by cheri sabraw
Within our minds, like a corral full of transhumant donkeys and their shepherds, a committee resides.
The committee is influential, detrimental, and experimental.
Not everyone has the same size committee. The more members you have, the harder it is to shut them up.
This committee is full of stubborn, negative, limiting, and passive-aggressive voices–like those whiny timid ones I heard at faculty meetings that complained about everything from attending parent conferences to supervising student dances.
The goal for those of us who strive for mental, emotional, and physical health is to pare down our committee as the years go by until all members have hung up their spurs and left the premises.
Until that happens, be aware that:
Your committee has dynamic and vocal blowhards (strike that… I meant members) who have been with you for a long time– from your childhood until the present moment. Other committee members have raised their voices during your work life, have offered romantic and sexual advice, and often have weighed in on your body and how it looks.
We usually do not seek professional help until the committee’s edicts become so dominant that they begin to limit how we interact with others, and most importantly, with ourselves.
When young, I had a committee the size of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir but today, my committee is down to three members: one who supervised all the career and business decisions I have made and make, one who was one of my husband’s committee members and somehow has entered my blood-brain barrier, and one who weighs in on my body–its health and its appearance.
These three committee members still feel the pesky need to chime in every now and then. Oh. They rattle and babble about prattle.
Am I meeting expectation?
Am I still attractive?
Am I making the right decisions?
With practice, I have taken charge, for the most part, of my committee members and their limiting edicts.
But every now and then, usually after the fact, I recognize that my committee has influenced my behavior.