“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams
It seems as though I have spent most of my life straining at the bit, running for the door, thinking of tomorrow before today has even begun. Always on to the next thing, the next great event, the next adventure. I have sought change in many ways, yet have been stubborn in my willingness to look within and evaluate where change was most desperately needed.
For example, if you want to love yourself, you will more than likely have greater success if you don’t constantly belittle, criticize and demean yourself, even if it is just in your head. Especially if it is an internal dialogue because those are the ones that are subtle, seemingly innocent statements regarding our behavior on some level. Let me know if any of these sound familiar to you:
You’re so stupid!
You shouldn’t even try.
You’re ugly/fat/a shapeless beanpole/crazy
You aren’t pretty enough
You aren’t smart enough
You’re a fake/an imposter
You get the idea. I worked so hard for so long to run away from anything or anyone that, in my mind, was critical or negative or judgmental but the main voice I couldn’t get far away from was my own, or the Committee as I like to call them. Each has a vital role in “protecting” me from perceived harm.
The Mother Voice
I love my mother greatly and miss her like crazy, but the voice in my head is not her; it is a warped and highly critical voice that keeps me from straying from the path of the traditional. This is the voice that has been screaming at me if I retire early, my life as I know it will cease to exist and in all possibility, so could I. This is the voice that tells me that all men are nothing short of predatory wolves and I am the innocent lamb, leading myself to slaughter; better to not risk a relationship of any kind. This is the voice that tells me the job I have now is the only job I will ever be able to get, especially now that I qualify as a “Woman of a Certain Age” and of course, old ladies don’t get dream jobs, right?
The Rebel Voice
This is the voice that gets me into the most trouble; this is the F**k YOU! voice. Not only to the world, but to myself as well. This is the voice that says I don’t need to take my medication, they just want me to be a brainless idiot, more easily to manipulate and exploit. This is the voice that tells me to drink all the alcohol I want to because I deserve it and what’s the fun in being an alcoholic if you don’t drink to excess? Why deny my true nature and put myself through all that suffering when it’s my fate to let the fires of addiction consume me?
The Child Voice
This voice is the voice that reminds me of all the promises I’ve made to myself in my lifetime; it is almost more of a scribe, but very young and emotional. This is the voice that wants desperately to love and be loved, to be accepted and validated as a person, not just a series of diagnostic codes in the DSM. This is the voice that wants to have ice cream for dinner, leave the umbrella at home and walk in the rain, dance in my chair at work and overall, try to be as child-like and full of wonder as possible, but under the wrong conditions, translates to childish and demanding, always pushing to get her way.
The Voice of Intuition
This is the voice that is not a voice but more of an energy beam that transmits emotions, thoughts, half-constructed insights and images. This voice is the reason why I am still alive and well today; it is a much louder voice and when things get scary, it sounds like thunder and lightning. When I am putting myself in danger, when I’ve been off my meds for too long, this voice rings out like God speaking to Moses and tells me to call my psych doctor or a trusted friend. It tells me to act and do it NOW! I have learned to listen to this voice above all others and it is the only voice I trust implicitly because I know my very survival depends upon it.
So, there you have it, my committee. With all of this going on inside my head, it often makes it incredibly difficult to be around people and be a good listener to them while the Committee is all talking at once, demanding to be heard. So change is incredibly difficult to navigate, as it is with all human beings. We all have our unique and specific complex factors that make alterations in our lives challenging or at the very least, keep us hesitant to take that big step.
But change is the only constant and as such, inevitable. I have made a very far reaching decision that will hopefully assist me in succeeding in achieving some of larger goals; stretch my wings and take flight.
Let’s hope the Committee can button up, shut up and we can all enjoy the journey.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.