my mind.

Thus the overgrown grass shows as proof- the inner critic confirming “told you so.”

Those voices speak because we have developed the habit of letting them.

The self-judging goes on because I let it. From an early age, I took these voices to be some wise critic speaking words based on something known internally. I crowned them supreme simply because they were constant companions. These phantoms have taken hold all the more since my accident. Physical therapy sessions become cry sessions as I push myself to the limits, all the while self-judgment overwhelms my senses.

I’d had enough- seeking some solace from the assault, I turned to meditation- mindfulness meditation. The first guided meditation was on self-judgement. When those thoughts come up, acknowledge they come about because I am in the habit of letting them. So then do I just push them out?-no- label them as judgment in your mind and recognize them as such.

I have found a lot more peace in this transition to a new life- the self-critic is by no means tamed. I am still working on self. The power these gloomy judgments have are diminishing as I begin to develop the new habit of ever decreasing their power and influence. This is a continuing practice-since my brain is being re-wired through the process of recovery, why not take the time to train my brain in becoming more mindful as well.

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