I’m guessing that most of you have seen the speech Meryl Streep gave on Sunday night at the Golden Globes. It was quite extraordinary, not only because it is always moving when someone speaks up for what she holds dear, but also because of what she said. And if you’ll give me some leeway here, I am going to relate it immediately to what we all know about our inner lives: when we bully ourselves, when we shame ourselves, when we make fun of ourselves, it never turns out well. The part that gets shamed feels like curling up into a heap of ashes and from that place, change becomes impossible. True change happens in an atmosphere of openness and curiosity.
We’ve all been hearing that what is outside is also inside (sometimes we hear it as: what is above is also below) and I keep coming back to that.
Over and over, in my own life. It’s so humbling to keep taking what I see outside and bringing it back to the inside. When I wake up everyday, I can hear that shaming voice knocking at the door—and it takes an effort to bring myself back to some kind of clarity. To keep reminding myself that the only result of bullying myself in any way (“You have to!” “Why didn’t you?” “How could you!” “You blew it and now it’s too late.”) is that I walk around feeling incapable and ashamed. And if it doesn’t work on the inside, it’s never going to work on the outside in the world we see around us.
Change starts here, with me, with us, resolving to pay attention to that bully voice as we talk to ourselves and to stop it in its tracks. To speak up for what we hold dear—our vulnerable selves—and not to allow anyone to ever speak to us that way.