Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash
We are encouraged to always listen to our instincts — to the Inner Voice. There is a Knowing inside each of us which instinctively understands The Universe when She is calling to us. This piece of our soul responds to the whisper of The Divine.
The part they leave out of this ‘listening to your Inner Guide’ instruction manual for dummies is this little tidbit — there are other voices in there too.
Voices with a little v.
Voices who do not lead you to joy or love or peace.
Where exactly do THOSE voices come from? And most importantly how the hell do we tell them apart from The Voice of The Divine?
The easiest way to tell The Voice (capital V Voice) is this — you feel right. There is no knot in the pit of your stomach when you’re listening to the thoughts carried to you by this Voice. It is soothing. It is calm. It is peaceful. It is THE ANSWER to the question you didn’t even realize you had been asking. And yes — sometimes when you first hear it you might be caught off guard and freaked out. But the next time it comes around, you find it’s growing on you. In a home cooked meal kind of way — complete with apple pie and ice cream for dessert.
The voices (small v voice) has the opposite reaction in every single cell in your body. And there are A LOT of voices. These are the thoughts which lead you down the path to doubt, mistrust, lies, low self-esteem, hatred, abuse, and more. They rob you of your joy. They hurt — physically hurt — you as they pass through your psyche.
Those voices were inflicted upon you at some point in your life until they became a story. Your story. A stress response you reach for like a good stiff drink when times get tough. But they don’t help you cope anymore than bad booze will. They just give you an emotional hangover and in a lot of instances, a real-life fucked up set of circumstances you created while under their influence.
So what’s a body to do?
We know we will never be 100% devoid of the voices (small v voices). They are our childhood programming, all our bad dates, our traumas, our horrible bosses, the mean girls from high school, the harassment, the crappy speeches we gave, All The Things. I could type this list for pages and pages and still not cover all that which wounds a human psyche.
We can’t get rid of them. We have to learn to embrace them. Comfort them. Accept them. Make them part of who we are.
Yes, my anxiety is off the charts and assumes I will be stalked and mugged going into work most days. But oh, look there — she was wrong — AGAIN. We survived. Tomorrow we’ll do this all over — and more than likely live to tell.
Yes, my OCD hates when this or that is not just this or that so. But the world has not come to a fucking end. And we have even embraced the fact that our grandchildren’s socks usually don’t match.
Yes, we are still shocked as hell when someone likes us. Let alone loves us. We assume it’s just a matter of time until they figure out The Truth — whatever that is and abandon us. But then there are those friends who haven’t — crazy people! Forty years later they still don’t know The Truth. Or maybe they do and they just don’t give a shit?
But we will never, ever, EVER be in a place where we won’t have to talk some of our voices down off the ledge from time to time. We’ll get better. Hell, I’ve gotten WAY better! Thanks to yoga and meditation — my voices (small v voices) and I tango around that dance floor on a regular! Sometimes we even snuggle — in the way mostly domesticated Demons are apt to do.
But they do not move out. Or move on. They are mine. To keep. Till Death do us part.
But yet, among them — a strong, soft, presence makes Herself known. With quiet authority, She speaks and they sit reverently and listen. That is the other way you know when your Inner Voice (capital V Voice) is speaking — the background noise from the peanut gallery in the mind goes very silent. There is just Her. She tells you what you know you must do/say/be. And everyone nods.