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Old 10-26-06, 01:48 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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The wisdom of 50+ers

I've been thinking about something today and wondered what you all would say about it.

You know that voice inside your head that is constantly nagging you? The one that says...

"You should have flossed longer."
"You shouldn't be eating that."
"You should have put that plate in the dishwasher, not on the countertop."
"You shouldn't be wasting time doing that; you should be ... "
"Why did you toss your teeshirt there? You know it goes in the hamper."
"Shouldn't you be paying more attention to ...?"
"You shouldn't be spending THAT much on..."
"Why are you sitting here goofing off when there's work to do!"
Etc.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to go one full day without giving myself a hard time about something. I think we've earned the right but I can't ever seem to fully shut myself up. I'm forever giving myself grief about being less than perfect, or doing something that's not quite healthy, or falling into a bad habit, etc.

And I know the easy response (and joke) is going to be something about wives doing that for you, but that's not what I mean. Even when I was married, I heard my own judgmental voice going on and on and on.

I also know that the voice *sometimes* recedes when I'm out on the bike, not but always. I can hear myself saying, "You could have done another five miles, you know."

So have ANY of you found a way to shut up your inner judge, even temporarily?
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Old 10-26-06, 01:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
So have ANY of you found a way to shut up your inner judge, even temporarily?
very good question, DG

For me, yes, sometimes I can pre-empt da' Judge ... this self-critical, never-done-enough, always-worrying-about-the-next-thing was inherited from my mother and despite counseling and all the loving people that surround me, that d**n little voice always seems to find an outlet in my head. I HAVE learned that it's just the part of me that is insecure so I try not to let it color my vision and relationships and self-acceptance too much.

But I know people who don't seem to be afflicted with it - I think it's some kind of hard-wired thing or maybe it's nurture, I don't know...at least I've learned not to project my own self-critical nature onto others (mostly). Being an educator, I've seen what that critical projection can do to my students since their response is pretty immediate and I don't like that response because it interferes pretty seriously with their ability to learn anything from me.
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Old 10-26-06, 01:59 PM   #3
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Music helps. But I don't like to listen while riding anymore. I used to, but now I find it gets in the way of my training and concentration. Do you have trouble getting to sleep too? I don't seem to have trouble clearing my mind. Maybe that's my trouble.

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Old 10-26-06, 02:12 PM   #4
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I don't have a clue what DG is writing about? Only if there is a specific event, and if I have truly done something wrong or incorrectly or "injured" someone. Truly. But, my wife has a whole plate load of guilt she carries around!

I give it my very best shot for the circumstances, and then forget about it.

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Old 10-26-06, 02:25 PM   #5
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DG, I don't want to shut mine up. I figure it's a very good thing that I'm my own best critic. Otherwise, I'd likely be in jail. And, I don't think of it as guilt. I think of it as my "staying human" safety net.
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Old 10-26-06, 02:31 PM   #6
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You might try refusing to do what your nag is telling you to do. Sort of like, if you can't say it nicely, I ain't a going to do it.

Don't say this out loud - talking to yourself is a bad sign I am told...

Once there was something that I was involved in for most of my life up to that point but it had become a burden because of just what you are saying. I quit it until I wanted to do it again. This really helped. It was 5 years until I returned to it - but it was enjoyable again.

Life is too short to torment yourself.

Another cure is to take sabaticals and trips to places that don't have the obession that we have in the USA of working ourselves to death. Trust me, it will open your eyes. Granted, it ain't helping me cut down on working - but it is helping me enjoy it more.
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Old 10-26-06, 02:55 PM   #7
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Sounds like a personal problem, DG.

My inner voice tells me to "do this" and "do that", but it doesn't nag me or criticize. I rarely beat myself up over things I should have, or could have, done differently...what's the point to that?
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Old 10-26-06, 04:26 PM   #8
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>>> So have ANY of you found a way to shut up your inner judge, even temporarily?

Oh Hell no. Of the Cacophony of Competing Voices in my head, he's the only one with good survival sense. Shutting him up is like jamming pennys in the blown fuse sockets which are the remains of my shattered mind.

Here's a sample of his work. . .

"You're supposed to have dinner on the table at 5 PM, sharp."

"WuddaYaMean you're only gonna' mow half the yard?"

"Do I have to tell you A SECOND TIME not to drink wine with your sister-in-law?" [Cringe.]

"Yeah, he’s a jerk. . .he’s also bigger, younger, faster, and drunker than you so forget it."

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Old 10-26-06, 04:34 PM   #9
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Old 10-26-06, 04:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SSP
Sounds like a personal problem, DG.

My inner voice tells me to "do this" and "do that", but it doesn't nag me or criticize. I rarely beat myself up over things I should have, or could have, done differently...what's the point to that?
I agree. Even when I screw up, I tell myself that I'll try to do better next time and leave it at that. I also try to commend myself when I've done well, like working all morning in the yard or some chore that I've been putting off. Regardless, life moves forward, not backwards.
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Old 10-26-06, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
So have ANY of you found a way to shut up your inner judge, even temporarily?
I argue with mine. Seriously. My personal distortion of one of the cognitive therapy techniques I learnt years ago.

The inner critic is real sod. He never shuts up. He's never rational. He's never positive. AND, he's rarely right. Doesn't make him any easier to listen to though. So I argue with him and usually the fun of the bun fight is enough to kill those poisonous messages. Yeah, I've fought depression for donkey's years - the black mist. The thing is, don't lie to yourself and be willing to accept less than perfect - I went for a long ride yesterday ... and thought 'stuffit' after five kilometres and came home. No point beating myself up about giving up, so I pushed hard all the way home, turned it into an intensity ride and set my highest average speed so far (a mind boggling 24 km/hr - I'se aint no pro-racer ).

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Old 10-26-06, 04:53 PM   #12
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Just lighten up. Be easy on yourself, enjoy.
You should have had 2 of those.
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Old 10-26-06, 05:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
"You should have flossed longer."
"You shouldn't be eating that."
"You should have put that plate in the dishwasher, not on the countertop."
"You shouldn't be wasting time doing that; you should be ... "
"Why did you toss your teeshirt there? You know it goes in the hamper."
"Shouldn't you be paying more attention to ...?"
"You shouldn't be spending THAT much on..."
"Why are you sitting here goofing off when there's work to do!"
Etc.
That's been referred to as "the tyranny of the shoulds".
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Old 10-26-06, 06:11 PM   #14
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The Yin & Yang. A life without shoulds and little personal imperatives would probably have me lethargic on the home sofa 24/7. Not good for achievement or making one's way in the Western world where, in fact, we do live. Yet, when that little voice grows teeth-- teeth that gnaw at self-esteem, well-being, and little times of inner harmony-- then we're more likely to end up on the therapist's couch at $$ per hour.

Reading the above posts, some of us are better at finding a good use for that voice and then stifling it as need be, others are its victim. Getting that Yin&Yang in the right balance for ourselves is a life achievement up there with MojoSlim's finally making that climb.

So, DG, we all have that voice within...some of us, not necessarily me, have found ways to cope, to endure, to channel productively....or, in some cases, to suffer under its lash.

Betcha nobody is successful with it all the time.

Last edited by CrossChain; 10-26-06 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 10-26-06, 06:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I also know that the voice *sometimes* recedes when I'm out on the bike, not but always. I can hear myself saying, "You could have done another five miles, you know."

So have ANY of you found a way to shut up your inner judge, even temporarily?
Being a Viet Vet allows my inner demons to take me dangerously close to a precipice of sanity/insanity.
Only way I can quiet them is to exhaust myself through extreme vigorous activity. I have a H***of a time sleeping at nights when I do get to sleep, I often wake up about 3 to 5, Often, I can't calm them sometimes and I have to get up and do something. I sure envy those who can shut their minds down. I dream of a switch I could turn thoughts on/off. But only switch I know is when Brain activity shuts down permanently. Ain't ready foir that to happen.
Oh - and BTW- only those who have these demons - inner judge- ??? will ever understand that of which we speak.
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Old 10-26-06, 07:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
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So have ANY of you found a way to shut up your inner judge, even temporarily?
Sleep. Sometimes a good movie or ball game or book. But sleep is really the only reasonably reliable one I have found. If I had Red Baron's syndrome, where sleep was not a reliable refuge, I'd be a bigger mess than I already am.

I feel for you, Red Baron. Sorry we put you in a position to have to endure the aftershocks, and thanks for doing it.
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Old 10-28-06, 04:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
So have ANY of you found a way to shut up your inner judge, even temporarily?
Gary,

That's what meditation is all about. Focusing on your breathing till the mental chatter dies down.

You might check with

San Diego Buddhist Association
4536 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 298-2800

or
Taoist Sanctuary of San Diego
4229 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 692-1155
http://www.taoistsanctuary.org
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Old 10-28-06, 04:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I've been thinking about something today and wondered what you all would say about it.

You know that voice inside your head that is constantly nagging you? The one that says...

"You should have flossed longer."
"You shouldn't be eating that."
"You should have put that plate in the dishwasher, not on the countertop."
"You shouldn't be wasting time doing that; you should be ... "
"Why did you toss your teeshirt there? You know it goes in the hamper."
"Shouldn't you be paying more attention to ...?"
"You shouldn't be spending THAT much on..."
"Why are you sitting here goofing off when there's work to do!"
Etc.


I also know that the voice *sometimes* recedes when I'm out on the bike, not but always. I can hear myself saying, "You could have done another five miles, you know."

So have ANY of you found a way to shut up your inner judge, even temporarily?
Uhhhhh, I thought that voice was my wife.
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Old 10-28-06, 05:30 PM   #19
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I found overwhelming myself with too many things to do makes it too hard for my inner judge to function. By ignoring them all, the whine of a particular guilt gets lost in the crowd. And eventually my inner judge shorts out and I am happy as if I had a brain.
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