WHO IS TALKING?
How skilful are you in observing the TALKER in your head? Your life may not be the same after reading this.
Our journey to self-love simply cannot happen without understanding ourselves. To understand who we are, we have to re-focus and start observing ourselves. Observing our mind we hear various voices which mostly sound like us, yet most of these voices (and our thougths attached to them) don't belong to us. 'The voices which sound like me are NOT me? What do you mean?' I hear you say. Please let me explain.
Vast majority of our brain wiring was established in childhood. This wiring is a network of connections which shapes our behaviour by shaping our responses to situations. Up to a certain age, we were told many times a day what to do, how to do it, when to do it, or what NOT to do. The comments just kept coming. We were moulded into the kind of child our parents deemed acceptable. The kind of child THEY desired...
How we behave today, how we SELF-REGULATE our actions, is largely shaped by the way our carers/parents regulated us. What we deem acceptable, what we deem right or wrong (our morals), was given to us through communication with our carers. And because we wanted to be accepted and loved by them, we allowed them to shape us into the people we are today. This is called PARENTAL CONDITIONING. Indeed, this isn't the only 'shaping' we received in the course of our life, but it is the most significant one. Undeniably, our parents got conditioned by their parents and so on.
Conditioning of our mind works as a voice recorder, re-playing the voices of our carers in familiar situations. In time, and with repetition, those voices became our thoughts.
For example: You miss a dead line at work/school and the voice (which now doesn’t sound anything like your parent’s but your own) scalds you ‘You are so stupid! Why can’t you be more organised?’ OR it sounds rather sarcastic and shameful ‘Well done! You should be ashamed of yourself!’ OR it puts you down with comments doubting your abilities ‘I knew it! You cannot do anything right!’, or 'It is not good enough, you could do much better than this!'
Another example: You are doing some work but like to take a rest. The voice in your head says ‘You are so lazy!’ OR 'You shouldn’t be taking time off, you don’t deserve it!’ And so on.
There are many examples of voices we carry around and listen to on daily basis. They condemn us, they scald us, they are rude to us calling us names, they put us down, make us feel ashamed and guilty. Why? Because they COMPARE us the same way others did...
Accordingly to how we got conditioned, our mind created a picture of who we should be, and in the end wanted to be. We created an IDEAL, illusionary Self, we are endlessly chasing. We compare ourselves with him or her, turning our tape recorder on, replaying our ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’.
But guess what? We always fall short and disappoint. WE FAIL. This is the basis for conditional love for ourselves - it is how we ABUSE ourselves...
Every time we go against ourselves like this we feel bad deep down. Wanting to escape we look for ways to distract ourselves. Our Inner Judge (our Ego) makes us so unhappy with ourselves and our life but distractions work only for a little while. A new relationship, a shopping spree or a night out. As the bar for what we deem acceptable about ourselves keeps moving UP, our place and lives fill up with JUNK to make ourselves feel better. But it is never ending...
... IF ONLY we could discern the voices inside our heads. Some of them are clearly NAGGING like our parents, our old friend, or our partner. Some of them are clearly our own, but believe me, the only voice which is TRULY OURS is the voice of kindness and love. Why? We were all born a blank canvas. An EMPTY tape. All we knew was how to love. Nothing else. Yet now, our heads are full of trash.
But raging at others won't help, because they got given same trash from their predecessors. Now what?
Lets look at it from a gratitude point of view! We are really lucky to have woken up from this 'TRASH RELAY' madness. By carefully listening to how we talk to ourselves we can put an end to our ongoing unhappiness with ourselves, our inner irritation and self-rejection. Only WE are responsible for what we allow to play on our mind. Only we are capable to RE-RECORD the parts we don’t agree with, and play much kinder, loving voice instead. The voice we CHOOSE and which truly belongs to us.
How do you prefer to address you? Remember that things like 'I am such an idiot I made a mistake... I am not good enough... I should have done it better... I didn’t think of that coz I am stupid...’ are NOT HELPING you to create a loving relationship with yourself!
WRITE DOWN THE MOST FREQUENT CONDEMNING, SHAMING SENTENCES, NAME CALLING, JUDGEMENTS, YOU CATCH YOURSELF THINKING. Ask yourself ‘Who is talking? Who said that? Am I being nice to myself by allowing this to play again? What would I like to hear instead?'
Every time you catch yourself, applaud yourself. You are finally syncing the frequency of your thoughts with that of your heart. Speaking with the voice of love, your are one step closer to ending the trash relay for good.
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel