The following concludes my February ponderance on the Drill Sergeant, as I have been isolating and recording my responses around the internal critic, holding the curious thing up in the light to turn it every which way and inspect it.
The Drill Sergeant nailed me good last night. I felt it loud and clear in my mind and heart as my beloved hubby related a conversation he had with a woman while he was away on business and I instantly went to that hurt place and let the Drill Sergeant rip a real strip off of me. The woman had invited us to her place in the Okanagan, where she has peach orchards. Instantly, my DS roared to life. I hadn’t seen hubby but for one 24 hour period in the past 10 days of his hectic travel schedule. When he got home, it was good to snuggle up with him and catch up. Instead, his mention of this woman set the Drill Sergeant loose in me INSTANTANEOUSLY and all of a sudden I was thinking…
“Why don’t you have acreage?” the petulant voice echoed in my skull. “Why was he talking to her on the computer when he knew he had you to talk to?” it went on. “You know he’s going to find out the truth about you when someone more suited to him comes along… like this woman he’s telling you about.” “He’s talking to a woman who is more deserving of him…”
Would I accept this kind of conversation from anyone else in my world?
Of course not.
So why do I have to listen to it between my own two ears?
I told my hubby about the raging green phantom that was no longer on my shoulder with its emerald eyes, but inside my head. He cuddled me closer and reassured me patiently, laughing with me, not at me for my childlike silliness, he’s such a solid man.
I drifted off to sleep thinking deep thoughts of how odd it was that although I’ve been doing all this work to identify true core values, etc., I still seemed powerless to control the appearances of the Drill Sergeant in moments of general insecurity. The minute that clever DS saw a crack in my grounded self, it swooped in like a herd of crows beating my delicate newly restored psyche with its bruising black wings.
In waking, I knew that I would need to do a lot of grounding in order to bring myself back into balance. Instead of beating myself up for having insecurities, I’d need to nurture myself in such a way as to reinforce how capable, genuine and intelligent I am. I’ll do that with a combination of things that suit my need for restoration.
The presence of the DS tells me that I need to do this in order to brick up that wall that keeps out negative internal dialogue. Two parts of the Mortar of confidence, a healthy slathering of the glue of personal resolve and I will have a handle on this.
“There it is.” I’ve trained myself to think, when the DS arises, and not give into the negative diatribe it tries to impose on me. “There it is” was not what came to mind last night as old patterns returned and tried to reinstate their insecurities into my current life.
Fortunately, my relationship with my partner is not based on the outmoded dynamics that I experienced in former lives with hurt people who I thought I could fix. This partner is whole and healthy, mentally, with the tools for healing that prevent him from being a hurting unit, in spite of the hardships he has endured. He was able to quell my quavering self-esteem with a kiss and a cuddle, knowing full well, as he told me this morning, “That I would come around and realize I had the tools with which to deal with it and I would work it out.”
It’s so good to have a partner that knows how to hold up the proverbial mirror for me in a gentle and loving way.
FEAR is said to stand for ‘False Emotions Appearing Real’, and it is the Drill Sergeant’s only weapon against us. The key word here, is ‘false’. Nowhere else in our reality does fear exist other than within our doubting skulls, yet we all tend to give power to our fear without questioning the validity of the story that triggers it. No compassionate, loving presence would be so intent on kneecapping us. It’s a testimony to our latent cleverness, the amount of precision our Drill Sergeant exercises as we are besieged again and again by criticism and disdain from within. How succinctly that part of me still brings me instantly to my lowest common denominator.
But I’m learning. With my newfound skills I inherited from reading the various related CEDRIC literature, I’ve built confidence enough to know that here is a way to turn it around; to evolve and grow healthier with each Drill Sergeant interaction.
When I discussed this with Michelle, this was her response: “Next time you feel your Drill Sergeant’s hot breath bearing down on your neck with its fury and judgmental attacks on your self worth, focus on grounding immediately, rather than on what he is trying to make you think about yourself or about the situation.”
As a counselor once told me, I will think “There it is” and go on about my business instead of buying into the propaganda it is trying to influence my insecurities. I will breathe and bring conscious attention into my body in that moment.
No, it’s not easy, but I’m living proof that with perseverance, we are more able to silence the DS with each passing day. I know that when it tries to pull another stunt like last night, I’ll be that much better able to catch it sooner and not buy into its judgment and shame as readily.
I hope this technique will help you too.
I’ve noticed, in hindsight, that there is a clue to our hurt places in the things that the DS brings up, although it’s not something you want to try to analyze while you are in the thick of the episode of ‘attack’. Once you are feeling grounded, though, go back to the accusations it let fly at you. There are clues here to why you are wired the way you are. Think about where you must be having a weakness in your self image, and reflect on that hurt child in you, to establish where it is necessary to put a little extra TLC.
That’s what I’m doing today and what I am working on in an effort to safeguard my brain from another blindsiding DS onslaught.
Now that I’m aware of how the Drill Sergeant arises whenever I feel insecure or ungrounded, I need to discover some behavioural tools, such as meditation or yoga, perhaps, to keep me grounded.
Michelle says, “And that’s where CEDRIC comes in; here to help us identify healthy new thoughts and behaviours that rebalance us. That support allows us to be free of the factors that weaken us, like jealousy, like insecurity. No green eyed devil in our reality. No siree. No Drill Sergeant, either. We are then free to tap into our clever, innovative, creative minds to apply that potential to things that really matter, instead of feeding old fears of abandonment and rejection. It’s well worth the effort.”
As a friend said to me, ‘Life is short, but it’s as wide as we can make it’.
Go wide with your beautiful, authentic self.
Tina Budeweit-Weeks is a member of the CEDRIC Success Team in the role of staff writer and executive assistant for Michelle Morand. Her philosophy has always been one of self-nurturance and dignity. In support of the complex difficulties clients may experience around regaining a healthy balance, Tina’s writing is designed to sympathize, support, encourage and inform. Although there are many similarities in Tina’s process, she is not a client, but a hard working, behind-the-scenes member of the team, dedicated to helping the CEDRIC Centre stay current and effective.