love instead of hate

If you start paying attention to the moment, perhaps spending some time being instead of doing, you will notice that you are never really alone. Even when you’re physically alone in your office, car, home, even the bathroom, the jibber-jabber of voices still hums along in your head.

Some of these voices are sarcastic, some are not-all-that-friendly, some are critical, and some are downright mean. And the target of their drivel – their sarcasm, unfriendliness, criticism, and mean-spiritedness is most often….you guessed it…me (I suspect that this the case for a lot of us once we really start listening).

Where do these voices come from? They certainly don’t sound like me. I wouldn’t say most of these things to my worst enemy (you know who you are)! Yet, they’re prattling on in my mind most of the moments of my day (will you just shut up already).

So, this week, I’ve started playing a game. Will the real me please speak up.  When one of these voices starts blathering on, I ask myself who the source of this voice really is. I often find that although it sounds awfully familiar, it is not in fact my own voice. Instead, these voices often sound very similar to old teachers, colleagues, friends, ex-boyfriends (I thought you were gone for good), or critical reviewers. Being able to identify and label them provides enormous power for finally silencing their often hateful message (alright, some peace and quiet) and provides space for listening to the quiet whispers of my own loving voice.

Who’s talking to you today?

    • Tiffany Hogan
    • June 17th, 2011

    Very powerful and SO TRUE Sarah!

    • Lauren
    • June 17th, 2011

    All excellent points, S. On the flip side, I find it helpful to identify those voices not only as negative, but also they can have a positive side. Sometimes when I’m down on myself, I may not be able to talk myself out of it, but I can hear the voice of someone else (a husband, a friend, a parent) countering my negative thoughts. That’s helpful. The key, I guess, is identifying who those thoughts are coming from (whether they’re positive or negative).

      • Tara
      • June 30th, 2011

      I agree, Lauren! Sarah, your ‘voice’ is one that I hear when I’m going to through low points. It’s true — I still remember many things you said or sent me during difficult times. Thanks, friend!

  1. Excellent post – I have to give this a try! 🙂

  2. Great post for all of us trying to make sense of those voices in our head. I was thinking about how in Manzanita, we talked about how authentic you can be when you’re talking to other people (like when someone asks how you are, do you just say “good” or really tell them?)… I’ve been preoccupied thinking about how authentic I can be when I speak to others, but hadn’t thought about how authentic I am right inside my own head. And your post made me realize how often thoughts and ideas spring into my mind that aren’t necessarily the authentic me, but more likely a bad habit of thinking I’ve picked up over time and not questioned. I was struggling this week to figure out how I can speak with more authenticity in certain situations and your post has inspired me to start from the inside.

  3. I’m really trying to listen to my own voice these days. I’m finding it very hard as others’ voices currently feel and seem VERY loud and are drowning out my own. I’m asking the Universe to give me strength in hearing my Self.

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