By Sibel Ozer
I had ended my last blog with the question: What are your hands going towards these days?
So, I will start there today myself.
I have been continuing to create little mosaic pieces on my son’s broken Taekwondo boards. What stands out to me this time around, rather than the materials, are the forms that have been emerging . . .
I was raised in an atheist family who values the pursuit of sciences and truth above all else, so the emergence of angels is . . . interesting.
While my skeptical/intellectual mind could be (I admit, is) a little doubtful, my art therapist self gets curious about and respects the images that show up.
On a side note, I want to let you in on my thought process of late, especially the nasty parts. But first, a few lines about a book . . .
I have been reading M. A. Singer’s The Untethered Soul . In it, he talks about the distinction betweenThe Voice of The Mind andThe Real Self: the one who hears the voice.
It appears that the purpose of the voice is to make us feel comfortable through the narration it offers, providing a sense of control of sorts.
The downside, however, is that it talks incessantly and often critically.
Furthermore, more than half the time, we’re not only listening to it as The Voice, but also completely buying into all that it is saying, especially the self-criticism.
Singer also adds that our will is stronger than the habit of listening to that voice.
I think it not only requires an iron will, but constant reminders from our therapists, loved ones, or fellow meditators, not to buy into what the Inner Critic is saying.
What my inner voice has recently been wanting me to believe, is that I am not valuable since I am not generating nearly enough at this particular stage of my life.
No need to go into the roots of this line of thinking, which is ancestral. Suffice to say that it can very easily be rationalized and proved by my mind using valid arguments.
So before I know where it comes from, I am feeling low, lazy, and worthless . . .
And my guess is I am not alone in entertaining a perspective that is off in where I put my self worth. It can be difficult for all of us to differentiate between the enduring things in life: loving and being loved, family, friendships, helping one another, integrity, etc., and the things that are passing: jobs, performance, generativity, the things we own . . .
Especially when the larger culture values the latter more.
It is really such a waste of time for me not to be in a state of contentment most of the time, having abundance, health, and love from family and friends and work that feeds my soul. And still, despite all my knowledge and practice of mindfulness, the voice inside my head managed to pull me into my inner hell yet again.
And yet again, my art that comes not from my head, but from following my hands, saved me by bringing forth an angel. All I have to do is listen to what it whispers: “Don’t lose sight of what truly matters and what is transient in life, your self worth resides in the things that endure.”
What is your Guardian Angel whispering to you?
Are you listening to His/Her Voice or the Critical One?
Sibel Ozer is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified art therapist currently doing private practice at The Parkway Center in Ann Arbor. She started her career as a clinical psychologist working with earthquake survivors in Turkey. She continued her work in the United States in hospice, hospital, and private practice settings further specializing in grief, loss, and trauma. She is a certified EMDR practitioner and a graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. She gives experiential workshops nationally and in her country of origin (Turkey) on different art therapy topics. Visit www.sibelozer.com, call (303) 905-1109, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.