Inside all of us there is a swirling marshland of women we have been, girls we once were, … ambition, shame, hope, pain and a myriad of other feelings are there somewhere but get locked in – like a Pandora’s box of behaviours and feelings that, if we could only find the key, would fly out and change everything. Agents for change living deep within us. A primordial swamp of potential. And so the self-help people try to assist us by talking about the inner. We talked about the inner lion didn’t we recently? Channel the inner lion someone said. But ours might be mangey, weary, defeated, lying in the sun waiting for someone to bring it dinner. No longer interested in showing the world its roar.
So we thought about some of the other inners… that we could channel… to unleash hell. Sorry. Not hell. Potential.
Perhaps there is an inner warrior. Bows and arrows and swords and breast plates (although my massive bra is almost a breast plate) displaying extreme bravery and brio at every turn. But what if the inner warrior isn’t so much courageous as psychotic? I mean, you don’t want a hormonal inner warrior leading the charge, do you? Looking around for umbrage, taking it and taking it personally. An inner warrior with no battle plan and no boundaries, who always needs to pee.
Channel your inner child. Sure. Sweet. Innocent. Blameless. Vulnerable. Until she has a tantrum and puts her foot down on the pedal and all bets are off because there is energy and there is need but there is no wisdom. There is just a deranged mini-princess burning shit down and refusing to take no for an answer – getting more and more over-tired and acquisitive. Gimme. Gimme. You don’t love me. All my friends are allowed that. Let’s get a piercing. A nose piercing is definitely a good idea. You’ll look very cool and not at all desperate.
Maybe there is an inner guru whose profound understanding we could harness. Trouble is, our inner oracle is drunk. Her sagacity and foresight has weighed her down for too long and she no longer gives a fuck. In fact, she has commercialised and now charges £200 an hour from a small room in Chelsea. She decided that her insight was, frankly, ageing. So now she sells it. And you can’t afford it. Well, maybe you could afford one of her mass-market zoom courses but – with the inner – it’s very much a bespoke service that we are hoping for.
And so we slope around the house dealing with the day to day. Wondering where the miracle will come from as we, say, sort out the recycling. The recycling. We are the only one in the house who understands the recycling. Possibly the only one in the street. Is this a sign from your inner Earth Mother? Is she speaking to you through the recycling? It might be time to let your inner Earth Mother come out to play. But, hang on. Enough with the mothers. The cult of motherhood. Your mother. Our mothers. How to be a good mother. How to cope if you had a bad mother. I mean what will the Inner Earth mother even say? For a start she’ll probably be chanting which will be both irritating and difficult to understand. Also she won’t let you drive or eat meat or buy new clothes, wear deodorant or use the tumble dryer. So you’ll still be sad and confused but also stranded, farty from pulses, smelly from only being allowed to scrape a crystal under your arms and all your old clothes will be crispy from being hung out to dry. Your inner Earth Mother does not feel like the first step on the path to serenity.
If all else fails and you just end to get shit done then maybe it’s your inner diva who can provide the shrewdness and fearlessness that you sorely lack. No more people pleasing. No more ‘emotion is my super power.’ Fuck everybody’s emotions except your own. Think Bette Davis at full moon when someone else has just won the Oscar and she’s lost her cigarettes. Right. Now we’re getting somewhere. Even if that somewhere is a wasteland with no friends and the ultimate destination is penury and a long, slow, lonely decline.