How did I let this happen?
My body is frozen in disbelief, but my mind is whirling at warp speed.
I shouldn’t have … I should have … I can’t believe …
My arm swings into motion, my hand reaches for my computer keyboard, and my finger hits the “mute” button.
But it’s too late.
The damage is done.
My Inner Critic takes a deep breath.
How It Happened
I didn’t mean for this to happen.
But there’s a reason my father often told me when I was a child, “You didn’t mean for it not to happen.”
I’m not a detail person.
If I were a detail person, I wouldn’t have tested my new portable speaker in the main conference room while a keynote message was being delivered.
I would have thought to plug in my earbuds before connecting the speaker to my computer.
And I would have made sure that nothing with sound was queued up on my computer.
Especially not a video.
But I’m not a detail person.
So while sitting unnoticed in the back of the conference room, I connected my new portable speaker to my computer without earbuds. Or checking the volume.
While connecting the speaker to my computer, I accidentally hit the space bar.
Which started the video playing.
It was a video of me.
So in the middle of the keynote presentation, “Hi! I’m Cheri Gregory!” blasts—on HIGH volume.
And suddenly, I am no longer sitting unnoticed in the back of the conference room.
What Happened Next
Right as my Inner Critic is about to unload on me with both barrels blazing, I feel a hand on my arm.
It’s my friend Kathi.
She says two simple words that feel simultaneously impossible and irresistible.
For an elastic moment, I teeter on the brink of who to believe.
Inner Critic or Kathi?
I already know what my Inner Critic will say. After all, I’ve been listening to him for more than five decades.
And I know that the results of listening to my Inner Critic will be
- profuse apologies
- never-endings attempts to “make up for it”
What would it be like to believe this?
What a wild idea.
What if it’s actually true?
I take a halting breath.
My Inner Critic deflates without a word.
And I am.
What Every Sensitive Heart Needs to Hear
Who knew that two tiny words could pack such power?
God, of course.
Scripture is full of Him assuring us, “You’re okay” in one way or another.
Last week, we tackled a tough topic: hypervigillance. And I’m working on a practical follow-up post on managing the two sneaky fear responses that are most common among HSPs: Freeze and Fawn.
But today, I don’t want to overload you with more information.
I just want to share a simple story about two small words that are helping me dial down my own hypervigilance.
And remind you that that this is how God speaks to your sensitive heart:
“Don’t be afraid.” Mark 5:36 (NIV)
“It is I! Do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27 (NIV)
“So do not fear, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Now, it’s your turn: