Do you hear voices?
Is there someone in there with you or do you have no idea what I am talking about?
Have you ever heard a voice tell you that you must go to the gym? Then the same voice, just hours later starts whining about how you’re tired, that you don’t like the gym that you don’t think you’ll go today?
What about the voice that tells you that you are not thin enough, beautiful enough, organised enough?The voice that talks to you about other people? The one that judges, then later on scolds you for judging and being mean? The one who rehashes events, painful times in your life and tries to make sense of it all? The one that takes you out of the present moment.
For example you’re watching a movie. Your engrossed in it. Then someone walks into the theatre and you’re attention is disturbed. That person looks kind of like your ex-boyfriend, the one who cheated on you. Is he still with that girl? How could you let him treat you like that? Remember that dress you were wearing the day he dumped you? Where is that? Could you have left it at the dry cleaner? Maybe you should call them?
Suddenly the movie is over. You have been staring at the screen for the past half an hour but you could not recall the events of the movie if someone paid you a million dollars for the information.
You weren’t present. The voice inside your head had taken you on a journey. During that journey you experienced pain from the memory of the ex-boyfriend, bewilderment when you thought about the dress and then anxiety as you worked out a plan to locate it but all the time you were sitting in the movie theatre and nothing had changed except inside you.
You could be feeling fantastic, relaxed from the movie, thrilled at the plotline but instead you rush out of the theatre feeling worse than when you went in, when the voice inside your head was droning on about your terrible day, the traffic to get to the theatre and how hot it was.
Is that voice you?
You might say yes. These are my thoughts and that is who I am. Indecisive, anxious, paranoid with a severe inability to concentrate on anything for long periods of time. Ok let’s go with that theory.
Are you the person that said terrible things to the one you love the most during a fight – or are you the person that seconds later regretted saying them?Are you the one that justifies the ugly things said or are you the one that says maybe you stepped over the line? Are there two different people inside you? If you were not you during that fight then who are you?
Some people call that voice the ego. Some people the mean girl. Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul, calls it ‘the voice inside your head” and he writes that this voice is not you. If it was then how would you be able to watch it talking?
Step back yourself for a minute and try to let your mind quieten. It won’t let you will it? Despite you telling it to be quiet there is an incessant chatter as it bounces from one topic to the next.
Try to breathe in for seven breaths and breathe out again. Can you even go that long without internal dialogue, commentary or a sudden pressing thing to do on your to do list? Were you watching the voice this time instead of identifying with it – instead of being swept away with its story you tried to tell it to be quiet. That person is you. Singer calls it The Witness.
In his beautiful book, that is written to help you really, truly find yourself and find peace, he writes about our hearts. He writes that every time something happens to us that we don’t like we close our hearts around it, instead of letting the experience pass through us we block it, therefore using the theory that everything is energy, we are blocking our energy. Our heart energy with its ability to love and feel joy, happiness and inspiration becomes blocked.
Take your mind back to when you fell in love, everything about them was amazing, you didn’t fight your heart was open and everything was a new learning experience. The first time you experience something you don’t like about them, instead of dealing with it or letting it pass through you, you block it. The next time the same thing happens it causes a reaction in your body, anger, frustration, annoyance. Your heart closes a little more.
After reading this book I understand why it takes a straw to break a camels back. Instead of letting these experiences go and moving on to the next moment we hoard these annoyances and build on them until we literally can’t take anymore. We become defensive, nasty and completely over the top about this situation.
We have closed our hearts and it is so damn hard to open them again. To get back to a time when we didn’t have these defence mechanisms.
He advises that when something triggers us we need to tell our heart to open, relax our shoulders and let it go. ‘Whatever it may be’.
That doesn’t mean just let people walk all over you, it means don’t let your past experiences cloud what is really happening. With the help of the voices inside your head you create your own version of reality that you truly believe. Yes. The psycho that tells you that you are not good enough, that you should drink coffee then straight after scolds you for having too many…. Is the one that creates your reality.
Is any of this sounding familiar to anyone else?
So many of the words in this book were lightning bolts for me.Yes I do that! Yes I can see that I observe this voice! I would love to get back to a time where I didn’t want to hit my husband every time he left underwear on the floor.
It’s just freaking underwear that I don’t have to pick up, yet it can change the mood of my whole day and start incessant stream of chatter from that annoying voice.
Singer asks if we want to be happy? If we truly want to commit to being happy? If when my husband leaves underwear on the floor and I see it, will I be happy?
And that’s when I realise. I choose every day to be unhappy.
I might be singing after leaving the house on a perfect morning where I have meditated, done a spot of yoga and am about to get the kids to school on time when I notice that overnight someone has hit my car.
Suddenly the clouds roll over and I allow myself to be unhappy. “Justifiably so” says the voice inside my head. “Of course this happened to me. Today of all days just when I was feeling so bloody good.”
But if I choose to see the dent and be happy anyway, my day goes on, I ring insurance and it all gets sorted – whether I am happy or unhappy.
This is my life and this book has opened my eyes to an amazing spiritual practice. To be happy anyway…to be happy despite….to be happy even when….
It may not work every day but each day when I get up I practice letting go, I practice opening my heart and I practice being happy.
Let’s see where life takes me with that.
I bet it’s an amazing place to be.