I trust you’ve noticed by now that you constantly have a mental dialogue going on inside you head. I’ve always thought of this as my very own 24/7 ongoing cartoon. At least on my ‘good’ days I hold it that way. Because you see, it’s always so melodramatic!
But I confess… there are those days I fall into the trap of engaging with it as.. if…
Have you ever wondered why it talks in there?!? Like right now, you’ve got a conversation going on in your head about me talking about the conversation going on in your head. Yours might even be saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have any voice inside my head!”
HA! That’s the one I’m talking about.
So… have you ever taken a step back to examine this voice and get to know it better? Hmmm?
If not it’s probably because you’re all confused and actually think it’s you. You’re so close to it you can’t be objective. Here’s what I suggest you do. Take an imaginary step back and simply watch it converse. Maybe it happens a lot while you’re driving, you might hear something like this,
“Did I remember to turn off the coffee pot? I hope I did because I don’t want to crack another pot like I did a couple of months ago. Oh shoot, I was supposed to drop off that report for Jack. I can’t believe I forgot it. He is going to be so disappointed in me. Maybe I should head back home and get it. No, I don’t want to go all the way back, then I’ll be late for my appointment with the dentist…”
Isn’t it funny how this voice actually picks up both sides of the conversation. It doesn’t even really care which side it’s taking in any given moment, it just wants to keep on chattering. When you’re tired and trying to go to sleep it’s the voice that yammers on saying,
“What am I doing? I can’t fall asleep yet. I don’t want to forget anything tomorrow. Did I set everything I need beside my briefcase? Maybe I should get up and check. Shoot, I forgot to talk to Jack about that report. I can’t call him now, it’s too late. Sheesh, what even made me think about him right now when I can’t do anything about it. Now I’m really not tired enough to fall asleep. Haven’t I read that if you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes that you should get up and do something. I wonder if I should just get up. Arghh… then I’ll be so overtired in the morning…”
Ackkkk!!!! It would be hilarious if it weren’t so draining! Why do we put up with this nonstop chatter anyway? Even if it’s one of those rare moments when it’s talking soothingly to us it’s still disturbing everything we are doing. Would we really willingly spend our day with someone walking around constantly talking to himself? I’ll bet you’d think that strange. If he’s the one talking and the one listening, wouldn’t he naturally know what he’s going to say before he says it? So what’s the point?
The same is true for that voice going on in your head! Why is it talking? It’s you talking and it’s you listening and get this… you even get into arguments with yourself! Who can possibly win?!?
I don’t know about you but I have learned that screaming at it to “Shut Up!” simply doesn’t work. But taking a step back and deciding to simply observe it objectively does start quieting things down. Amazing.
When I just notice it, no matter what it’s saying, nice things or mean, worldly things or spiritual things, I realize it doesn’t matter because it’s just a voice talking inside my head. When I just step back and notice it then I start to get that it’s obviously not me. Since I’m the one hearing it, I have to realize that there is absolutely nothing that voice can say that is more ‘me’ than anything else it says.
Take a look at the following three objects:
If I ask you which of these objects is you… you’d say, “None of them! I’m the one who’s looking at what you’re putting in front of me. It doesn’t matter what you put in front of me, it’s always going to be me looking at it.”
And there you have it. It’s an act of a subject perceiving various objects. Might this also be true of hearing the voice in your head? Doesn’t make any difference what it’s saying, you are the one aware of it! As long as you insist that one thing it’s saying is you, but the other thing it’s saying is not you, you must know you’ve lost all objectivity. You might want to think of yourself as the part that says the nice things, but still… it’s only the voice talking. Even when you like what it says… it’s not you.!
There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice in your head — you are the one who hears it! Rest assured that you can stop reacting to this voice and empower yourself with the creativity that is naturally yours. We’ll get back to that conversation later.
Meanwhile… take a breath, center yourself, and simply observe that voice for a while. You just might be amazed!