You hear that voice in your head? The voice that seems to always have something to say. You could be sitting trying to relax and in your head you hear “Am I hungry?” “Did I forget to turn the oven off?” “Maybe I should call Michael and see what he’s up to.” Where is that voice coming from? Who does it belong to? Is it you?
I am currently reading a book called The Untethered Soul – I highly recommend it. This book starts off by discussing this voice and who it belongs to. I never really took the time to think about it, is that voice me? The voice constantly contradicts itself, it sometimes gives terrible advice, sometimes I completely disagree with it, so then could it really be me?
Imagine it is your birthday, you are waiting on your boyfriend for dinner and he’s late. The voice in your head is quick to say “He forgot my birthday, he doesn’t even care about me.” A couple minutes later your boyfriend calls and the voice in your head is saying “Ignore him, he forgot your birthday you don’t even want to talk to him right now.” You decide not to listen and answer anyways to find out he is late because he was planning an incredible surprise for you. If you had listened to the voice in your head you would have gotten it all wrong ruining the surprise and your birthday.
Now imagine that voice was coming from a friend, would you appreciate their advice in the future? Definitely not as much. Then why 10-20 minutes after getting terrible advice do we listen to that voice in our own head no questions asked? We think it’s us.
That voice is not you.
That voice is insecurities, shame, fear, excitement, anger, all the emotions expressing themselves incessantly. This is not you but rather a voice that you have created and if you let it one the will never shut up making it harder to actually hear your own voice. The way to mindfulness is to quiet that voice. You may never be able to turn it off completely but letting the thoughts and emotions pass will ultimately help you become a happier, healthier, and more successful human being.
One of my favourite quotes I heard from a friend Brooke Ence is to think of thoughts and emotions like birds flying by. You want to see them, acknowledge them, but let them fly by without a care. What you want to avoid is allowing those birds to build a nest in your hair.