Tony Blair

After my last week's embarrassing failure to BLIND-cc a huge email blast, I feel a sort of empathy for Tony.  Once beloved by so many, if not all, the exciting, handsome, young former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was apparently "pelted with eggs, shoes, and other projectiles" at his book signing this morning in Dublin.  God love him.  I can just see his security team trying to shield him from the eggs with their sober, black, oh-so-serious umbrellas.  And what did these people do, take extra shoes?  Or did they just get spontaneously terribly excited and then feel shocked when they had to walk home barefoot?  I wonder how Tony is now.  Is he lunching with the Mrs. in the rain (because I'm told it always rains in the UK) at some charming sidewalk cafe, impervious to the earlier assault?  Or is his Inner Critic, instead, having him for lunch?

Is it saying, "Tony, you boob!  People HATE you!  You can NEVER do anything right!  WHY aren't you BETTER?!  I should kill you right now, before you make an even bigger ass of yourself!  Why did you ever enter politics in the first place?  You could have just sold shoes.  One can never get in trouble selling shoes.  People LIKE shoes.  And that rocker thing you tried to do early on?  Oh Dear.  Ridiculous!  But I'll tell you, Tony old boy, you should really just go home and shut up.  Putting yourself out there like that... in a rock band, in politics, and now in a friggin memoir?  Please! What have you been smoking?!  You should just paint a target on your back and get it over with!" 

Yeah, I know... Inner Critics--so heavy, so loud, so intrusive in our heads.  And I know that, underneath it all, they really love us and are just trying to protect us by keeping us small... by keeping us from doing anything that might not just go perfectly and be approved of by everyone.  But man, they're pesky sometimes.  And they can be so limiting.  They certainly don't like us reaching for that No Fear cap!  And I just love people who are fearless.  My late husband was fearless.  He thought this life was sort of like a big cosmic game that had been designed as his own personal playground.  I admired that in him.  My first husband seemed to operate according to the principle: If you never open your mouth, you can never put your foot in it.  Once, he didn't talk for seventeen days.  Okay, he was a little upset with me at the time, but I found that kind of suffocating.  During those early years, I suppose I operated quite a bit like that as well, but I have worked ever since, wrongly or rightly, to let go of as much fear as I could.

But if one is to live more courageously, what can one do with that ever-so noisy little fella, the Inner Critic?  I had a meditation teacher once who said that, for his first eight years of meditative practice, his mantra was simply, "Shut Up!"  It might have worked to quiet Busy Brain, but I'm pretty sure it's not that effective with the Inner Critic.  I've tried it.

I just find myself wondering what Tony did with his Inner Critic today...