Your Inner Asshole (IA) is the voice of shame and degradation that tells you you’re awful and no one likes you and you’ll never accomplish your dreams and you’re stupid for even wanting them. Or at least that’s what mine says to me. Each IA is different. But they all have one thing in common: They’re A-holes. The IA will never stop trying to tell you what Jen calls “bullshit stories”: Messages of self-doubt or loathing that are completely unfounded but often paralyzing. In one of her workshops, she asked us each to write some of ours down. I’m too screwed up to find radical happiness. Passionate love doesn’t last. I’m not important enough to write what I want. I’ll never find financial freedom. I’m bad at marriage because of my parents’ shitty relationships.
Then she asked us to close our eyes and think of someone who makes us feel safe, loved, and understood—and write a letter to ourselves from that person’s point of view, beginning with: If you could see what I see, you’d know that…
I thought of my dear friend Hannah and how she laughs at my jokes and thinks I’m adorable when I’m gross and never judges my questionable choices as long as I’m following my truth. I channeled her voice and wrote myself a letter of admiration:
If you could see what I see, you’d know that you are a badass B. I’ve watched you reawaken and take responsibility for your life in a way that is so cool and powerful. I love seeing you realize what you deserve and going for it. You’ve always had a way of making those around you recognize their own light. Yours, too, is so bright: I love seeing you shine. You are strong. You are brave. You are beautiful. You don’t even know yet that you’re halfway there. Keep going. I’ve got you. I’m walking you home.
Hannah is smarter than my IA. She knows that the things it tells me are 99 percent untrue. So from now on, when my IA pipes up to make me feel small or unworthy, I will be channelling Hannah when I tell it to kindly shut the hell up.