Once upon a time, in the absence of loving kindness, a black hole appeared. It was deep and dark and its edges were ringed with hurt. Its hunger knew no bounds and was constantly looking for satiation.
One night something hard, yet squidgy, filled it for a while and though it didn’t feel right, it was secret and special. More, it wanted more! And it ate the rage, the fear, the confusion, the shame, the desire. It gorged on hard, yet squidgy, until it could know nothing else. They were made for each other.
Suddenly, hard, yet squidgy, stopped visiting and a blanket of black covered the hole, lifting only to allow it to binge on other shameful things. The blanket was heavy and yet provided a kind of comfort, keeping the status quo.
Eventually a compassionate eye rested its gaze on the black hole, letting it know that it could, if it wanted to, tell its story. It did. And it began to understand its need to binge and that it could begin to feel, not eat, the confusing array of emotions.
As it felt its feelings, the heavy, black blanket disintegrated and the hole began to build structures of peace and fulfilment. What strange, beautiful structures they were. They curled and curved around and out, and developed a weird and wonderful life of their own.
I’m late writing this blog post because I had writer’s block. When I delved deeper into why I couldn’t begin writing I found a critical inner voice saying, “no point in writing because people will be like, ugh! Oh shut up!” I asked myself what it was protecting me from and I realised I didn’t want to feel disappointment that people might not read or comment on my blog post. Now I know this I can accept that fear: yes, maybe they will not read or comment, and I will have learnt a bit more by writing, and now I can write. My example highlights one of the purposes of self-criticism: to avoid potentially painful feelings. In this post I’ll share more about why we self-criticise, how self-criticism is linked to the fight/flight system, and how we can stop beating ourselves up and feel happier.
The traditional way of creating a vision board is to create one that contains images and affirmations for your future self. If, however, your Inner Critic is likely to beat you up for not doing the things on your vision board, or even tell you you’ll never do those things, it might be better to create a different kind of vision board. In this article, I’ll show you the one I made and I’ll share some different ways of using vision boards.