Stop Smiting Yourself with a Bat, Become Smitten Instead
You know that feeling you get when you do or say something and inside your head, “Why did you say that?! Look what you’ve done now?!” starts chattering? It’s as if you start swinging the bat at yourself.
A few weeks ago, I drove to Rehoboth Beach to visit Browseabout Books before my book signing, my first ever. When I found my book on an upper shelf, the lettering on the spine was so small that it was hard to read from my 64 1/2" vantage point. Before my friend took a picture though, she turned my books so they were facing outward. After the picture, we started to walk away. "Aren't you going to turn them back?" I asked. “No,” she said sheepishly, “It might result in a sale." Being a rules girl, I immediately started telling myself I was doing something wrong. The bat came out. Just a few short days after that incident I confessed that I felt God was going to come down and smite me when I do self-promotion on social media. Smite!? I never use the word smite.
No matter how old we get we are prone to revisit old feelings we haven’t resolved from our childhood. The good news is that we don’t have to stay in them and each time we acknowledge and listen to them, they lose their power to clobber us.
When your recurrent “wrong” or “bad” feelings start playing:
- Sit still long enough to know what they are.
- Think about or write them down to find their origins and what they’re really telling you.
- Get them out of your body through your voice. Do this through talking to someone about them or through an audio recording that you can listen back to. In this way your adult self gets to acknowledge your younger self.
My using the word smite was a clear indication that the “wrong” feelings are from my childhood and my religious upbringing, not my conscious adult self of today. I was never smitten by God, the batter struck out. Instead, I was proud of my perseverance and had a feeling of being smitten with my courageous self. It’s been at least twelve years from writing the start of my book to being able to stand in a book store and proudly talk about it with complete strangers. It was my dream. The two “shouldn’t-have-said-or-done-that” feelings I describe here barely registered a blip on my self-image brain waves. I acknowledged them and moved on. In years past they stopped me for weeks, months, even years.
There is no otherworldly presence that is going to come down and smite you. All the smiting comes from inside yourself, so what’s your dream? What do you need to do in order be smitten with yourself? When you find that answer and keep moving toward it, no matter what your self-image or negative internal chatter says, you too will become truly smitten with your courageous self. Then the umpire in your head will be able to yell, “Batter out!”