Shut up already

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This past week I was able to participate in Decatur High School’s Senior Project event.  As a graduation requirement all Seniors have to do a project then make a presentation to community members (ahem, moi) and make it through a q&a period.  Their nervous, excited and anticipatory energy filled the space as they stammered, shifted their weight or cooly presented.  Naturally, I thought back to myself in high school and I always get the same feeling: I wish I could go back and hug that teenage version of me and say “relax.  no really, relax.”  I was, and still am, type A but then I was worse.  I totally bought into the “permanent record” concept and thought every one of my grades would determine my entire life’s outcome.  I was never tardy, never got detention and was always on the honor roll.  So, what  changed?  What brought me to the other side of the perfection mountain?  I had to go through some shit.  It was terrible, and it was real and it made me realize a lot of things.  And one of the greatest lessons was to be gentle on myself.  You boot campers also teach me that.  I hear you being SO HARD on yourselves, glossing over your accomplishments and giving way too much time to the place you want to work on.  I would love to give everyone the gift of being gentle on themselves, to just pump the breaks on the hate speech you read off to yourselves.  That voice needs to shut up already.  I know you have to be tired of it.

I hear you in my head saying “yeah yeah JoJo if I could stop, I would.  How the flip nasty do I do that?”  Well, unfortunately, slowly.  You do it slowly.  You need to catch yourself in the act and question what you’re telling yourself.  One of my past infractions was the “I ALWAYS do this” “I ALWAYS mess ___ up.”  I had to start questioning it and realizing it’s impossible to “always” do anything and usually I was just new to learning something.  Seriously, if anyone else said half that crap to me I would bow up and let ‘um know how awesome I am.  So, why not do it for myself?

I feel like acknowledging the talk is more than half the battle.  Once you’ve started questioning it and asking your inner voice for evidence on its statements you’ve almost won.  The next step is squashing the habit, or at least reducing it.  And finally, if you want to bring it to the highest level of being gentle on yourself listen to this song by Karen Drucker (below) over and over.  I do.  And I love the message and lyrics but would love for someone to do a cover and spice it up a bit.  The cheesiness factor is pretty high, but some of the best things have the highest levels of cheesiness.

What’s the best lyric of this song?  Tell me on our FACEBOOK timeline.

 

 

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