I saw my Needle Lady today for acupuncture. We talked a bit more about that judgey voice in my head—that hypercritical voice that finds fault with so much about me and leaves me miserable.
Needle Lady said that she believes that the Judge inside is a healthy part of me, but if it is not allowed to do it’s job, it tends to turn on me. According to NL’s theory, the true job of the Judge is to help us keep good boundaries, to protect us when others cross a line. In my case, I have not allowed this Judge to do it’s job (and the reasons for that are myriad), and so it has taken it’s energy and focused it on me, but in a destructive way.
This theory makes a lot of sense to me. The Judge’s voice has been blaring at me for the last several days—ever since I spent some time with my parents and my boundaries barely made a noise as they were stepped on and pushed aside. I’ve been finding fault with myself almost constantly (but I am working on being curious about why I’m doing this) since coming back from their house, since coming back from having stepped inside my childhood self again. My childhood self was not a very comfortable place to be.
So it makes sense to me, this theory of NL’s, that I haven’t allowed that Judge side of me, the boundary keeping side of me to do it’s work. I didn’t say a word in my own defense all last weekend, so the unspoken words have gotten warped and turned back on me.
In part, it is much more comfortable for me to criticize myself than to set appropriate boundaries, to find fault in myself than to say, “No” when I’m being trampled on somehow. And, really, it’s not that anything huge happened this weekend. It’s more that I could feel all of the huge things that have happened in the past right below the surface, all of those times when I really could have used a strong voice to stand up for me, but there was only silence.
So, I’m trying now to learn to hear this hyper-critical, judgmental voice in my head in a different way. I’m trying to recognize that when it comes in, making it’s painful noise, that somehow, it has not been allowed to do it’s true work, that somehow it hasn’t spoken up when I needed it to. It’s tricky this voice. It sneaks in and turns self-love into a list of strict rules that I can’t keep. It whispers sometimes, and I don’t even know that it has spoken. This voice is turned around now, pointing its daggers at me, but I will learn to turn it back.