I was meditating. (Yay me for not saying “attempting to meditate.”)
Again, I was meditating, and as I sat there, wishing I were more silent, I could hear the voices in my head. “Why aren’t you silent?” they demanded. “Why is your mind wandering? Why are you letting that happen? What’s wrong with you?”
Nothing is wrong with me. As I like to remind myself, and I reminded myself in that moment (as I sat in my attic, on a beanbag chair, supposedly meditating), I can’t get it wrong and I can’t f—k it up. I can’t mess up meditating. Just sitting there, even only somewhat quietly, was enough.
It’s funny how often the voices like to question what I’m doing. It’s funny – okay, not so funny – how they can find fault with my meditation, my yoga, my parenting, the way I show up in many different areas.
Okay, maybe it is funny. It certainly is easier to think it’s funny than to get upset at the criticism and questions they (I?) throw at me. By seeing it as funny, I take my power back.
I can only say it’s funny because I’ve learned to either disregard the voices, or to thank them for sharing and remind them that they’re wrong. “What’s wrong with me?” I ask them. “Nothing’s wrong with me…it’s what’s wrong with you that’s at issue.”
What’s wrong with the voices? First, they’re simply wrong. They’re in error. They’re basing their disapproval of me on standards that aren’t necessary and aren’t even really attainable. It’s not essential to have a completely quiet mind in meditation. It’s not essential and it’s not possible. At least not for most of us. Even the greatest meditation teachers share how their minds wander.
I have learned that my voices think they’re helping me. By correcting my meditation, they believe they’ll focus me to more effective meditation. What is more effective meditation anyway? By catching all my mistakes – big and little, real and imagined – they believe they’ll guide me to be more worthwhile, safer…a slew of things that I’ve learned I inherently already am.
But my voices think I’m not. They worry that I’m not. And they try to help me.
Like we try to “help” the people we love by correcting their faults and catching their mistakes. Or at least like I do.
But just as I no longer need my voices to tell me what’s wrong with me (again, nothing is wrong with me), I no longer have to tell anyone else what’s wrong with them. Even when I know better. Even when I’m right.
What’s wrong with me? Nothing. Contrary to what my voices may believe and share as they interrupt my meditation. What’s wrong with you? Nothing as well.
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