“The key is to keep company only with [voices] who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” But what about the not so uplifting voice in my head?
In the last post, I talked about identifying the voice in our head as something ‘other’ than ourselves. The noise we hear is not a demon or evil force in the world, but rather, it is sound. That is, you are a witness to something that is not ‘truth’ or absolute. ‘But surely,’ you might say, ‘this ‘thing’ does communicate to me and at me.” How about, for now at least, we imagine this sound to be a real speaking ‘thing’–classic personification.
It sits. It speaks. It screams. It throws tantrums. It scares. It paralyzes. It, this thing, has human-like behavior. So, as a result, let’s ask ‘it’ questions. Why don’t we start with:
1) Not who, but what are you? Are you past, current, or future fear, anger? etc.
2) How are you feeling? Are you angry, envious, oppressed, scared? etc.
3) Have you always felt this way?
4) Because I only have control over myself, what is it that you want from me, not anyone else?
5) If I give you what you’re freaking out about, what will you do, and do for me?
6) Can I trust you?
7) Now that I have acknowledged you, in the future, can you help me rather than fight me?
8) If I commit to paying attention to you, stopping and listening to you when you ‘speak’, and ask you questions similar to these, will you cooperate with me?
9) Can we be a team?
10) In what ways can you serve me?
Now, you might be thinking or even saying to yourself, ‘good lord, this guy’s lost his shit.’ And granted, I admit, I am nowhere near perfect. Yet, that being said, being human, we experience this ‘thing’s’ annoying and often distracting presence the EXACT same way.
You might also be wondering, ‘isn’t the ‘sound’ in my head my intuition?’ While no one can say for certain, I would wager to so no and here’s why. The sound that chatters all day and sometimes, all night long, is too reactive to be our intuition. This definition proves little to nothing but for context, by definition, intuition is associated with understanding or being instinctually in-tune without reasoning, and from the Latin, intueri–means to consider.
The ‘sound’ in our heads rarely considers anything, more often than not, it judges us as well as others. I’m painting this ‘thing’ in a pretty negative light but for many of us, it attacks, judges, ridicules, and or makes people, including ourselves, wrong.
Given this outlook, what hope or resolve can we have with this ‘thing?’ One of the most important questions we can ask now that we’ve gone down this road is, ‘what is the objective in the matter?’ Progress. We ask ourselves these seemingly silly questions so that we can grow, don’t we? I do.
Perhaps initially we can acknowledge the ‘thing’ as an imperfect honing tool, one that’s irritating, is cumbersome, and often annoying to work with, but is fundamentally the object that needs to be used to complete the job. ‘What job,’ you might ask. The task we all have or at least should aim to master is to, ‘know thyself.’
The phrase is not limited to life’s epic and influential milestones, the one’s where we learn so much about who we are, but maybe most importantly, it’s radically profound when applied to the lonely moments of life when it’s just you and the ‘thing’ in your head.
It’s not about shutting the ‘thing’ up, it’s about shaking it’s metaphorical hand and saying, ‘we need to have a chat.’
Quote by Epictetus.
If you’re having insights, have questions, and or like what’s been said here, please comment and share. I’m more than happy to engage here.