This voice seems to take great pleasure in rendering us helpless in the face of challenge.
It happily reminds us about all the things we failed to finish. It shifts and disrupts the ground from under our feet with all the things we can’t do.
If we believe these internal onslaughts, we remain tightly wrapped and bound by our failures instead of being able to open up those failures and glean the lessons in each.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run with Wolves tells us we can “dismantle the assaults of the natural predator by taking to heart and working with what is truthful in what the predator says and discarding the rest.”
If my internal predator says “you are so wasteful, you have so much fabric and never finish any quilts”…I can calmly tell myself that I have made and finished more that 12 quilts and each child has at least two quilts handmade completely by me.
This example is quite tame. It can happen, however that my internal predator can tell me something like:
“Oh, so you think you are so special and want to end Gender Violence? Well missy….YOU have been yelling at people all your life. You even yelled at someone last week! Who are you to think you can do this?”
I will then have to have the presence of mind to remind myself that I am human and while I still do yell, I am trying to stay calm in situations and to treat others as I want to treat myself.
If I can do these exercises with my OWN internal predator, then I have a fighting chance to speak MY truth in the face of an external predator. The person who wants to abuse me physically, emotionally or verbally is an example of an external predator, whereas, an internal predator is the negative voice that tries to bring me down.
The external predators can do serious damage to my psyche and if I do not develop the internal muscles against my internal predators then I have very little chance of standing up to external predators.
Estes tells us that we can “dismantle our predator by maintaining our intuitions and instincts and by resisting the predator’s seductions.”
How do you hone your instincts when the world is ready to tell you that what you feel is false and that your instincts are stupid?
The only answer is that YOU must believe in YOU!
You have to be courageous enough to know that you have deep understandings about life.
You can sit in prayer or mediation and recall times in your life when you did listen to your instincts and were happy because you did.
Like any skill, listening to your instincts is a muscle you must build up.
You must have patience, and practice on little things.
For example, if someone asks you to do something, instead of answering from your head, take a few minutes to notice the way your body is reacting to the request.
Do you feel happy and joyful, or heavy and dark when you think of the request?
Only you will be able to read the signs that your body give you.
Then, you have to be courageous enough to follow your natural instincts.
This may mean that you have to say NO to things you used to say YES to.
I know someone who recently told her boyfriend that she would no longer take part in orgy sex. She was very scared to do it and felt he would leave her if she refused. Whenever she had done it in the past, she felt dirty and less worthy but he always told her that she was the prettiest one in the room. She so badly wanted to hold on to him, she continued with behaviors that left her feeling empty and nauseous.
When she finally decided to stop the orgy sex, she delivered her decision and he promptly left her. He found someone who would do exactly what he told her to do.
It took her a while to recover but now she is happy that she found the courage to end that part of her life.
She had to get used to a new normal. A life without big lavish parties…but now she has her life and her body and self worth.
When you decide to counteract the internal predator it will mean that you must get used to a new normal.
Give yourself time to craft the new way.
Give yourself a pat on the back every time you kick the internal predator to the curb.
Love and light,