Dear Inner Saboteur,
It’s a little odd to address you so directly, since I normally try to ignore you, tell you to shut up, or just listen in silent acceptance. It’s especially difficult to address you in a civil, conciliatory tone, but that’s what I’d like to do. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about you and why you talk to me the way you do.
The way I see it, you’re not like Athena. You didn’t spring fully formed from my mind. You’ve evolved over time and are more likely a product of my insecurities, my fears and my failure to recognize lies I have been told as lies and not truths. I imagine the seed of your voice was planted when I was a little girl and I can picture you then, trying to build walls that words would not penetrate. You worked just as hard as you could, but the lies came pummeling through anyway, so you gave up and started hurling words back.
If you were an animal, you would be a porcupine. You prickle at the slightest provocation and are likely to sting any who approach you, including me. But unlike a porcupine, you don’t sting with quills but with words. Of course you sting with words. You are me, after all. And words have always been my greatest strength and worst weakness. Over time, I have curbed my tendency to attack others with words, but you, my saboteur, have not shown me the same courtesy. You continue to berate me with keen insights, cutting observations and subtle lies that I sometimes mistake for the truth.
I’ve tried this lent to ignore your voice and while it works sometimes, it is truly a battle. While I’ve tried to attack head on, you have retreated from frontal attacks and moved over to subtle sabotage. I have decided the best way to silence you is to listen to my Spirit instead of you. When I hear something unkind, it’s not my Spirit, it’s you. And while my Spirit wants the best for me, you do not. You want what is safest, what leaves me alone, what keeps me exactly the way I am.
So I guess you can keep talking and I’ll just stop listening. You see, I don’t need you anymore. I don’t need a porcupine to defend me because I have a Shield. My Shield listens to my Spirit and does a much better job than a porcupine of knowing the truth from a lie and of allowing the former through while blocking the latter. If you’d like to join me here behind my Shield, you’ll find a safer, more loving place than you’ve ever been.Written In Love, WordGirl