Typically, I publish here on Sundays or close to it. This past weekend, I felt a bunch of discouragement and considered deleting the entire blog. I'd decided that the blog needs an index, so I started with my first posts in 2015 and worked my way through about four months' worth of posts. Gah! I felt so bored and frustrated with how I wrote during that time... my inner critic came out full-force. I started to relate to what others told me in the past -- that this writing is too personal, that it's too much like a textbook. In the past, I may have immediately obliterated my online presence. Related example: I threw out all of my yearbooks once, and I was on the teams that produced them. This time, I decided to talk it over with people I trust. They provided helpful advice. One mentioned that previous posts are an indication of how I once thought, that keeping around older posts shows me how I've changed. Another person suggested that I write a response to the critical voice that tells me to delete the blog. She offered questions to ask as a blog response to my inner critic. Here's a go of it.
Where does your critical voice originate?
My inner critic comes from my early family life. From my parents to my older siblings to extended family members... my family was a huge vat of critical. It was great, in some ways, because many of my family members were intelligent, observant, and loyal. With this came a balance. I didn't ever get the feeling that I quite belonged to one culture or another. My Chinese side would refer to me as American, and my American side would comment on my Chinese-ness. The non-Christian people would make fun of the Christians, and the Christians would appear to almost gloat in their decisions about right versus wrong. People were amazingly detailed with their critical tendencies, and from them I gained an ability to look at issues from many perspectives. The other side of this is that they did not keep their criticisms in check. I'm starting to see how this related to their emotion savvy and lack thereof.
Is the critical voice male or female or without gender?
It's both male and female. It speaks and it glares. It's direct and indirect. The critical voice comes at me from all possible points of entry. Young, old, like me, different from me. Every voice has something critical to say about what I'm doing or how I'm doing it. Every voice seems to think it knows best and doesn't appear to trust me.
Does the critical voice remind you of anyone?
My inner critic reminds me of my parents.
Whom do you know who could best stand up to the critical voice?
I'm picturing my younger self sticking up for me, saying that I have a voice and it matters.
Have you ever stood up to the critical voice?
I stood up to my inner critic right after I graduated with my bachelor's degree. I moved to another state, attempted to continue a relationship with someone, tried to live the way I figured best. I did a lot, accomplished a lot. When things didn't appear to work out, I didn't know what else to do. I spent several years in talk therapy, got married, worked a full-time job. My emotions were almost unrecognizable. When I did recognize them, my framework for them seemed incomplete. I felt discouraged. (Hey, just like this past Sunday!)
What are your goals for the blog? What do you want to accomplish with it?
I vacillate between writing for others and writing for myself. Sometimes I think: No one reads this thing except for me. Other times I think: I'm so glad I write this. There are days when I read my posts and feel bored and other times when I feel motivated. Overall, I'd like to accomplish balance with this blog. My brain tosses out a bunch of thoughts, and I want to feel ok with them. If an emotion follows a thought, I want to be ok with that emotion. I think that life is about being what we consider good, discovering what that means to us, and living it in the world. I'd like my blog to help me accomplish balance and live good.
Well hello there.