Monday, 5 May 2014

Redeploying My Inner Mean Girl....

I have been checking in with Malaika (my Inner Wisdom/Super Heroine --see previous post), each day since we met.  She is me, and yet she is not me, and by being only the wise, strong, unconditional loving, fluid parts of me, she can slow down time and provide me with space, time and nourishment to do the hard work.

Right now, that includes looking at my Inner Mean Girls and redeploying them in a “helping” instead of “hindering” way.  It’s tough because I have five Inner Mean Girls that are all rolled into one.  Yolanda represents them all and she is the face of all the insidious whispers.

Finding a new job for her is pretty easy.  All I need to do is turn her around.  Her arms crossed, the contempt on her face, her rulers ready to measure everything; this would surely silence the whispers. She would let them rant, her skeptic eyebrow raise enough to make them quiet down when they realized they were getting nowhere. 

In fact, I think when the seed was planted back in week 3 or so, I started to try it out and over the last few months she has swung back and forth like a weathervane, depending on who has the most hot air flying around.  Malaika calm, ocean breezes will help keep her pointed in the right direction: staring withering looks at my IMGs. 

There is one IMG who produces such an instant whirlwind of negativity, and who remains largely untested in the one place she used to rule: work!

My comparison queen, uses a large stick to measure my life, body, money,
career, and excels at while keeping me small, shameful and disconnected socially.  This one will always be a challenge but I am much more aware of it and through that awareness, I can access my Inner Wisdom for guidance and love. 

The challenge remains with the small ruler she carries. With this, she measures those around me, finding them wanting, and in disgust, ignites a fire of righteous indignation, ruled by judgement,  that can easily burn out of control.  Sometimes the flames overwhelm me.  

Other times they flare up and out, only to simmer as hot coals for days while I search for people to blame, others to gossip and conspire with who will fuel the fire, sometimes until it ignites anew. 

This happens whenever I perceive some sort of injustice has been enacted upon my person.  Sounds formal, but I swear, when it happens, I feel like a sprout a cape with a V for victim on it…just to prove that I am the good one; the one who has been wronged; the one who needs to be heard (which includes loud voices and soft muttering); and to distinguish me from the moron-idiot-jackass-stupid-loser who did this TO ME.

It all happens so fast and the emotions send my mind and body racing with fight or flight hormones that elevate my blood pressure, shorten my breathing, tighten my jaw and hijack my though train so it is difficult to engage with anyone on a positive level.  Long term exposure triggers health issues, my asthma and was a major contributor to my two and a half week stint in the adult mental health war. 

Trying to catch her and throw a bucket of water over her head will be a challenge.

Redeploying her involves first of all, increasing my awareness.  I am on this one, and fortunately, this time off work is now allowing me to practice.  It means digging deep, and replacing judgement and contempt with compassion and connection. 

Growing up, I felt my mother drank too much. I saw her out of control enough times that I became scared.  Your parents were always supposed to be the responsible ones, the ones in control and I vowed I would always be in control of my situation.  I judged her as weak.  Weakness was to be avoided at all cost.  I would be strong and in control to avoid being weak or worse, being perceived as weak. 

Only in the last year have I been able to let this go and see my mom as a person.  Just a person who is flawed like any other person and who loves me fiercely.  She just happened to drink a little too much, too often for my liking.  I had no right to judge her. 

Returning to work is on the horizon.  My doctor has approved it and I am waiting to hear from a rehabilitation specialist.  While there have been a lot of changes in my work place; to staff, computer systems and even CEO, the people I felt most critical of are still in leadership roles.  My position has similar responsibilities to what they do, yet I do not have the title or the authority to do what I believe is best.  It is a common middle management dilemma. 

So how will I look upon them with compassion?  My boss encouraged this before I left work. 

Think about it! It must be so hard for them to be in these roles without and of the leadership skills or technical skills to have a meaningful conversation with you or your team?  They must be so embarrassed at their lack of knowledge. That is why they shut down and make outrageous demands—they have no idea what you do.

I couldn't do it.  I was stuck in judgement (because I had been passed over

for this job in favor of someone else)  and her lack of skills were impacting the workflow in my department.  She is a lovely woman and I need to find ways to connect with her when I return. She just does not have the skill set for her position.

So my job will be to slowly change the winds from judgement and righteous indignation to compassion.  At least now I have Malaika---standing by with a bucket of water to douse any flash fires and together, she and I can talk through the smoldering ones on the beach at her house until we get to a place of peace.  I am safe with her to be vulnerable and compassionate. She loves me unconditionally and I am blessed.

As always… Work in Progress…….

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