It’s been a long day

Rich: I want to talk about this idea that is super important, the stories that we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and how we get caught up in these narratives that don’t serve you. Where do these stories come from and how we can decouple that narrative and begin the process of telling ourselves a new story.

Sharon: If you have a prevalent, frequent critical voice, your inner critic, sometimes what’s good is giving it a persona, give it a name. Give it a wardrobe. I have named my inner critic Lucy after the character in the Peanuts comic strip…I see this cartoon where Lucy is in the first frame talking to Charlie Brown and she says: “You know Charlie Brown, the problem with you is that you are you.” And then in the second frame poor Charlie Brown says: “Well, what in the world  can I do about that?”  Then in the third and final frame Lucy says: “I don’t pretend to give advice, I merely point out the problem.”

And I would keep coming back to the line: “The problem with you is that you are you.” Because that Lucy voice had been so dominant in my early life, I really credit my meditation training for basically having a different relationship to Lucy. Instead of on the one hand believing her completely, you are right Lucy, you are always right. Where on the other hand hating her, and fearing her and being shamed and all that.  I realized that I had two ways of approaching her. One was, Hi Lucy, I see you and the other was to Chill out Lucy.

Rich: Packed into that is the idea of becoming the Observer as opposed to identifying with that voice as being part and parcel of who you are, like wrapping it up in your identity.

Sharon: Very soon after I saw the cartoon, something great happened for me and my first thought was: “This is never going to happen again.”

Rich: It’s the negative bias. We’re hard wired, we’re predisposed to identify these negative things that occur to us and then choose to string these together and create this story of who we are, how we got here and what’s going to happen to us in the future.

Sharon: …we are conditioned usually towards negativity – – – you are thinking about your day, evaluating yourself on how well did I do today.  It’s not uncommon to only think about the mistakes and what you didn’t do that well, and where you didn’t show up that well, and it takes intentionality to say anything else happened today. It’s not hypocrisy. It’s not denying that there were issues. But it’s not all that happened.   To get to a truer, bigger picture, we have to actually move our attention consciously towards the good. Anything good happened today? Anything good within me? And that kind of elasticity reflects the ability of attention and part of the meditative process. But it begins with seeing the story…

Rich: I think about the story I tell myself, about myself. But also the story I tell about the other people that I encounter throughout my day, and that story is generally reflective of my own state of mind and how I feel about myself. If I feel good about myself, I’m probably going to tell a more flattering version…But when you really analyze it, you realize over the course of your life, billions of things have happened to you. Billions! And we extract out these 10 things that happen over the course of our life and we identify with them so deeply, so thoroughly that they infect and invade how we see ourselves and every decision we make. How we interact with other people. What words that come out of our mouth…Its amazing how pervasive it is. Its so cemented that the idea of even looking at that or being critical of the veracity of that, let alone reframing it, is something that I think that most people don’t even begin to engage in.

Sharon: That’s true. Absolutely true.  Which is why I think seeing the story is the first and most critical step because a lot of people don’t even believe that…we don’t realize how impacted we are by all those views, our Lucy coming at us…

~ Rich Roll, Interview with Meditation Master Sharon Salzberg on Real Love & The Art of Mindful Connection (Podcast, June 25, 2017)

 


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Comments

  1. I’m still reading. But I spewed hot soup all over myself at ” I have named my inner critic Lucy.” and I need to clean myself up.

    See, I haven’t named mine yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “But when you really analyze it, you realize over the course of your life, billions of things have happened to you. Billions! And we extract out these 10 things that happen over the course of our life and we identify with them so deeply, so thoroughly that they infect and invade how we see ourselves and every decision we make. How we interact with other people.”
    These are powerful thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. it is so interesting that we choose a few things to hang on to, out of so many, what makes that happen?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love it!!! The truth in these words… thanks for sharing this and I shall go ahead and re-blog it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on msmollahsworld and commented:
    Lucy, back off!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. After posting about the truths and lies we tell ourselves, reading about the genesis of the negative voice is fascinating. And a small number of moments providing the catalyst for so much…A lot to consider here

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When I became aware that the inner critic was not me, I learned through mediation too, to separate her from the truth. She still comes around to test me at times, but I’m over her!! And that boring story, I like me better now. Great piece Mr K. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lucy can be *such* a bitch. My inner demon doesn’t have a name per se, but I know her well. She’s small and green and one persistent little devil. She’s been known to try to shout down kind things that others have said, but I’ve learned that the best way to deal is to acknowledge her presence while refusing to yield the floor. It’s an interesting dance, and I’d be lying if I said I’d mastered it, but as in so many things, the awareness that a problem exists is the first step toward the solution…. Namaste, Lucy….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dave Milligan says:

    And isn’t it often the case that those 10 things with which we identify so deeply are the things that will illicit the deepest reaction (usually of sympathy or empathy) from those with whom we share our story? Great snippets! Look forward to diving in to the entire podcast soon ! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You named yours?

    Liked by 1 person

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