We all have voices in our head. The voices of our stories, the things we tell ourselves which we believe to be true. These stories we carry around with us make up the worlds that we live in.
“You’re too fat.”
“You’re too skinny.”
“You’re not pretty.”
“You have nothing to offer.”
“You’re not worthy of love and affection.”
“You deserve to die miserable and alone.”
These voices run through our heads all day and all night long, to some extent, and we don’t even know it. All we know is we don’t feel good. What we don’t realize is we move through this world looking for evidence to validate our stories.
“You’re too fat.” Well yes, I will then focus on every skinny person I see and compare myself to them.
“You’re too skinny.” Well yes, then I will look in the mirror for all the ways to validate my experience and continue to poke at and demean myself.
“You’re not pretty.” Yes, so I will look outwardly for every person I believe is prettier than me and choose to ignore my own beauty.
“You’re useless.” So I will make errors to prove my uselessness.
“You have nothing to offer.” So I will be sure I don’t offer or contribute anything good to the conversation.
“You’re not worthy of love and affection.” Yes, so I will choose to keep people in my life who show me how unloveable I am.
“You deserve to die miserable and alone.” Very much yes. So I will choose to keep myself small, isolated, and alone.
With each of these examples, by acting out your story you continue perpetuating the story and remaining in the cycle, with no seeming way out of it.
The problem we face is our stories have been allowed to run wild. Like weeds, the garden of our mind has become overgrown with things we don’t need.
Where did these stories come from?
They came from the experiences you lived and the ways you interpreted those experiences. They come from the stories your family told you, the stories your friends and peers told you, and perhaps even the stories that society told you.
Some of these stories might have been outright verbally said, such as, “You’re fat and ugly.” Other stories might have been covert, people not doing the things they said they would do, leading you to feel as though you are not worthy of love and affection. For example, if you were abused as a child and nobody did anything about it, you likely interpreted the abuse and the silence of the adults in your life as evidence of how unloveable you are.
Then, you begin to move through the world with these stories, your mind constantly looking for evidence to support your story.
Now, what if these stories are the ones your family believed, ones you inherited? Stories such as, “It’s because we are black,” “It’s because we are Russian,” “It’s because we are Jews.” Are these stories any different?
No, they aren’t. They are still the stories you unknowingly choose to tell yourself.
Anytime you are in a story you are choosing to believe that something outside of yourself is true. You are choosing to believe an external circumstance is the reality. Therefore, your external reality will reflect your internal story and state of being. “As within, so without.” What I believe to be true about me internally will be reflected in my external reality. And worse, I will believe the external reality as truth.
In some ways the external reality is truth. It is the truth of your lived experience. And in other ways, it is a reality based in hurt and pain. Hence, why it hurts so much on the inside and why we don’t feel happy or fulfilled in our lives.
So, what do you do about it?
You learn to disarm the voices.
Disarming the voices is a process which begins with awareness that the stories and the voices are present. Then, you simply bringing your gentle, loving presence to the voice of the story and hear it out. You do not attempt to change, fix, or manipulate the voice. You simply hold the loving space for the voice of your story to be heard, with love, with compassion, and with non-judgement and non-reactivity.
It is in the space of love, compassion, non-judgement, and non-reactivity that your story has an opportunity to be heard and healed.