I've mentioned Ic before, though perhaps not by name. Ic is short for I.C., which is short for Inner Critic, which is that nasty voice that so often imposes its monologue on my interiority and, if left unchecked, is more than happy to make me one miserable daughter of a gun.
For many years of my life, Ic ran the show-- and let me tell you: he/she/it (depending on the day and the situation) knows how to run a tight ship. For a while, nothing but self-loathing rhetoric was permitted in my mind-- conscious or otherwise. So I walked around hating myself for about eight years or so, and that meant that I treated myself pretty badly-- and engaged with a lot of people who were more than happy to treat me badly, too-- for a long time. It was rough.
But at some point, I began to consider that maybe Ic wasn't the only one who had an opinion on how I could treat myself and run my life. I began to think that maybe I should have a say in things, too.
Then the battle really began. I had thought that Ic was an asshole before I started to establish myself as a separate entity; boy, was I in for a nasty surprise! Ic dug in, and the brawl that ensued lasted for several years.
I've fought hard, and as a result these days I'm usually the one directing my actions and my interior monologue-- which has become much more forgiving and self-positive. But this is not to say that Ic isn't always ready to butt in with an opinion, especially when I'm tired, overworked, or feeling down. I suspect that Ic will hang around for the rest of my life-- and I suspect that every human being on the planet lives with the equivalent of her or his own Ic, as well.
I also think that it's possible, if not to completely eradicate the Inner Critic, to come to a place where ze* is rendered silent much of the time.This is where the intention of this blog comes in: to "bring shadow observations to light" means, to me, to expose Ic to the penetrating light of truth-- with the goal of making him shrivel up and die. If I can articulate the negative stuff-- and this is where writing and art really come into play-- I gain power over it. As I develop my own sense of power-- and, in doing so, my own sense of self-- I am less easily influenced by negative voices that are not my own. I am more able to see through all of the bullshit to the clearness of my authentic voice.
This is no easy task, to be sure. And it's certainly not always cherubs heralding and angels harking around here. But, on a good day, I don't hear Ic any more-- I hear me. And that, my friends, is the goal. In the meantime, I will probably spend a lot of time on this blog routing out dear ol' Ic-- and doing my damndest to squash him under the weight of Me.
*I use the gender-neutral pronoun "ze" because people of all genders are capable of speaking cruelly, so it would be unfair to assign this attribute to a strictly male persona.