A few days ago I was woken from a dream and had to remember three things… I knew that they were related to a conversation I’d had around my inner bully and self-talk.
The three things were:
- Red hair
- The paisley dress
This, as it turned out was an important journaling session. All three things were interconnected which I discovered when I did a mini timelines exercise.
Timelines help you to uncover lots of stories. The juicy bit is that you will start to see patterns and pictures and will begin to connect many dots.
Yesterday, I’d finished editing my Writing To Heal book and I’d wanted to work on the outline for my new Writing To Heal course but it didn’t happen. And I started to berate myself…
Negative self-talk is never pretty.
I was actually saved from more work by a dear friend who brought over dinner (yay I was saved from my spinach special) and wanted a walk with my doggies.
During our time together I’d explained how I just had to get these things done, but she, my angel had saved me. And then I got a mini telling off…
You are doing it again. Driving yourself. Stop it.
It always amuses me when I get a mini but kind of telling off. I know it comes from the heart and I know my friend is asking me to be kind to myself.
We chatted about our inner bullies – which was amusing and all in all I found myself in a place where I could see old repeated patterns. I love the way that what needs to be addressed comes up in different guises so that you can gain a deeper understanding.
But let’s come back to the question.
What is your inner bully trying to tell you?
I hate bullying. It angers me and connects me with feelings of injustice. I remember once we were on a leadership course and doing some role play. I returned to the classroom to witness the course leader bullying a colleague. Naturally, I intervened. It was unjust. But I’d unwittingly walked into a role play where I was the leading lady.
I was not going to allow anyone to be bullied.
Yet over the years, I’d allowed myself to be bullied. Which has led to negative self-talk. Though thankfully not so much anymore.
Let me tell you about the story of the hair
I no longer have red hair. It’s gone naturally fair (that’s code for some light grey and lots of other colours) with a Mallen streak that looks blonde. Sometimes I yearn for the red hair and the loss of something beautiful that I didn’t appreciate – because I was teased about it.
My mum adored my hair and told me it wasn’t red, it was titian. I had no idea what she meant. She was an artist and so had the names of wonderful colours easily to hand. It made me look at my hair differently, but I was still hurt and felt ugly. I told myself often I was ugly.
I hated being judged, and that made me want to hide. So I locked myself away. I hid my low self-worth and self-love. I locked up my heart and threw away the key.
Curiously I always looked so confident – that was my shield. We all have one – don’t we? So I made myself do things along the lines of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Or working like a fool trying to achieve things to prove I was worthy. This was a way to just get through what was going on in my head.
Before Christmas, I had my hair cut, and normally this hairdresser is amazing. But she hacked my hair. When I sent her photos, part of her response was that I’d changed my parting, and it was my fault.
Seeing this and the other stories unravel in my journal was eye-opening. That’s when I saw that I had a pattern. How I never saw it before, I don’t know…
Anger —> injustice —> hide myself away —> let my inner bully talk rubbish to me.
It’s a pattern, and you will have a pattern too.
The upshot was I could not make videos, and the few I made myself do were hard work because all I could see was what a bad haircut that others would judge.
It takes a person with amazing inner resolve to not let the inner bully get the better of them and let them eat at their self-worth with negative self-talk.
In the process of deciding what to do about the inner bully, do you have ‘impure’ thoughts, the kind that your mother might have commented, ‘if you say anything like that again, I will wash out your mouth with carbolic soap!’
But I did talk to myself in a negative way.
In my opinion, having those first thoughts and self-talk are part of a process that gets you to a good solution for resolving this.
Remember that when your inner bully comes at you, it’s a gift.
This is when you can have what I’d call an assertive conversation with yourself. Ask your bully what are you telling me? It is as simple as that…
The three stories I explored revealed that my inner bully and old self-talk was raising her head to tell me to keep mine low. By being driven and nagging myself to keep going, she was also still saying you have to work hard to prove yourself.
I, of course, know what this exploration means for me and I can take steps to resolve things. And I think you will too.
Inner bully exercise
If you are up for it, explore 3 experiences of bullying and see what inner bully and self-talk insights you get and how that links with any healing work you might need to do.
Look for negative self-talk and ask:
- Is this negative self-talk serving a positive purpose in my life? If so, how?
- Is this talk interfering with my inner peace and happiness?
- How can I change this talk into something more positive?
- If someone else was doing this, what would I say to them?
- What would someone else say to me if they knew I was doing this to myself?
Time to be your best friend…
Reflect – what do you learn?
What is your inner bully telling you?
Dale Darley, AKA The Word Alchemist. Dale is a prolific writer and journaler. She teaches others how to write to heal and then how to heal others through your writing. She has used writing to heal for understanding and healing the effects of childhood trauma, narcissistic relationships and illness. Writing has supported Dale in her journey to love herself and refind her wild.
Join me on the Writing To Heal adventure.