“If someone in your life talked to you the way you talk to yourself,
you would have left them long ago.”
– Carla Gordon
There is a voice that I hear, sometimes as a bellow and sometimes as a whisper. I only became aware of it in the last few years, although if truth be told, I have heard it time and time again in my life. I used to think it was a Jiminy Cricket voice, you know, your conscience? But the voice to which I am referring, has nothing to do with my conscience. That part if me is clear. This voice is authoritative, it has strength and when I tried new things, it tried to block me from doing them ~ and if I did indeed succeed in trying, it would either criticize me for having failed or remain silent when I triumphed.
Have you ever stopped to listen to yourself ~ to the voice in your head ~ especially after you’ve done something that you weren’t sure about? Do you even notice that voice ~ are you aware of it? Or are you thinking me crazy ~ which I protest, I am most certainly not!
The voice is sneaky. It seeps into the running monologue in my head. At one point when I was much younger, I stopped eating for awhile. The voice would urge me on to see how far I could go on a few saltines and a leaf of lettuce. The voice and I would feel triumphant that we were not controlled by food, that we had such discipline to not be so weak as to feed me more than that. I could survive so easily on so little nourishment and I triumphed. I was able to fool everyone ~ working 2 jobs and convincing everyone that I was eating at the other job. Even more impressive to me was that I was getting thinner and by social standards, thinner is better, right?
Thinking back, it happened for a week or two when I was 12 years old as well. For some unknown reason at the time, I completely stopped eating. I shut down. I only wanted to drink water and I was ravenously thirsty. I was given a battery of tests, only to find out that there was nothing wrong with me. After awhile, the episode passed and I ate again. But until I was much older, I never put 2 & 2 together to realize why it was that I put my life on hold. What I do recall was the complete feeling of apathy towards eating and how I wasn’t able to talk with anyone about it.
That voice still tries to be heard in my life, but for the most part, I have kicked it to the curb. I found that it wasn’t a friend. It didn’t talk nicely to me unless it was somehow getting me to discipline myself even more than I already did. When I think about it, if it had been a real live friend who had said those things to me, I would have said goodbye to that friendship long ago.
So why did I permit the voice to continue? Why did I allow myself to believe that no matter what I did, I wasn’t enough? The self-criticism in me was even worse than the outside world’s perceived condemnation. At times, I bowed to it and strove for perfection and at others, I simply accepted the devastating knowledge that I wasn’t good enough and I bowed in sorrow. I can’t answer why to the questions above. I can only channel hope, inspiration and love into my heart these days in order to swing the pendulum of the voice and to drown out its power. It isn’t easy. It requires my beloved baby steps, but the best part is that it is possible.
So the next time you hear that voice which says, ‘not enough’ I want you to drown it out with the song below ~ from me to you ~ We Are Family!
“Have faith in you and the things you do, you won’t go wrong. This is our family jewel!”
I’m your biggest fan!