(photo: marble statue of “Undine Rises from the Waters” by Chauncey Bradley Ives; Yale University Art Gallery)
Society has given the various inner selves a bad rap. We think that psychiatrists will commit us to insane institutions if we talk of our various inner selves — and their personalities (!) or talk about the voices we hear within our heads. We learn to fear our voices, interpreting them as attempts to limit our highest potential. We negate them, ban them and avoid them. We’re told to ignore them and push through the noise using sheer willpower and just “do” what we want. This “push” strategy works only temporarily because:
- it doesn’t address the core issue
- willpower is an expensive, short-term source of energy that burns out relatively quickly
- when someone’s “pushing” through the voices, they’re missing the point
So, what’s the point of these inner voices?
To serve our highest potential. They reflect parts of ourselves at different ages, perspectives and view points, as our various parts don’t always develop at the same rate. One voice may reflect a child’s perspective, to remind us to stay close to our values or dreams. Another voice may reflect fear of being exploited, to remind us to ensure we’re taking care of ourselves when taking care of others.
- “Take control. Over-function in every situation”
- “You’re a good girl. Help people in need, regardless of the cost to you”
- “You’re not experienced enough to lead a big financial project”
- “Other people know more than you do; trust their expertise, not your intuition”
- “Don’t eat good foods, eat whichever you want”
- You listened to your voices and decoded their intelligence? What might you learn?
- What if you developed a fantastic relationship with yourself? Who would you be then? How would you feel? Think? Behave toward yourself?
To successfully develop a fantastic relationship with yourself and glean all the wisdom from your voices, you’ll:
- Listen to your inner voices
- Assume they come in service of your highest potential
- Transcend their communication style and seek to understand the core message
- Implement the messages’ wisdom and think, feel and/or behave in a new way
- Thank your voices in gratitude and appreciation
Back to examples:
An inner voice tells you to over-function with an upcoming financial project, which means do most of the work and take on all the risk. In this specific case, it reflects an old good girl rule: “take care of things, fix the situation, whatever the cost to you.” That advice might have been good when you (or your parent/society) defined the old rule, but today, it no longer suits you. At the same time, you want to implement your new good girl rules: “Listen to and trust your intuition. Function (vs over- or under-function) and create a win-win outcome, taking care of yourself.
What could this inner voice be telling you?
- telling you to stick with your old habits
- telling you that that’s all you know how to do
- reminding you of all the times you used the old rule, so you won’t do it again
- helping you notice that you’re really good at implementing internal rules, so you’ll be successful with your new rules
- inviting you to design the financial project in a new way, taking care of your needs
- asking you to learn from past experiences and behave in new ways
Which interpretations suit you better?
- If you used the first couple of interpretations, do they feel good? What would they help you learn?
- If you listened to the latter, would they help you implement your financial project more successfully? If yes, go with them!
Other points to remember:
- When you ignore your inner voices, they get louder and more frequent. The louder and more frequent they become, the farther away you are from your intuition
- When you listen to your intuition, you’ll notice messages quickly, so they are often soft and gentle, or might even come as a breeze
- When you listen to these voices and understand their true messages, they go away
The closer the relationship you nurture between your various selves and voices, the more congruent you become, all aligned toward your highest good. The more congruent you become, the more confident and grounded. The more confident and grounded, the more likely and easily you’ll get out into the world, sharing your highest contributions.
Don’t believe me, try it. You are the master of your life’s garden. Try this strategy and see how it works for you.
Have fun! :>