In a way she was– judgmental and negative, but she was right about my needing to listen.
Not sure to what, but after she passed I found out how important listening was. Listening to something besides my relentless self recriminations .
Virtually anything I listen to (or read, for in the act of reading I am speaking the author’s words in my head) is better than what I call Ms. Bad-Sad–that default feeling/thought/voice track in my head and heart.
That is because the original dysfunctional messages are there for time immemorial – no matter how much I know about enlightenment, NLP, Jungian approaches, and dozens of other tools for transcending a mentally ill family mind-set.
This bad sad mind track is only harmful if it goes unnoticed. And once noticed it is only bad if I try to deny or argue with it or mask it over with “positive thinking”. It is most beneficial when I accept it for what it is and is not:
What it is – old messages and attitudes from a mentally ill upbringing.
What it is not – the deciding factor in who I am, how I feel, or what I can achieve.
But it is there, period. It is possible to befriend and peacefully co-exist with Ms. Bad-Sad, provided I start of every single day listening to things that quiet her:
Listen, listen, listen, listen, listen–
–to songs, meditations, books on tape, written materials, and people when available, that are evolved, kind, accepting, and affirming of my pure desire and deservedness of love, fun, and high self-regard.
Listen, listen, listen, listen, listen…
to the love within me, my need for love, and my capacity to be, give and receive love.
This goes against my resident crepe hanger voice – since human loving kindness and love between people was declared (albeit silently by actions and attitudes) nonexistent by my mentally ill family, unless in the framework of traditional religion.
Listen – to my inner wise self, hidden beneath the daily barrage – my solid and ageless self, aligned with all the love and motivation in the entire universe
So today, I begin, late but I do begin, by listening, quietly, silently… to loving, kind, self-accepting messages, letting them soak into me.
Right now I hear a book on tape called Ask and It is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. Tomorrow I will play Shakti Gawain’s guided visualizations. It can be anything, as long as the message is allowed to exist in the deep recesses of the mind/heart/soul. That is why you writers and artists out there need to keep producing, because there can never be too many life-affirming loving and kind books, poems, songs, stories, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, t-shirts, art and craft gizmos…the more there are, the more they will outweigh the hateful, superstitious, false, fear based, or apathetic books, articles, shows and songs out there.
Every morning I will read, play, and especially sing messages that give me the choice, all over again, to declare I am not Ms Bad-Sad–she is just a roommate, and that I deserve a good life, success, friends and fun.