Those of you struggling with major life change, sloppy messy transitions, and a crossroads that feels more like straddling a river standing on two separate logs… you know that indecision can hurt and feel crippling.
How we get here doesn’t matter. What does matter is the sneering hissing growling voice in our heads that tells us all the things we don’t want to hear but we believe. As much as a more loving voice tries to pipe up with rusty rattling vocal chords, the negative voice and it’s booming message overpowers everything. I know this from personal experience too.
The other morning, though, I met Katie Hill in a consultation I won from an awesome giveaway from my networking diva friend, Amy Pierquet. Katie Hill is a wellness coach and yoga instructor. She instructed me to fill out a 20 page survey about myself and turn it in the week of our call. Most of the questions were related to physical health, my relationship with food, and how I related to my own self image. Then the emotional and financial health pages showed up towards the back and that’s where I felt like puking on the pages. In answering those questions it became extremely stark to me. I needed more major life change. I had big girl decisions to make, again, and it was going to have to happen soon. Very soon.
As soon as we met each other via Zoom it became very clear we were going to get along extremely well. She sported colorful tattoos on her arms and her ice blue eyes flickered like wild Aurora Borealis lights. She immediately greeted me with exuberant love for my answers and smacked her hands together.
“We’re not even going to waste time talking about your physical health or diet. You’re rocking that, Girl! I mean, rocking it!” And she went on to praise me for feeling so comfortable with my sexuality and body. “You would cry if you read most of the answers to those questions. I mean, ugly cry cry.” I believe her.
We went on to discuss in bold strong language that it was obvious what I needed to do. The question was why didn’t I make that big decision yet, what’s holding me back, and what’s the harm in taking the plunge? That’s when we brought my goblin into the conversation. I hadn’t called him that before, and yes, it’s a male. Usually that voice is referred to as my Inner Critic, Little Laura, or simply Inner Voice. When she called it the goblin that sits on my shoulder and spits out all these warnings and cautions, I immediately conjured up a vision of a gremlin type imp with a fat belly and big ears heckling and swinging bony legs on my shoulder. Very comfortable creature, he was, firmly on my shoulder and smelling like hot rotten garbage.
Then she told me that I need that goblin. The goblin will always be a part of me, he’s there for the rest of my life, so I might as well learn to love him. She also explained how important it is to start really listening and conversing with this goblin instead of trying to push it away.
I said, “I think I need couple’s therapy with my goblin, then.”
I really needed to establish this loving relationship with this goblin? Can I actually listen to these fear-based hurtful words intently, politely tell it to sit down and shut up, and then explain myself to this little monster? This horrible thing I’ve been failing at ignoring, so secure on my shoulder? Can I talk to this goblin with love?
She said I can and I will. The goblin can be a total pain and completely wrong, but sometimes his warnings are helpful, like when to avoid true danger. The other stuff comes from past trauma and needs to be dealt with. It needs to be aired out, as if we were each on a chaise lounge, taking our turns sharing our feelings to someone with a clipboard who is only nodding and taking notes. But yes, I need to form a loving relationship with this part of me I’m stuck with forever until I die.
That’s when I realized who my goblin was. He was not a round smelly warty thing with pointy teeth and a hideous laugh. He was mysteriously handsome, charming, manipulative, powerful, and sexy. He was…
My goblin homework: I need to write down everything he tells me. Every hiss, growl, song, and bark all need to be written down so I can fully hear Jareth, that’s his name, and then actually approach him with meaningful conversation and compromise. I’ll be writing pages and pages of stuff, I promise you. Things like:
You’re going to fail. Again.
You can’t possibly think you can do that.
Who do you think you are?
What the hell do you think you’re doing?
Where the hell do you think you’re going?
I don’t believe you.
Laura, you don’t know anything.
You don’t remember anything right.
You’re lucky I love you so much.
Don’t be ridiculous.
You think you’re so special, don’t you?
Why do you have to be so… you?
Why can’t you be more like your sister?
You should be ashamed of yourself.
What will everyone else say?
You’re a complete embarrassment and you need to apologize to everyone.
What am I going to do with you?
These are actual sentences spoken to me by humans close to me, most of whom I cut out of my life. Now these are sound bytes on Mix and Repeat played back by my goblin. It’s as if he knows they torture me so he taunts me with them, like a wicked DJ. It worked…up until now. Now that I’ve typed them out, they are losing their power, and I need to discuss these with my goblin.
What does your goblin look and sound like? Does your goblin say similar things? Are they louder in times of transition or adversity? Are you able to set healthy boundaries with your goblin and move forward with your awesome life? It would feel great to be able to say with love, “You have no power over me.”
Thank you for reading.